KSDE Weekly

Feature Story

Education budget bill signed into law; line-item vetoes protect schools facing declining enrollment

A bill that fully funds K-12 schools and protects funding for schools facing declining enrollment was signed into law by Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday, May 18.

The governor line-item vetoed the funding provision that would have based school districts’ budgets on their enrollment in the current year or the prior year, whichever is higher. This change could have resulted in substantial funding losses for many rural districts.

By vetoing this provision, district budgets will continue the current practice of basing funding on the higher of the prior year or second preceding year enrollment.  For many districts that are experiencing enrollment declines, this will reduce the size of their losses and provide them another year to prepare for the larger reduction that may come.

SB 113 expands the Tax Credit Low-income Students Scholarship Program (TCLISSP) eligibility. The bill updates the definition and criteria for a qualified school by modifying an accreditation requirement to include a nonpublic school that is working in good faith toward accreditation.

The bill also changes the income eligibility for the scholarship from 185% of the federal poverty level to 250% of the federal poverty level. Tax credit for contributions to scholarship-granting organizations also increases from 70% to 75% of the amount contributed.

Additionally, the bill includes a $7.5 million increase in funding for special education.

Also included in the bill:

  • $5 million for school safety grants.
  • $9.4 million for the Kansas Parents as Teachers (KPAT) program.
  • $1.8 million to support teacher professional development.
  • $1.3 million for a program that provides teachers with mentors early in their careers.
  • $1.5 million to transport students to career and technical education (CTE) opportunities.
  • $1 million to ensure more students learn computer science.
  • $23.7 million from the Children’s Initiative Fund for the Early Childhood Block grant.
  • $4.2 million for a Pre-K Pilot Program
  • $1.5 million to expand the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The bill also allows school districts to compensate local school board members; allows nonpublic school students to participate in public school Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) activities; and gives the Kansas Legislature the first right of refusal on sale of district buildings (45 days to decide).

To see the full summary of legislation, click here. To read a message from the governor regarding House Sub for SB 113, click here.

Posted: May 18, 2023,
Comments: 0,

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