KASB Live summary of SB 16

Passage of SB 16 sends school finance response to the Governor, who is expected to sign; then on to the Kansas Supreme Court. 

Also passed this week: 

SB 130 – board elections  

School Bus Tax 

Budget “Mega Bill” – expected action today 

SB 16 – What is in (Kansas Legislative Research Department summary): 

KSEEA Amendments 

The bill would make several amendments to the KSEEA, as follows. 

Base Aid for Student Excellence (BASE) 

The bill would amend the BASE for school years (SY) 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023. The following table shows the BASE under current law and what the BASE would be under the bill. 

BASE AID FOR STUDENT EXCELLENCE
(SY 2019-2020 through SY 2022-2023) 
   
School Year  Current Law  House Sub. for SB 16 
2019-2020  $ 4,302  $ 4,436 
2020-2021  4,439  4,569 
2021-2022  4,576  4,706 
2022-2023  4,713  4,846 

 

At-Risk Education Programs 

The bill would require the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) to identify and approve evidence-based programs provided by state-based national nonprofit organizations that: 

  • Focus on students who are eligible to receive at-risk program services or who face other identifiable barriers to success; 
  • Provide evidence-based instruction and support services to such students; and 
  • Evaluate outcomes data for such students, including, but not limited to, school attendance, academic progress, graduation rates, pursuit of postsecondary education, or other career advancement. 

The bill would also define “evidence-based instruction” to mean an education delivery system based on peer-reviewed research that consistently produces better student outcomes over a five-year period than would otherwise be achieved by the same students who are receiving at-risk program services. 

School Finance Audits 

The bill would amend the planned schedule of school finance audits to be completed by the Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA). The bill would replace the planned cost-function performance audit in FY 2021 with an audit of school district unencumbered cash balances and move the audit of bilingual education from FY 2022 to FY 2021. The new audit schedule would be as follows: 

  • FY 2020: At-risk education; 
  • FY 2021: School district unencumbered cash balances and bilingual education; 
  • FY 2023: Virtual school programs; and 
  • FY 2024: Cost-function performance audit. 

Accountability Reports 

The bill would require the KSDE to create one-page performance accountability reports for the State, each school district, and each school building. The performance accountability reports would be required to include information required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or any successor act, and the college and career readiness metrics developed and implemented by the KSBE. 

The bill would also require KSDE to prepare annual longitudinal reports on student achievement on the state assessment for English language arts, mathematics, and science. 

School District Funding Report 

The bill would amend law that requires KSDE to prepare annual school funding reports. The bill would require the following be reported: 

  • The virtual student full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment be reported in addition to the full FTE for the school district; and 
  • All expenditures for legal services challenging the constitutionality of the school finance system under Article 6, Section 6 of the Kansas Constitution, including any dues or fees paid to an organization participating in such litigation. 

Accountability and Funding Report Publications 

The bill would establish uniform Internet publication requirements for all reports required to be published by KSDE and school districts. The bill would require KSDE to publish school district budget documents, the one-page performance accountability reports, the annual longitudinal reports on student achievement, and the school district funding report on the homepage of their website under a prominently displayed link titled “Accountability Reports.” 

The bill would require school districts to publish school district budget documents and the school district funding report on the homepage of their website under a prominently displayed link titled “Accountability Reports.” The bill would also require the school district budget documents and the school district funding report be posted on the websites of individual schools in the school district, if such schools have separate websites. 

The bill would require school districts to provide a link to the KSDE webpage where the one-page performance accountability reports and longitudinal reports on student achievement are posted. The link would be required to be prominently displayed on the school district’s accountability reports webpage. 

ACT and WorkKeys Assessments 

The bill would require the KSBE to provide the ACT college entrance exam and the three ACT WorkKeys assessments required to earn a national career readiness certificate to each student enrolled in grades 11 and 12 at no charge to the student. The bill would also require KSBE to provide the PreACT college entrance exam to each student enrolled in grade 9. (Note: Sub for SB 423 (2018) requires KSDE to provide the ACT and WorkKeys assessments to students in grades 9 through 12 during FY 2020.) 

Other Provisions 

Low-income Tax-credit Scholarship Program 

The bill would change the definition of “public school” in the Low-income Student Scholarship Program from the 100 lowest performing schools to the 100 lowest performing elementary schools. The bill would also allow students already receiving scholarships to continue receiving scholarships so no student would become ineligible due to the definition change. 

Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia 

The bill would extend the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia until June 30, 2022, allowing the Task Force to meet once each year 

Extension of 20-Mill Property Tax Levy 

The bill would extend the statewide 20-mill property tax levy for schools to FY 2020 and FY 2021. The bill would also extend the $20,000 homestead exemption for the 20-mill levy for the same fiscal years. 

