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KASB legislative update for Tue. Jan. 25

Posted Date: 01/25/2022

KASB legislative update for Tue. Jan. 25

A hearing on HB 2466, the computer science bill, was delayed Tuesday because debate before the full House on redistricting spilled into the House Education Committee’s meeting time.

KASB is neutral on the bill because we support funding to produce more computer science teachers, but we oppose making a computer course required to graduate high school. Even though the bill’s hearing was delayed, Chairman Steve Huebert, R-Valley Center, said he planned to drop the graduation requirement from the legislation.

Later in the afternoon, the House K-12 Education Budget Committee held a hearing on HB 2513, which increases requirements on schools administering student surveys and questionnaires. The bill is being pushed by folks who say the surveys, such as the Kansas Communities that Care survey, are hurting children with questions about sex and drugs. Supporters of these surveys say the questionnaires are necessary tools that help educators gain insights on the health risk behaviors of their students. Several parents testified against these surveys and against social and emotional learning in general, saying SEL infringes on parents authority and makes kids patients instead of students.

Chairwoman Kristey Williams said youth suicide rates have increased at a time that social emotional learning has been established and she posed the question of whether SEL is causing or adding stresses to young people.

But Kent Reed, education program consultant at the Kansas State Department of Education, says studies show that social and emotional learning results in fewer mental health referrals, juvenile justice referrals, discipline problems and greater postsecondary placement.

Here is a video wrap-up of the day’s events.