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New education-related bills in the Kansas Legislature, Jan. 17-21


Posted Date: 01/24/2022

New education-related bills in the Kansas Legislature, Jan. 17-21

Prohibiting requiring COVID vaccine for child care or school attendance 

HB 2498 - childhood immunizations required for care at a child care facility or attendance at a school; prohibiting the secretary of health and environment from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine. (Rep. Fairchild) In House Health and Human Services. 

Current law allows the secretary of KDHE to establish immunizations and inoculations to attend child care faculties and schools. The bill prohibits the secretary from requiring a COIVD-19 vaccine. 

Exemptions for national college and career readiness assessments 

HB 2505 - relating to college and career readiness assessments administered by national assessment providers; providing exemptions for such assessments under the student data privacy act and the student online personal protection act. In House Education. 

K.S.A. 72-6316 currently requires parents to "opt in" to certain tests, questionnaires, surveys and exams. It reads:  no test, questionnaire, survey or examination containing any questions about the student's personal beliefs or practices on issues such as sex, family life, morality or religion, or any questions about the student's parents' or guardians' beliefs and practices on issues such as sex, family life, morality or religion, shall be administered to any student enrolled in kindergarten or grades one through 12, unless the parent or guardian of the student is notified in writing that this test, questionnaire, survey or examination is to be administered and the parent or guardian of the student gives written permission for the student to take this test, questionnaire, survey or examination. 

The bill adds a provision for an "opt out" of national college and career assessments, as follows: "When a national assessment provider intends to administer a college and career readiness assessment questionnaire or survey to any student enrolled in kindergarten or grades one through 12, the parent or guardian of a student who is to be given such questionnaire or survey shall be notified in writing that such questionnaire or survey is to be administered and shall be provided the opportunity to decline such student's participation. No prior written permission from such student's parent or guardian shall be required before such questionnaire or survey is administered." 

K.S.A. 72-6332 currently defines "operator" of an educational online product as follows: "Operator" means, to the extent it is operating in this capacity, the operator of an educational online product with actual knowledge that the educational online product is used primarily for educational purposes and was designed and marketed for educational purposes. It excludes from the definition of operator "Any school district or school district employee acting on behalf of a school district employer." The bill adds to this exclusion "any national assessment provider that is administering a college and career readiness assessment." 

Requiring virtual, private and home school students be allowed to participate in school district activities and making KSHSAA directors, officers and staff mandatory child abuse reporters. 

HB 2511 - Kansas state high school activities association; authorizing certain students to participate in activities offered by school districts; making members of or persons employed by the Kansas state high school activities association mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. In House K-12 Education Budget. 

First, the bill appears to require that students school districts who are residents of the school district and are either enrolled in a virtual school or a non-accredited private school, which includes home schools, to participate in any activities offered by a school district that are regulated, supervised, promoted and developed by the activities association. 

Second, the bill adds to mandatory child abuse reporters any member of the board of directors of the Kansas state high school activities association and any person who is employed by or is an officer of such association. 

Changing funding for part-time virtual school students.

HB 2512 - Virtual schools; relating to diploma completion programs; authorizing virtual school state aid for students under 19 years of age who have dropped out of high school. In House K-12 Education Budget. 

Amends state law funding virtual schools so that "for students enrolled in a virtual school who are under 19 years of age that have a ratio of earned credits to expected credits for their cohort year of less than 75%, determine the number of one-hour credit courses such students have passed, not to exceed six credit courses per school year, and multiply the total number of such courses by $709." It appears this only applies to part-time virtual students under age 19. Under current law, such students are funded at $1,700. 

Further restrictions on administration of certain tests, questionnaires and surveys. 

HB 2513 - Education; relating to the administration of certain tests, questionnaires, surveys and examinations in schools; establishing parental notification and written consent requirements; prohibiting the incorporation of certain tests, questionnaires, surveys and examinations into educational programs or curriculum; prohibiting collection of personally identifiable student data. In House K-12 Education Budget. 

The bill makes a number of changes in state law regarding the administration of tests, questionnaires, surveys or examinations containing any questions about the student's personal and private attitudes, and questions about the student's parents' or guardians' beliefs and practices on issues such as sex, family life, morality or religion, of the student or the student's parents, guardians, family members, associates, friends or peers. 

It requires that parents receive notice not more than four months in advance of the administration of such test, questionnaire, survey or examination that this such test, questionnaire, survey or examination is to be administered. The notification must include the following: 

(A) A copy of the test, questionnaire, survey or examination that is to be administered. 

(B) information on how the parent or guardian may provide written consent to authorize the student to take such test, questionnaire, survey or examination. 

(C) the name of the company or entity that produces or provides the test, questionnaire, survey or examination to the school. 

(D) an explanation of the purpose of the data collection, how the collected data is intended to be used and whether the data will remain private or reported as aggregate data. 

(E) an explanation of how such test, questionnaire, survey or examination benefits student learning and academic achievement. 

