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KASB Legislative Update, March 22

Posted Date: 03/22/2023

KASB Legislative Update, March 22

The House on Wednesday gave tentative approval of an education budget bill that included a number of policies opposed by KASB.

SB 113 was advanced on a 78-39 non-record vote. A final vote will be held Thursday.

KASB opposes the legislation because, while it includes funding for K-12 education, it also fails to provide an increase for special education and removes increases for teacher professional development and mentoring. It also includes a parent portal that was inserted into the bill without a public hearing. KASB believes school districts already provide parents with information.

Proposed amendments to fund narcan for schools, extend the high density at ricks weighting for 2025 and provide a special education increase were all rejected at the behest of Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, who carried the bill.

Rep. Valdenia Winn, D-Kansas City, who is the ranking Democrat on the K-12 committee said the bundled bill was, “Like Forrest Gump. It’s like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get."

Should the bill gain final approval, it will likely end up in a House-Senate conference committee.

Meanwhile, the Senate Education Committee recommended approval of a parents’ rights bill, HB 2236, with an amendment recommended by KASB. While the amendment improves the legislation, KASB still opposes the underlying bill because the legislation puts into law practices that school districts already are doing.

Both the Senate Education Committee and House Education Committee heard identical bills (SB 255 and HB 2427) that would require separate overnight accommodations for students of each biological sex. Here is a link to our testimony.

House Education also held a hearing onHB 2458, which would authorize the State Board of Education to approve new school districts. This bill and a similar one — SB 304 — was crafted because of the proposed closure of a couple of buildings. Here is a link to KASB’s opposition testimony.

For a video wrap-up of Wednesday’s developments, go to this link.