School District Capital Improvements 

The bill would make Capital Improvement State Aid a revenue transfer from the State General Fund (SGF) for FY 2020, FY 2021, and FY 2022. Under current law, Capital Improvement State Aid is scheduled to revert to a demand transfer from the SGF in FY 2020. (Note: This was included in The Governor’s FY 2020 Budget Report.) 

Methods of Public Education Financing 

The bill would also add Jobs for America’s Graduates– Kansas (JAG-K) and Boys and Girls Clubs to KSA 72-5193, which lists methods of public education financing included in satisfying the requirements under Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution. (Note: Communities in Schools is a listed program under continuing law.) 

Appropriations 

The bill would appropriate $104.5 million, all from the SGF, for FY 2020 to the KSDE. This amount would include $92.7 million for State Foundation Aid; $10.3 million for Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) employer contributions for school districts; and $1.6 million for KPERS employer contributions for community colleges, technical colleges, and interlocals. 

The bill would also appropriate to KSDE $114.2 million, all from the SGF, for FY 2021. This amount would include $89.7 million for State Foundation Aid; $21.2 million for KPERS employer contributions for school districts; and $3.3 million for KPERS employer contributions for community colleges, technical colleges, and interlocals. 

What is NOT in (from SB 16 as passed by House): 

The Conference Committee revised House Sub for SB 16 as follows: 

  • Change in how out-of-state students are counted as part of the school finance formula; 
  • Limits on the numbers of years a student may qualify for the bilingual weighting to seven years; 
  • Require the school district funding report to identify local sources of revenue; 
  • Require school district superintendents to certify the school district budget is reasonably calculated to ensure that each student can meet the Rose capacities codified in KSA 72-3218(c); 
  • KSDE to conduct a study during FY 2020 on graduation requirements established by school districts, including whether courses in computer science and personal financial literacy should be allowed to fulfill high school graduation requirements; 
  • IT Education Standards Advisory Commission; 
  • Statewide bullying prevention hotline; 
  • Require school districts’ bullying prevention policies to include information concerning consequences and responses to bullying and procedures for reporting and investigating bullying, and to require the publication of such policies on the home page of school districts’ websites; 
  • Eliminate a law that provides for Special Education State Aid at a rate of 92.0 percent of excess costs and replace it with a requirement that KSBE annually set the excess cost percentage based on the appropriations for Special Education State Aid for that school year; 
  • Exception to the limit on the amount of general obligation bonds KSDE can approve in a fiscal year for repair and remodeling; 
  • Require school districts to provide transportation to students who reside less than 2.5 miles from their school if there is no safe pedestrian route for such students and there is notadditional cost to the school district to provide such transportation; 
  • Require the school district funding report to identify local sources of revenue; 
  • Require at-risk programs that would be identified by KSBE and to provide a definition of “evidence-based instruction”; and 
  • Move the LPA school finance audit of bilingual education from FY 2022 to FY 2021. 

What’s next for the bill? 

To Governor Kelly, expect to sign. 

April 15 – Gannon briefs due to Supreme Court; April 25 – Response Briefs due; May 9 – Oral Arguments 

Context for funding: 

Bill adds approximately $90 million in foundation state aid (school district general fund money) each year for four year. 

Next year, foundation state was expected to be $3 billion, or more than $100 million more than the current year. With this action, state aid would increase nearly $200 million, or approximately 7%. 

Looking at increased funding beginning in 2018, when the Legislature began responding to the Gannon adequacy decision, through estimated 2023, state foundation aid is expected to increase nearly $750 million when SB 16 is included, or 28 percent in six years. 

In addition, if the Legislature increase special education $7.5 million each year, as anticipated, special education state aid will increase nearly $85 million. 

Based on KSDE and Department of Education estimates, Local Option Budgets will increase nearly $140 million over this six-year period. 

That means school general operating budgets, excluding capital cost and debt service, federal funds and local fees, and KPERS contributions, can be expected to have increased approximately $1 billion over six years, or nearly 25%, or about 4.2 percent per year on average. 

This does not account increased in debt service, capital outlay, KPERS, federal funds and other local revenues. Based on the rate of increase estimated for KPERS, bond and interest and capital outlay state aid, and estimated a 2% annual growth in everything else, KASB estimates that total school district expenditures will increase from $6.01 billion in 2017 to $7.47 billion in 2021, or nearly $1.5 billion even before the final two years of base increases. 

Questions Kansas school leaders must answer: 

What Kansans are getting for that investment? 

How does it address Supreme Court’s concern about the lowest 25% of students? 

What measurable changes will we see in student success? 

Other Issues: 

Bullying Task Force 

Website Watch 

Bilingual Study 

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