KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Feb. 27Scott Rothschild
The Kansas Legislature wrapped up the first half of the session Wednesday with votes on a number of education-related bills that will likely be considered further during the second half of the session.
The Senate approved SB 7, which allows school boards to move their officer elections to January; SB 16, which allows school districts to spend at-risk funds on evidence-based learning program; SB 128, which requires that schools conduct at least nine safety drills per year and SB 199, which would create the AO-K program and allow certain adults to earn high school equivalency credentials by participating in career pathway oriented postsecondary classes. All these bills will now go to the House for consideration.
Meanwhile, the House approved HB 2214, which would amend the definition of a school bus to remove a requirement the vehicle be designed for more than 10 passengers for application of the state fuel tax; HB 2346, which would require school vision screenings for students in pre-school and kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and new students in grades not requiring screening and HB 2360, which would allow businesses or organizations that provide care to children, the elderly or those with disabilities to request the Kansas Bureau of Investigation conduct background criminal history checks. These bills will now go to the Senate for consideration.
The second half of the session will likely focus on school finance efforts to comply with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling and proposed tax cuts.
SB 44, Gov. Laura Kelly’s proposal to add the court-required inflation adjustment to school funding, remains in committee. A Democratic amendment to another bill that would have provided two years of Kelly’s increase was defeated Tuesday along party lines in the Senate.
SB 22, which would cut taxes by nearly $190 million, has been approved by the Senate and continues to be considered despite Kelly’s opposition. Nearly three-fourths of the cut would go toward corporations. A House committee amended the bill to also reduce the state sales tax on food from 6.5 cents per dollar to 5.5 cents per dollar and apply sales taxes to some internet purchases.
The 2019 session resumes Wed. March 6.