School Funding: A Tale of Two Bills

Mar 14, 2019 by

UPDATE: By a vote of 32-8, SB 142 passed the Senate this evening. We’ll have a more detailed update in tomorrow’s Under the Dome. Vote by Senator:

Voting for: Baumgardner, Billinger, Bollier, Bowers, Braun, Denning, Doll, Estes, Faust-Goudeau, Francisco, Givens, Goddard, Haley, Hardy, Hawk, Hensley, Hilderbrand, Holland, Longbine, Lynn, McGinn, Miller, Olson, Petersen, Pettey, Rucker, Skubal, Sykes, Taylor, Ware, Wilborn.

Voting against: Alley, Kerschen, Masterson, Pilcher-Cook, Pyle, Suellentrop, Tyson, Wagle.

KNEA SUPPORTS:

The Senate will debate and vote on SB 142 today. This is the bill that needs to pass in order to move forward towards a resolution with the Court.

SB 142 provides a $90 million inflation adjustment to school funding in response to the Gannon decision. It would enact the recommendation of the State Board of Education and is the same proposal as was in Governor Kelly’s school funding bill earlier this year. 

The Senate debate will begin at 2:30 this afternoon. Use your lunch break (or other duty-free time) to email or call your Senator and ask him/her to vote YES on SB 142.

CLICK HERE to enter your zip code and find your Senator’s contact information.

UPDATE: The K-12 Budget Committee convened another hearing today to discuss HB 2395. KNEA offered opposition testimony. The committee adjourned with plans to reconvene at a later time.

KNEA OPPOSES:

The House K-12 Budget Committee will begin a hearing at 3:30 this afternoon on HB 2395, an alternative school finance bill.

HB 2395 is the wrong answer to the Gannon decision and includes many bad policy ideas that will harm students and schools.

This bill has $42 million in new base aid funding – far less than inflation, as called for in the Supreme Court decision. Among its many policy changes, it enacts a voucher program, repeals the requirement that the state reimburse districts for 92% of the excess costs of special education, cuts funding for bilingual students if they are not fluent in English in four years, puts restrictions on at-risk spending.

This hearing will continue on Monday and Committee Chair Kristey Williams has announced her intention to vote on the bill next week.

Contact members of the committee and ask them to reject HB 2395 and instead adopt the Senate’s plan in SB 142.

Members of the committee are Republicans Kristey Williams, Kyle Hoffman, Brenda Dietrich, Renee Erickson, Steve Huebert, Brenda Landwehr, Adam Smith, Sean Tarwater, and Adam Thomas and Democrats Valdenia Winn, Cindy Holscher, Nancy Lusk, and Jim Ward.

CLICK HERE to contact these representatives.

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Yes, Virginia, There Is An End In Sight

Jun 9, 2017 by

What’s going on, you might wonder. For example, why hasn’t Governor Brownback either signed or vetoed the school finance bill (SB 19)?

Well, we’ve learned that the school finance bill has only reached the Governor’s desk today – why, we don’t know – and he now has 10 days to either sign it or veto it or let it become law without his signature.

All of this is disappointing because every day delayed is another day that the Supreme Court no longer has to consider the bill.

As for the budget, there are very few things in there that are addressed in the KNEA legislative agenda. There are a few KPERS provisions – one to study how much KPERS has invested in “pay day lender” businesses and others dealing with paying back the funds delayed or simply not paid to KPERS by the state. The only other education provision is one requiring the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind to each have their own superintendent with the requirement that the KSD superintendent know American Sign Language. The K-12 budget is contained in SB 19, the school finance bill.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning (R-Overland Park) today intimated that if the budget negotiations in conference committee were not wrapped up by noon, then the legislature would have no option but to meet on Saturday to wrap up their work. In other words, look for things to go into Saturday for the wrap up.

We are today on day 111 of the traditional 90 day session, pushing the record. The record longest session in Kansas history was in 2015 when it went for 114 days. We’re getting close. If they wrap up on day 112 tomorrow or even day 111 today, the 2017 session would be second longest in state history!

UPDATE: By 3:10 the Senate Majority Leader announced that the Senate would not take any further action today and would determine their starting time tomorrow based on the progress made by the budget conference committee. We anticipate the House will do the same when they reconvene at 4:00 this afternoon.

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SB 70 – Fingerprinting Requirements

Feb 12, 2015 by

This bill would require every teacher to be fingerprinted upon applying for an initial teaching license and every time a teacher renews a teaching license. Fingerprints would have to be taken by a qualified law enforcement agency. A fingerprinting fee and a background fee would apply each time the teacher renews her license.

This bill would also require any other person who is employed by a school district in a position with direct contact with students to be fingerprinted by a qualified law enforcement agency prior to commencing any work involving students, and every 5 years thereafter.

Under the bill, teachers convicted of any of the crimes specified in K.S.A. 72-1397(a) or (b), or who entered into a diversion after having been charged with a crime specified in K.S.A. 72-1397(b) will be required to notify the State Board of Education of the conviction or diversion, and the KSBE will revoke that teacher’s license.

The points, bullet items, descriptions and / or summaries in this post are intended as a quick “thumbnail sketch” of a particular bill. Please view the full bill language on the Kansas Legislature website for more information and complete language and changes for each bill.

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HB 2034 – PNA “Minority Report” Bill

Feb 12, 2015 by

HB 2034 would amend the Professional Negotiations Act so that the only mandatorily negotiable topics would be “salaries and wages” and “hours and amounts of work.” A board of education would have to agree to negotiate any other topic. There are no association rights that would be mandatorily negotiable under this bill.

This change would apply only to K-12 and the Kansas State Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Community colleges and technical colleges would continue to be required to negotiate any topic they currently are required to negotiate.

 

The following points, bullet items, descriptions and / or summaries are intended as a quick “thumbnail sketch” of a particular bill. Please view the full bill language on the Kansas Legislature website for more information and complete language and changes for each bill.

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SB 56 – Eliminating Affirmative Defense

Feb 12, 2015 by

Kansas has a statute that makes it a crime to display, present, or distribute to a minor any “material which is harmful to minors.” “Material” is defined in the statute to include just about anything: a book, poster, print, picture, movie, etc. The term “harmful to minors” is required to conform to “contemporary community standards,” it is defined to include nudity.

 

The current law excludes teachers who disseminate allegedly harmful material that is acquired by a public, private or parochial school, college or university. SB 56 eliminates this affirmative defense for teachers in public, private or parochial school, leaving the defense only for college and university professors.

Additional Comments

A teacher who distributes an art or history book that contains a picture of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David or of the Venus de Milo, or displays a poster in an art classroom with either of these on it, could arguably be prosecuted under the law.

 

The following points, bullet items, descriptions and / or summaries are intended as a quick “thumbnail sketch” of a particular bill. Please view the full bill language on the Kansas Legislature website for more information and complete language and changes for each bill.

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SB 2 – Multi-year Contracts

Feb 9, 2015 by

The following points, bullet items, descriptions and / or summaries are intended as a quick “thumbnail sketch” of a particular bill. Please view the full bill language on the Kansas Legislature website for more information and complete language and changes for each bill.

Permits boards of education, at their discretion, to offer a two-year contract to any teacher who has 10 or fewer years of experience teaching any Kansas school district, and offer up to a three-year contract to any teacher who has more than 10 years of experience as a teacher in any Kansas school district.

Link to Bill:  http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/measures/sb2/

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