Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
Aug. 18, 2022
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for SB47 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Creating the student opportunity scholarship program.

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 18, 2019

Chairperson Baumgardner opened the hearing on SB47.

Tamera Lawrence, staff revisor, provided an overview of SB47 which creates the student opportunity scholarship program. She noted that if the Committee chooses to work the bill the revisors office would request a balloon with technical amendments to clarify the appropriation of funds.  (Attachment 1)

Senator Givens asked if three consecutive years can be at different schools. Ms. Lawrence responded yes, if it is a Kansas public high school.

Senator Pyle asked for clarification of the bill and if a student graduates early is their senior year still funded. Ms. Lawrence responded that it is the base aid amount the district would receive for the student’s senior year and 95% of that money goes towards a scholarship for that student. She clarified that if a student graduates early they are not enrolled, and the school is not funding for the part of the year the student is not enrolled.

The Committee discussed the fiscal note for the bill.

Senator Mike Petersen provided proponent testimony.  (Attachment 2)

Vice-Chairperson Alley asked if this program included Kansas high school students that attend out-of-state colleges. Senator Petersen responded no it was only for Kansas based colleges. Senator Petersen discussed the need to keep students in the state and have opportunities to do so.

Senator Mary Jo Taylor discussed the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS) and asked if the SB47 scholarship was different than what is provided by KAMS. Senator Petersen responded that this is a different scholarship.

Mike Gibson, Executive Vice President, Associated General Contractors of Kansas, provided proponent testimony.  (Attachment 3)

Mark Tallman, Kansas Association of School Boards, provided proponent testimony.  (Attachment 4)

Senator Givens asked if this bill would set a funding precedence for Kansas students after they graduate. Mr. Tallman responded that he would look at it different, he stated that even though this is tied to the amount of the base, it is conceptually not different that stating that the legislature wants to provide scholarships and using money in general that would have been provided to the schools if the student had stayed enrolled in that school. Mr. Tallman responded that the idea of providing state assistance for post-secondary scholarships it not unprecedented. Mr. Tallman stated that they are policy choices that the Legislators can make. Senator Givens responded that he does not know of any other bill or mechanism that Kansas pays for services after graduation. Discussion ensued about bill specifics and if this was a new concept.

Senator Pilcher-Cook questioned if they should give private school students the base aid to attend a college as well. Mr. Tallman asked for clarification. Senator Pilcher-Cook asked if children who attend a high school for four years and save the state four years of base aid, if these students should get funding for continuing their education. Mr. Tallman responded that the idea would be that this type of incentive is to help students attend a higher education. Senator Petersen responded that it is up to the committee to include private students, but this bill was created to be revenue neutral.

Senator Pyle discussed what he felt Senator Givens was referring to earlier in regard to the 5% of funds this bill would give to schools as outlined on page two. Senator Pyle asked if there are any other policies that a school district get funds for a student that is no longer enrolled, such as with a student graduating early. Mr. Tallman responded that he does not know of one but noted that if there are dollars going back to the district it provides some incentive and revenue. Mr. Tallman also noted that more districts are trying to fund programs to help graduate rates, such as the JAG-K program, and he does not believe that districts would waist that funding. Senator Pyle asked if funding for students that are in higher education was a new concept, and Mr. Tallman responded that he believed it was new to his recollection.

Vice-Chairperson Alley asked how administratively they will keep track of the students in the program. Ms. Lawrence responded that it was up to the Kansas State Board of Education as stated on page six. Vice-Chairperson Alley clarified the local school that the student in the program attended would not have any further interactions with the student they would receive the 5% funding from.

Senator Sykes thanked Senator Petersen for bringing this bill to committee. She noted that she hoped this wouldn't push students out of high school until they are ready and noted a word of caution that we are not pushing students that are not ready or would not benefit from early graduation. Mr. Tallman responded that may school districts are thinking through how we are to best structure programs for each student and he thinks this is just a start of the discussion. Mr. Tallman noted that as school redesign moves forward, he believes it will raise questions about the relationship between a child and a pool of money as maybe the high school experience starts to look different for some students.

Chairperson Baumgardner asked Craig Neuenswander, School Finance Team Director, Kansas State Department of Education, to come to the podium if he wished to respond to any previous questions. Mr. Neuenswander took the opportunity to responded.

Mr. Neuenswander stated that currently under statute schools are funded based on the prior years enrollment or the second years proceeding enrollment. He noted that under this bill the school would be funded for the student that graduates early the following year, they would receive the funding just as they would receive for any other senior that graduates at the end of the year.

Written neutral testimony on SB47 was submitted by:

  • Matt Lindsey, Kansas Independent College Association (KICA)  (Attachment5)

Written opposition testimony on SB47 was submitted by:

There being no further conferees or questions, Chairperson Baumgardner closed the hearing on SB47.