KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Feb. 12

Several education proposals were moving through the Legislature on Wednesday, and hearings are scheduled for Thursday on bills opposed by KASB and other public school advocates.

The House K-12 Education Budget Committee held a hearing on HB 2526, which would change the law that ties the equalization schedule to the district with the lowest assessed valuation per pupil. That district is always Fort Leavenworth USD 207, which is on a military base with almost no taxable valuation. KASB and several school districts testified in support of the bill. Here is a link to KASB’s testimony.

The House Education Committee held a hearing on HB 2519, which would require the Kansas Department of Education to compile a long list of information that would be used to prepare a “student graduate horizon scorecard.”

On Thursday, the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee will start working on SB 294. Supporters say it would provide transparency in the property tax process, but taxing subdivisions, including school districts, cities, counties and others have said the bill has numerous flaws. The bill would require taxing entities to calculate before July 1 a certified tax rate, which is the tax rate that would generate the same property tax revenue as the previous year. To adopt a tax rate higher than the certified tax rate, the governing body must publish notice, conduct a public hearing and notify each individual taxpayer on the tax rate’s impact. KASB has testified against this bill.

And House K-12 will hold a hearing on HB 2552 which would set up a voucher program for students who score at the lowest level on the state reading test to use state funds to go to a private school or have state funds directed to evidence-based reading programs approved by the student’s parent. KASB will be testifying against this bill. KASB opposes using tax funds to aid private schools which are not subject to the same legal requirements as public schools.

Also on Thursday, a Senate budget subcommittee will begin its annual review of the Kansas State Department of Education’s budget.

A Facebook Live recap of the day’s activities, is here.

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