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Minutes for HB2631 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Enacting the career technical education credential and transition incentive for employment success act to provide additional state aid for school districts based on students obtaining a credential.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 8, 2022

Chairperson Huebert opened the hearing on HB2631

Jason Long, Office of the Revisor of Statutes, gave a summary of the bill.  (Attachment 1)  This legislation would add a third layer of funding for students getting Career Technical Education (CTE) Credentials.

Jessa Farmer, Kansas Legislative Research, gave a summary of how the present CTE scholarships operate. (Attachment 2)

Proponents

Clelia McCrory, Career Ed Specialist, Education Services Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK), shared her personal story of how her own young life was enriched by having a certified nursing aide license during college.  From this early positive experience she has worked to help students get certifications whether they go to secondary education or not.  Schools need to become industry skill incubators.  Ms. McCrory clarified all the funds in HB2631 would be used to directly benefit students acquiring industry certifications.  She argued that local schools know what skills local businesses need and can best advise students.  The bill only reimburses schools where the students actually get the credential.  (Attachment 3)  She offered an attachment showing highest demand jobs in Kansas.  (Attachment 4)

Mark Calvin, Site Director, ESSDACK, shared data points from Kansas job postings during January and February 2022 for positions like forklift operator/heavy equipment (1,756 postings) and CPR/First Aid (3,815).  Mr. Calvin noted the great need industry has for skilled workers.  He stated incentivizing credentials is a win for Kansas, students, schools, and businesses.  Not only will certifications help with jobs, but also support students in secondary education.  He shared how powerful certifications are: 54% of those who enter incarceration either have no high school diploma or only a GED; certifications and jobs are support stable jobs and good choices. There are high care costs for those incarcerated.  Mr. Calvin stated one adult and one juvenile kept out of correctional system saves the tax payers $219,000 a year.   (Attachment 5)

Heather Morgan, Executive Director, Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, gave an overview of the history of CTE credentialing.  She stated that high value credentials need to be the focus of this bill.  Her written testimony offers detailed explanations of the issues in the bill and what changes her organization would like to see in this legislation.  Ms. Morgan does not support a pilot program, because she wants students to complete certifications and not explore careers. She praised the concepts of this legislation but has some ideas about targeting this important investment.   (Attachment 6)

Mike Cargill, science teacher, Stafford High school, shared his experience working in a small high school with a student population of 50.  Stafford has been focusing on CTE credentials and recently 15 of students received certifications and currently work locally as nursing associates.  Two students got phlebotomist credentials and now work at the local hospital.  Mr. Cargill strongly supports HB2631 based on his experience and feels other small schools and small towns can benefit in a similar positive way.  (Attachment 7)

Tyson Eslinger, Superintendent, USD 216 Deerfield, leads a very small district, which grew over the past year due in part to CTE.  As CTE became more central at USD 216, despite Covid and the loss of enrollment in other parts of the state, USD 216 added students.  He believes this was in part due to the student's engagement with the CTE process and their excitement about the path that credentialling opened up for them.  Mr. Eslinger strongly supports HB2631(Attachment 8)

Jennifer Wieberg, College and Career Counselor, USD 216 Deerfield, stated Deerfield High School senior and junior class are graduating 100% with technical certifications.  She believes they are growing their own workforce, and they want to keep their students near and working.  She shared that the certifications range in cost.  Ms. Weiberg's job focus is to prepare students to be successful when they leave high school and keep them working in the community if possible.  (Attachment 9)

Denise Musil, community member and parent, Deerfield High School, described her daughter's experience working while in high school.  Her daughter will be going to college and can continue to use her CTE licensed skills.  She noted that other students may not desire to go to college but need good skills for life. (Attachment 10)

Henry Ortega, Senior, Deerfield High School, is learning to weld and he is working on his certification for the American welding certification 1G with backing and the 1F and 2F.  He wants to become an independent welder and run his own company someday.  Mr. Ortega stated he was struggling in school until he found this path and now he feels very positive about the future. (Attachment 11)

Audrey Musil, Junior, Deerfield High School, shared her experience studying for a CTE in early childhood development.  She is working towards a Certificate A and is planning to go on to college to study early childhood education.  (Attachment 12)

Written Only Proponents

Deena Horst and Ben Jones, Legislative Liaisons, Kansas State Board of Education  (Attachment 13)

Mark Tallman, Associate Executive Director, Kansas Association of School Boards  (Attachment 14)

Jason P. Watkins, The Chamber, Wichita Regional Chamber (Attachment 15)

Martha Gabehart, Executive Director, Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns  (Attachment 16)

Tia Bunch, Nursing Coordinator, Cowley College  (Attachment 17)

Betty Jo Shrack, Social Worker  (Attachment 18)

There was a conversation about working towards honing the language in the bill to offer high quality credentials that are useful for industries and businesses both locally and in other areas of Kansas. 

The Chairperson closed the hearing on HB2631

The meeting was adjourned at 2:56 p.m.

The next meeting is March 9th.