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House Bill 2119

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School Boards and Administrators stand together and encourage you to contact your legislator to vote no!

Please read our opposition statement for HB 2119.

 

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What Can I Do?

School leaders should prepare this information: 

  • How have you been using increased funding from the Gannon plan the since 2018? What are your current plans for funding in in 2022 through 2023? Specify new personnel, programs and other improvements. 
  • What plans are you developing for federal funding for in -person learning and recovery for students who need it? 
  • Which students do you believe are most likely to use a private school scholarship or savings account, and what would be the impact on remaining students? 
  • How did your district determine its in-person learning this year? How might restrictions on remote learning affect future responses to health emergencies? 
  • How is your district using or considering using remote learning for individual students? What impact would reduced funding for students in remote, but not fully virtual, learning have on your budget and services to such students? 

Contact your representative today to encourage them to vote no on House Bill 2119. 

Share this information with your fellow school leaders and community

 

What’s in House Bill 2119?

House Bill 2119 compiled legislation from previous bills into a single piecemeal bill that would harm our public schools. The Kansas Association of School Board urges you to contact your legislators to ask them to vote no on HB 2119. Use this webpage as a guide to the contents of HB2119 and what you can do today. Read more about its impact here

Based on a preliminary analysis by KASB, here are the contents of the bill as amended: 

  • Education Savings Accounts for Private Schools 
  • Expansion of Private School Tax Credits (HB 2068 and SB 61) 
  • School board allocation of funding (HB 2067 and SB 93) 
  • Limit on school term days or hours in remote learning
  • Funding for students in extended remote learning 
  • Reauthorization of the 20-mill statewide levy 
  • Gannon School Finance Funding
  • Other Programs 
  • Teacher Bonuses 

Here are our concerns:

  • Public Funding for Private Schools 
    • Private schools are not required to accept all students, and may have different standards for admission, discipline and academic progress, and do not have to offer programs like special education. As a result, expanding public funding of private schools could lead to “two-tier” education system, with private schools serving the students they choose and public school serving all other students, including those more likely to have special needs and greater learning challenges. If the Kansas Legislature allows Public Tax dollars to go to private schools with no public oversight what will they give away next?
  • School board allocation of funding (HB 2067 and SB 93) 
    • This provision directs school boards to use data from a needs assessments at the school building level to improve student achievement, and to allocate budget resources to achieve state education goals. There is no specific directive on how to do this. In fact, this bill adds funding for areas that not considered instruction, such as school safety grants and mental health services. 
  • Remote Learning Limits 
    • Provisions limiting the time a district can be in remote learning and reducing funding for students in remote learning over certain limits were added without hearings. Over the last 12 months, when necessary, school districts have used and continually improved hybrid and remote instruction as an effective teaching tool. School leaders all agree in-person learning is effective for the majority of our students, but it is not the only model. The legislature should not limit school districts on a proven instructional model that may be used to promote learning opportunities for students.
  • Reauthorization of the 20-mill statewide levy 
    • This is critical to the school finance formula. We support this provision but it can be reauthorized separately by the legislature.
  • Gannon School Finance Funding
    • Passage of funding for the Gannon school finance is critical to restoring base funding lost to inflation, improving student learning and support services, catching up with other states for per pupil funding and salaries, and remaining in compliance with the Kansas Supreme Court. We believe the sunset on high density at-risk weighting, which provides over $50 million to districts with the highest concentrations of low-income students, should be removed. The state education budget can and should be addressed in a stand-alone budget bill through the established legislative process rather than in a policy bill.
  • Other Programs 
    • The bill adds funding for certain programs generally supported by KASB and other educational organizations, by directing the Kansas State Department of Education to use federal COVID-19 funding if available. This would appear to be one-time funding based on available federal aid. Districts seeking these funds would have to decide whether one-time funding is better than no funding. This one-time funding may not stand up to scrutiny by the Kansas Supreme Court or federal officials.
  • Teacher Bonuses 
    • The bill contains a non-binding direction to local school board to use federal COVID aid to provide a one-time, $500 bonus to classroom teachers. According to the federal spending guidelines "Bonuses"  are not approved use of Covid Aid, school board can only pay teachers for the work they complete.  With the increased funding through Base State Aid under the Gannon plan, districts have already been providing higher base salary increases. Deciding whether to provide such bonuses would likely be based on (1) authorization to use federal COVID aid for this purpose, (2) whether to include other school employees and (3) how to balance the cost of such bonuses with additional spending student and staff health and safety and student learning recovery. 

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