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Minutes for HB2080 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Authorizing students enrolled in a virtual school to take virtual state assessments.

Minutes Content for Tue, Jan 31, 2023

Chairman Thomas opened the hearing on HB2080.

Jason Long, Revisor, gave an overview of the bill. (Attachment 1)

Background Information from Kansas State Department of Education

Ben Proctor and Beth Fultz, KSDE,explained the practical aspects of this bill from an administrative point of view. Ms. Fultz gave an overview of the present remote testing timeline in which the virtual students take all assessments in person at a designated location. This bill would offer an online parallel form. She noted that the online testing would take a year to develop, then another year to be field tested, and finally in the third year the online testing could be used in place of in-person testing. Ms. Fultz explained how important security is for an online statewide test.  (Attachment 2)

Proponent testimony (Oral)

Cassandra Barton, Head of School for Insight School and Kansas Virtual Academy, has 950 students who are presently tested in person. The obstacles her students face which led them to virtual school are the same obstacles that stand in the way of them dealing with in person testing. She read some of the responses from her students in reference to the difficulties they face going to an in person facility to take standardized tests. Illness, disabilities, anxiety, finances, and inability to find transportation, are among the difficulties the virtual students face in transitioning to a remote location in-person testing situation.  (Attachment 3)

Proponent (Written Only)

Courtney Lohmann, Parent and Educator, Olathe  (Attachment 4)

There was a period of questions and answers. 7,000 students would be eligible to take this type of assessment. These students are all public school students who are studying virtually for a variety of reasons. Other states have done this, and it comes with a cost. 

Daniel Klaussen, Kansas Action for Children, shared his own experience about how this has worked with his students.

There was a conversation about looking at the fiscal note, including the savings that would come from not having to set up locations for virtual students to be tested in person.

Chairman Thomas closed the hearing on HB2080 and adjourned the meeting at 2:41.

The next meeting is February 1, 2023.