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Six education-related bills introduced during week 2 of Kansas Legislature session

Six education-related bills were introduced during week two of the 2024 Kansas Legislature Session and House Committee on Education members held a hearing on one bill that would require schools to have cardiac emergency response plans in place.

Bill Tracker

There were a few education-related bills that were introduced this week.

  • HB 2506 – Authorizing students enrolled in virtual schools to participate in activities that are regulated by the Kansas State High School Activities Association at such student’s resident school district without a minimum enrollment requirement in such resident school district.
  • Referred to the House Committee on K-12 Education Budget.
  • HB 2509 – Providing reimbursement payments for the cost of career technical education assessments to school districts under the career technical education credential and transition incentive for employment success act.
  • Referred to House Committee on Education.
  • HB 2514 - Revising school district open enrollment procedures and requirements to prioritize students who are Kansas residents over students who are residents of another state; providing for continued enrollment of students who attended a school district of non-residence in school year 2023-2024; authorizing school districts to deem students as not in good standing prior to enrollment for things such as truancy, unpaid fees (if applicable) or disciplinary problems; and requiring publication of nonresident student transfer policies on the school district website.
  • Referred to House Committee on K-12 Education Budget.
  • A hearing for this bill is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25.
  • HB 2521 – Requiring the Kansas State Board of Education to authorize teaching licenses for individuals who complete an alternative teacher certification program.
  • Referred to House Committee on K-12 Education Budget.
  • HB 2539 – Removing the Kansas residency requirement for eligibility for a Kansas promise scholarship and modifying the definition of part-time student under that program.
  • SB 348 – Requiring that the appointment of the executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund be confirmed by the Senate.
  • Referred to the Senate Committee on Education.

Other bills KSDE is tracking:

  • HB 2475 – Prohibiting the commencement of the school term prior to Labor Day.
  • HB 2480 – Requiring each school district to employ an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder specialist.
  • HB 2485 – Requiring enrollment under the Kansas school equity and enhancement act to be determined using the current school year or the preceding school year and requiring any district that closed a school building in the preceding school year to use the current year enrollment count.
  • A hearing for this bill is set for 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, in the House Committee on K-12 Education Budget.
  • HB 2489 – Limiting the legislative option to purchase school district buildings to buildings that were formerly used as attendance centers.
  • Withdrawn from the House Committee on Education and referred to the House Committee on K-12 Education Budget.
  • A hearing for this bill is set for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, in the House Committee on K-12 Education Budget.
  • HB 2494 - Establishes policy requirements for school safety and security plans and cardiac emergency response plans and provides grant programs for the implementation of such policies.
  • Hearing held in House Committee on Education on Wednesday, Jan. 17 (see below).
  • SB 128 - Establishes the ad astra opportunity tax credit to provide an income tax credit for taxpayers with eligible dependent children not enrolled in public school.

Hearing on HB 2494

The House Committee on Education on Wednesday held a hearing for HB 2494. The bill addresses two different types of policies and procedures for school districts:

  • School safety and security plans, and cardiac emergency response plans.
  • Grant programs to implement the plans.

New material within the bill include requiring districts to adopt cardiac emergency response plans based on statewide standards that include the appropriate use of school personnel during a cardiac emergency, establish a cardiac emergency response team, implementing the placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). .

The bill also lists specific requirements regarding evaluation of building infrastructure, training of district employees, consulting and notification of law enforcement and emergency management personnel.

The bill calls for creating a school safety and security grant program that would be administered by KSDE and a cardiac emergency response grant program that would be administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Right now, the bill states the Kansas State Board of Education would be required to adopt statewide standards for both plans.

To watch the hearing on the bill, click here.

Student’s Right to Know Act

The Student’s Right to Know Act, or HB 2085, went into effect Jan. 2022. The bill requires KSDE to ensure the distribution, electronic or otherwise, of postsecondary information to all students in grades 7 through 12, including:

  • The State Board of Regents degree prospectus (formal meeting for proposing a graduate thesis or dissertation) information.
  • The placement and salary report of the Kansas Training Information Program.
  • Any other information relevant to students’ understanding of potential earnings as determined by the Department of Labor and each branch of the armed services of the U.S. military.

On Tuesday, Dr. Ben Proctor presented to the House Committee on K-12 Education Budget about the implementation status of the Student’s Right to Know Act.

“We don’t have direct connection with students,” he said. “So, we utilize systems and structures in order to communicate expectations related to a law or policy.”

One of the structures used, he said, is the Individual Plans of Study (IPS), which is one of five Kansas State Board of Education outcomes.

IPS is developed with students beginning in middle school and reviewed at least twice annually through 12th grade. Career awareness, however, can begin as early as.

There are four minimum components of a student’s IPS:

  • A graduated series of strength finders and career interest inventories to help students identify preference toward career clusters.
  • Eighth through 12th grade course builder function with course selections based on career interests.
  • A general postsecondary plan.
  • A portable electronic portfolio.

“We recommend that they share their individual plan of study that includes an electronic portfolio at least twice a year,” said Natalie Clark, assistant director of KSDE’s Career, Standards, and Assessment Services team.

Clark provided more information to committee members on how KSDE provides guidance on IPS. She talked about the IPS webpage on the agency’s website and some of its resources, including the IPS implementation toolkit. You can find those at this link: (Individual Plans of Study (IPS) - Student (ksde.org)).

Other structures Proctor mentioned were KSDE’s Work-Based Learning digital reference guide and the Kansas Postsecondary Exploration Guide.

Pre-K-12 by the Numbers

On Wednesday, Dr. Frank Harwood, deputy commissioner of KSDE’s Fiscal and Administrative Services, presented enrollment information to the Senate Committee on Education.

Harwood said the state shows about a 0.5% annual increase in enrollment.

“It’s important to keep in mind that we’re still about 12,000 students below where we were in 2019-2020,” he said.

If you’re looking at trends, Harwood said, this may be a little misleading because the state had a significant drop the year before.

Looking from school years 2021-2022 to 2022-2023, there were 55 districts that had decreased enrollments; 45 districts that were flat, meaning they stayed about the same; and 186 districts that saw an increase of at least one student.

He also talked about the percentage of excess cost for special education state aid to districts.

Computer Science

On Thursday, Dr. Stephen King, an education program consultant on KSDE’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS) team, presented at the House Committee on Education, discussing where Kansas is today and the challenges facing the teaching of computer science in schools?.

The PACK Act (HB 2466), passed in 2022, required public high schools to offer computer science and awarded $1 million for computer science professional development. Another $1 million was in the budget for this past year. King described how KSDE has used those funds. HB 2466 went into effect for the 2023-2024 school year.

During the 2022-2023 school year 103 school districts offered computer science, including 132 high schools, and 183 teachers taught a computer science class, teaching 226 courses across the state, King said.

“We’re doing better than we have been in some of the reports in the past where we’re above the 26-27% we had been at for a couple years,” he said.

You can read find more information on the PACK Act and other computer science resources on our website at this link.

The House is adjourned until 8:30 a.m. Friday. The Senate is adjourned until 9:00 a.m. Friday. Click here (Welcome | Kansas State Legislature (kslegislature.org) to see calendars of the House and Senate, and agendas for committees.

Posted: Jan 18, 2024,
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