Posted Date: 03/01/2021
KASB urges legislators to reject a new education bill because it would harm Kansas students and the future of our state.
HB 2119 creates a new program that would allow Kansans’ tax dollars that fund public schools to be spent on private schools who will get to pick and choose which students they want. Under this provision, there are no requirements for the private schools to be accredited or provide any transparency on how the students are doing. This is unfair to Kansas taxpayers and would create a two-tier education system that may benefit some students while hurting the majority of students.
HB 2119 also greatly expands a program that provides tax credits for people who donate to organizations that transfer students to private schools. Again, this is unfair to Kansas taxpayers, who will make up for the lost tax revenue through the credits, and it will allow private schools to choose the students they want and reject those they don’t want.
HB 2119 also would hamstring local school boards’ ability to respond to emergencies, such as the current or future pandemics, by financially penalizing districts that must turn to remote learning to instruct students in a safe manner.
HB 2119 would also undermine the good work that school boards across Kansas are doing at a time when public schools are having to deal with the unprecedented challenges from the COVID pandemic.
HB 2119 does include funding increases mandated by previous law in the Gannon school finance litigation that KASB does support. But because of the numerous other harmful provisions, KASB urges legislators to vote against the bill and work with public school advocates to craft legislation that will move Kansas forward.