(F) whether the school will receive or maintain the resulting data and an explanation of how the school intends to use and maintain such data. 

The parents must give written permission for consent through a written or electronic signature to authorize the student to take this test, questionnaire, survey or examination. Further "Such written consent may only be accepted after a parent or guardian has received the notification required pursuant to paragraph (1) and had an opportunity to review the information contained in such notification. Written consent shall be provided separately for each individual test, questionnaire, survey or examination that is to be administered." 

The bill repeals the following provisions of current law: "This section shall not prohibit school counselors from providing counseling services to a student, including the administration of tests and forms which are part of a counselor's student counseling services. Any information obtained through such tests or counseling services shall not be stored on any personal mobile electronic device which is not owned by the school district, including but not limited to, laptops, tablets, phones, flash drives, external hard drives or virtual servers." 

The bill also provides despite a parent's written consent, a student shall have the right to refuse to take such test, questionnaire, survey or examination at any time without limitation, and that each student shall be informed that such student has the right to refuse to take such test, questionnaire, survey or examination and that the student will not suffer any adverse consequences based on such refusal. 

The bill requires that "Prior to the administration of any such test, questionnaire, survey or examination, a school district shall post and maintain a copy of each test, questionnaire, survey or examination on the school district website until such time that the test, questionnaire, survey or examination is: (1) No longer administered by the school district; or (2) administered again at a later date or in a subsequent school year and at which time, the school district shall update the website to provide the current version that is to be administered by the school. 

Finally, the bill states that "No such test, questionnaire, survey or examination shall be incorporated or embedded in any academic program, course or curriculum offered or provided by a school district," and that "No personally identifiable student data shall be collected through any such test, questionnaire, survey or examination." 

Requiring part-time enrollment options for certain students. 

HB 2514 - Education; authorizing school districts to provide part-time enrollment options for certain students. (House K-12 Education Budget Committee) In House K-12 Education Budget. 

The bill amends state law to require that school districts accept part-time enrollment of students who are attending private schools, including home schools, specifically adding the following: 

(h) (1) Each board of education of a school district shall allow any child to enroll part-time in the school district to allow the student to attend any courses, programs or services offered by the school district if the child: (A) Is also enrolled in a nonaccredited private elementary or secondary school pursuant to K.S.A. 72-4345, and amendments thereto, or in any other private, denominational or parochial school pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a); (B) requests to enroll part-time in the school district; and (C) meets the age of eligibility requirements for school attendance pursuant to K.S.A. 72-3118, and amendments thereto. (2) Each board of education of a school district shall adopt a policy regarding the part-time enrollment of students pursuant to this subsection and shall publish such policy on the school district's website. The board of education of a school district shall make a good faith attempt to accommodate scheduling requests of students enrolling in the school district pursuant to this subsection but shall not be required to make adjustments to accommodate every such request. 

Needs assessments for school district budgets and require of state assessment data. 

SB 362 - Education; relating to school districts; requiring consideration and documentation of district building needs assessments and state academic assessments; making budget allocations related thereto. In Senate Education. 

The has two components. The first requires districts to include in the minutes of the meeting at which the board approves its annual budget, that the board was provided the annual needs assessment required by state law, that the board evaluated such assessment and how the board used such assessment in the preparation of the school district's budget. 

Second, the bill adds a requirement that "each year, the board of education of a school district shall review state assessment results and, as part of such review, shall document the following: (A) The barriers that must be overcome to have each student achieve grade level proficiency on such assessments; (B) any budget actions, including, but not limited to, recommendations on reallocation of resources that should be taken to address and remove such barriers; and (C) the amount of time the board estimates it will take for each student to achieve grade level proficiency on the state assessments if such budget actions are implemented." 

Requiring posting of learning material and professional develop on district websites

SB 363 - Education; relating to school districts; requiring internet publication of learning materials and activities used in student instruction and teacher professional development. In Senate Education. 

Requires school districts to publish on website the following: 

(A) A list organized by grade level and area of instruction that includes learning materials and activities used for student instruction at each school of the school district in the preceding school year. Such list shall include the title, author, organization and website address, if applicable, that is associated with each material and activity that was assigned, distributed or otherwise presented to students in a course for which students received academic credit or at an educational event in which participation of the student body was required; 

(B) the school district or school's procedures for documentation, review or approval of any such learning materials or activities; and 

(C) a list of all materials used for teacher professional development. 

School for the deaf and students who gain access to hearing. 

SB 372 - Relating to the state school for the deaf; prohibiting the dismissal or transfer of a student who gains access to hearing. In Senate Education. 

The bill provides that "any child who established American Sign Language as a foundational language while being deaf or hard-of-hearing who gains access to hearing by amplification, medical intervention, natural cause or other means shall not be dismissed from special education services or transferred out of or denied attendance at the Kansas state school for the deaf for the reason of access to hearing."