KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. March 19

Numerous education groups, including KASB, testified Tuesday in support of SB 142, which provides the inflation adjustment for school finance.

Also supporting the bill were Game on Kansas, the Kansas PTA, United School Administrators-Kansas, Kansas NEA, Mainstream Coalition, and the Blue Valley, Olathe, De Soto, Gardner Edgerton, Shawnee Mission and Spring Hill districts.

KASB argued before the House K-12 Education Budget Committee that the increased funding in SB 142 will help increase student success, settle the long running Gannon lawsuit and bring funding levels near the 2009 inflation-adjusted level. Here is a link to the testimony.

Erin Gould, representing Game On Kansas, said Kansas parents and students had suffered from years of inadequate funding and now it was time for the Legislature to provide a constitutional level of funding.

Reps. Steven Johnson, R-Assaria, who is chairman of the House Taxation Committee, and Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, who chairs House Appropriations, testified as neutral but said the school funding increases would produce budget problems in several years that would require tax increases or cuts elsewhere.

The House K-12 panel  has SB 142 and HB 2395, which provides two years of the inflation adjustment but then cuts off the adjustment and future increases already approved. The House bill, supported by the committee Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, also includes numerous policy provisions opposed by school advocates, including a private school voucher plan for bullied students, cap on school district cash balances and provisions governing how school boards go out for roofing bids.

The committee is scheduled to start Wednesday the process of putting together a bill for the full House to consider. SB 142 was approved by the Senate in a bipartisan 32-8 vote. It is possible the Senate bill could be stripped in committee and the contents of the House bill placed in it. Then the House would essentially be voting on the bill opposed by KASB and other school advocates.

KASB’s daily video wrap up can be seen here.

In other education news, the House Elections Committee recommended approval of SB 7, which would allow school boards to elect officers in January rather wait until July if they wanted.


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