This morning the Kansas House gave final action approval to Sub for Senate Bill 16, the bill packed chock full of terrible school policies. The bill passed 63 to 61 but only after a call of the House which enabled Speaker Ron Ryckman (R-Olathe) to strongarm folks into changing votes. The deciding vote was cast by Ronald Ellis (R-Meriden) giving the bill the one vote needed for passage.
- SB 16 removes the requirement to fund 92% of the excess costs of special education, allowing future legislatures to reduce funding;
- Limits bilingual weighting, cutting off children who don’t become fluent English speakers on schedule;
- Requires a study of graduation requirements with the intention of allowing financial literacy and computer science to count as math or science credits;
- Creates an IT Commission to advise on technology issues in schools with no educators serving on it;
- Establishes but does not fund a bullying hotline;
- Layers multiple new reporting requirements on schools; and
- Provides no funding to meet the Gannon school finance decision.
A motion to amend the bill to reinstate due process for teachers failed last night on a vote of 55 to 68. All Democrats were joined by 14 Republicans in supporting teachers.
Debate on the House school funding bill, Sub for HB 2395, is expected to take place later today.
- HB 2395 eliminates two years from the current school finance plan;
- Eliminates a requirement to fund a CPI adjustment annually into the future;
- Cuts in half the dollars going to BASE state aid (from the Senate position); and
- Creates a new behavioral mental health weighting that will not be available to all schools.
This bill will not meet the Gannon decision and should be voted down.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Sub for HB 2395 is irresponsible and should be defeated. We urge all supporters of our public schools to contact their state representatives now. CLICK Here to contact your Representative. Ask him/her to vote NO on Sub for HB 2395 and to pass SB 142 instead. It is time to move a responsible bill to the Kansas Supreme Court – that bill is SB 142.