KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. April 3

The Senate-approved school funding plan will be voted on in the House on Thursday and KASB urges educators to contact their legislators and encourage them to support it. 

“This is not a done deal. Legislators need to hear from you,” said KASB’s Associate Executive Director Mark Tallman. 

Movement on school finance occurred Wednesday after a series of contentious meetings of the House-Senate conference committee. 

Ultimately, House K-12 Education Budget Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, said the full House would vote on the funding levels contained in SB 142, which includes four years of increases and the inflation adjustment cited by the Kansas Supreme Court and endorsed by Gov. Laura Kelly and the State Board of Education. 

The Senate conferees, led by Senate Education Chair Molly Baumgardner, R-Louisburg, refused to go along with a plan by Williams that provided less funding than SB 142. But the Senate did agree to a couple of minor policy provisions proposed by the House in the amended SB 16. That means, if the Conference Committee Report on SB 16 is approved by the House, it must go back to the Senate for consideration. Passage there is considered likely since the Senate approved its funding levels in SB 142 by a 32-8 vote last month. 

Legislators are running out of time to work on school finance. First adjournment is set for Friday and the state must provide legal briefs on a legislative remedy to the Kansas Supreme Court by April 15. 

Some of the policy provisions in the Conference Committee Report on SB 16 include extending the dyslexia commission, moving up a state audit to 2020 on bilingual weighting, making some changes on a private school tax credit program and other minor changes. 

In other business, SB 7, which allows school boards to designate a date to appoint their officers, was placed into the SB 130 Conference Committee Report and may be voted on Thursday or Friday.  

For a wrap-up of Wednesday’s events, go here. 

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