KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. March 12Scott Rothschild
KASB is keeping its eyes on a new school finance bill and two major pieces of legislation pending before the full Senate.
An informational briefing on HB 2395, which includes caps on cash balances and private school vouchers for victims of bullying, has been scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday before the House K-12 Education Budget Committee.
The measure limits district cash balances to 15 percent of the general operating budget and contains proposals that have been included in several other bills considered this session. Some of those include allowing victims of bullying to receive vouchers to attend private schools, allowing computer science and financial literacy courses to count toward graduation, new rules on boards when they go out for roofing bids and the formation of a bullying task force.
“There is a lot of stuff in this bill,” Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis said to the State Board of Education.
Meanwhile, still pending before the Senate are two important measures for education advocates. SB 22, which would cut taxes by approximately $200 million in the next fiscal year, thus making it more difficult to fund schools and other state services in need of additional revenue, has been approved in the Senate and the House, which added amendments. If the Senate approves the House-amended version, it would then go to Gov. Laura Kelly for her consideration. And SB 142, which would add $92 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1 and $89 million in the fiscal year after that. That’s on top of increases enacted in 2018.
In other business, on Tuesday, the House Elections Committee held a hearing on SB 7, which would allow school boards to elect officers in January rather than July, and Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson announced the formation of a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying. Here are more details on the bullying announcement.
Make sure to follow KASB on social media and here is our daily Facebook Live video wrap-up from the Statehouse.