Kansas Capitol Connection: A weekly summary of education-related developments before the Legislature

Spring break? Not for Kansas school leaders. 

The Kansas Legislature is moving toward working on a school finance plan and school advocates should stay up-to-date on what is going on.

State Rep. Larry Campbell, R-Olathe, who is chairman of the House K-12 Education Budget Committee, is expected to introduce a “chairman’s draft” bill next week, followed by hearings, committee discussions and amendments. 

Meanwhile, the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance plans informational briefings all week, it's anticipated SB233 will be heard next week. SB233 is very similar to HB2270.

Many discussions have proceeded so far on school finance, including those focused on how to hold districts accountable for student success, how much should be allocated for a foundation amount for all students and how to direct funds for early education and at-risk students.

KASB has produced a comparison chart that shows the various bills that have been introduced along with items that have been discussed. Here is a link to that document.

In other developments this week, the Senate approved a rescission bill without cuts to public schools. Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, had sought a 2 percent across the board cut, including schools, but that failed, 7-33.

The bill balances this fiscal year’s budget through delayed payments to the state pension system and borrowing from a state investment account. 

The measure will go back to the House, which could agree to several Senate changes, or send it to a House-Senate conference committee to hammer out differences between the two bills.

Senate approval of the bill also paves the way for more discussion on taxes as both House and Senate tax committees are scheduled to hold hearings on various tax increase proposals this week.

And Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance this coming week will work Senate Bill 138, which exempts KPERS retirees from the working after retirement earnings limit. 




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