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Kansas Legislature wraps up 2023 session, passes numerous education bills

The Kansas Legislature on Friday wrapped up the 2023 session, passing several education bills. Below is a recap of bills passed and vetoed, and how they will affect Kansas students and educators. 

Passed Bills 

HB 2238 - Fairness in Women’s Sports Act 

HB 2238 creates the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’ and requires that female student athletic teams only include members who are biologically female at any public school or postsecondary educational institution. The bill requires teams to be designated as male, female, or coed/mixed.  

After Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed House Bill 2238, the House subsequently voted to override the veto 84-40. The Senate also voted to override the veto on a vote of 28-12. 

The bill will become law upon July 1. 

Senate Sub. for HB 2138 - Separate accommodations, KSHSAA broadcasting, & school building closures 

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2138 included three items: 

  • Requires school districts to provide separate accommodations for students of each biological sex on overnight school district-sponsored trips.  
  • Requires contracts for exclusive broadcasts of KSHSAA activities to permit certain local broadcasts. 
  • Provides administrative review of resolutions to permanently close a school building of a school district. 

The bill was passed by both the House and Senate and was sent to the governor, where it was vetoed. Both chambers overrode the governor’s veto in late April. The bill will become law July 1, but the provision relating to school building closures won’t go into effect until Jan.1, 2024. 

HB 2080 - Virtual state assessments for virtual school students 

House Bill 2080 authorizes students enrolled in virtual school to take virtual state assessments. The bill requires administration of any virtual statewide assessment to meet several conditions, including monitoring the student by camera and equipping the device the student will be taking the test with browser lockdown software. 

The bill passed 87-35 in the House and 34-5 in the Senate. Gov. Kelly signed the bill, and it will become law July 1. 

HB 2322 - Dyslexia added to definition of ‘children with disabilities’ 

House Bill 2322 amends provisions within the Special Education for Exceptional Children Act to revise the definition of “children with disabilities” to include dyslexia and replace the term “emotional disturbance” with “emotional disability.”  

The bill passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House 120-2. The governor signed it into law in mid-April.  

HB 2292 - Apprenticeship program 

House Bill 2292 creates the Kansas Educator Registered Apprenticeship Program (Educator Program) and directs the Kansas State Board of Education, Kansas Commissioner of Education and the Kansas Secretary of Commerce to coordinate to develop the program, obtain necessary approvals for the program under state and federal law, and administer the program. The program will award grants to applicant schools for the purpose of increasing the number of qualified, credentialed teachers in Kansas. 

The bill also requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules and regulations by March 1, 2024, to implement the Educator Program. The bill passed the Senate 32-6 and the House 110-11. The governor signed it into law. 

SB 66 - Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact 

Senate Bill 66 enacts the interstate teacher mobility compact to recognize equivalent teacher licenses across member states and requiring licensing bodies to provide verified electronic credentials to all credential holders based on their credentials from other jurisdictions. It also requires licensing bodies to use centralized electronic credential data management systems capable of providing instantaneous credential verification.  

The bill was passed by the House 116-5 and by the Senate 37-3. Kelly signed it into law, but the compact won’t move forward unless 10 states join it. 
SB 123 - CTE credential assessment 
Senate Bill 123 enacts the Kansas adult learner grant act to establish a grant program for adult learners to pursue certain fields of study; and enacts the Career Technical Education (CTE) credential and transition incentive for employment success act to require school districts to pay for the cost of assessments for students to obtain an approved CTE credential. 

The bill passed 122-1 in the House and 35-2 in the Senate. It was later signed by the governor. 

Bills on Governor’s Desk 

HB 2285 - Prohibition of COVID-19 requirement to attend child care or schoo
House Bill 2285 would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Environment from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for any child cared for in a child care facility; any student enrolling or enrolled in a school for the first time in Kansas; and any child enrolling or enrolled for the first time in a preschool or day care program operated by a school. 

The House voted 63-56 to pass the bill, after the Senate voted 22-18 to pass it. It now heads to the governor’s desk. 

House Sub. for SB 113 – Education Funding 
A Conference Committee Report for House Substitute for Senate Bill 113 was adopted by the House 83-37 and the Senate 23-16. It’s now on the governor’s desk. The bill would: 

  • Make appropriations for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) for fiscal year (FY) 2023, FY 2024 and FY 2025. 
  • Establish the Special Education and Related Services Funding Task Force. 
  • Permit school districts to compensate members of local school boards. 
  • Amend the Kansas School Equity and Enhancement Act (KSEEA) with regard to the calculation of State Foundation Aid and modifying the low enrollment and high enrollment weightings. 
  • Extend the sunset for the high-density, at-risk weighting. 
  • Extend the 20-mill exemption for two years. 
  • Amend and create law pertaining to disposition of school district real property, such as school buildings, and granting the legislature the right of first refusal to acquire the property. 

The bill would also amend the Tax Credit for Low-income Student Scholarship Program to change the income eligibility from 185% of the federal poverty level to 250% of the federal poverty level; increase the tax credit for contributions to scholarship granting organization from 70% to 75%; and authorize certain nonpublic students to participate in activities regulated by the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA).  

Vetoed Bills 

HB 2236 - Parents’ Bill of Rights 

House Bill 2236, otherwise known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” passed in the Senate in late March, 23-17. After adding amendments to the bill, the House passed the bill 76-46 in early April, sending it to the governor for approval. The governor vetoed the bill, and it was returned to the House. The House motion to override the veto failed, and the veto was sustained.  

The bill would have given parents the right to object to any educational materials or activities at a school district their child attends and withdraw the student from the class. The student would have then had to complete a comparable alternative assignment. 

HB 2304 - Firearms safety programs in school districts 

House Bill 2304 would have created law related to firearm safety education programs provided in schools. It would have required specific programs to be used based on the grade level of students, including the Eddie Eagle GunSafe program offered by the National Rifle Association and the Hunter Education in Our Schools program offered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. 

The bill was vetoed by the governor in early April after passing the House 78-43 and the Senate 31-8. The bill was returned to the House and did not gather enough votes to override the veto. 

More details about the bills listed above can be found here

Posted: May 4, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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