Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
March 2, 2024
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for HB2163 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Requiring statutory due process procedures for a school district's non-renewal or termination of a teacher contract.

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 6, 2023

Chairman Thomas opened the hearing on HB2163.

Revisor Jason Long gave an overview of the bill, including the history of Due Process in Kansas law. (Attachment 1)

There were several questions for Revisor Long. 

Representative Stogsdill, ranking minority member of the Committee, was asked by the Chair to share his thoughts about the history of the bill. Mr. Stogsdill stated his appreciation to be able to have a hearing on the bill. He noted an identical bill has passed twice in the House through being amended to other bills. He has been very involved in this issue. In 2017, he brought this bill to the legislature. This is not a tenure designation, he emphasized, which is something that applies to college professors. Due process does not protect bad teachers. Representative Stogsdill explained due process was used for 40 years and was taken away during a late night legislative session; without a hearing or any chance to discuss the situation with stakeholders. In the present climate with a teacher shortage; this protection for teachers is an additional recruiting tool.

The Chairman noted that he was considering Representative Stogsdill a proponent for the bill, and could stand for questions. There was a discussion.

Proponents (Oral)

Timothy Graham, KNEA, urged the Representatives to reinstate the due process law that was put into place in 1974, coincidentally the same year he was born. The removal of this statutory right to due process was taken away in the middle of the night in 2014. Respecting teachers has been an issue, he stated, and has become part of a larger enemy relationship between the legislature and the teachers. The dynamic doesn't have to be this way. Teacher shortages are real. Recruitment and retention of teachers in Kansas is a major issue and we need to do everything we can to recruit people into the profession. Graham noted that teachers are very aware of this issue and the absence of due process for K12 students. We need protection for teachers, with classroom violence on the rise, larger class size are the result of the low teacher numbers. Statutory due process gives teachers the protection to control and regulate the behaviors of students without the fear of being unfairly fired for dealing with unruly students. Due process protects good teachers. It is not automatic. The teacher must initiate that process. Due process does not protect bad teachers. Mr. Graham urged the Committee to vote for this bill. (Attachment 2)

Proponent (Written Only)

Ron Hobert, American Federation of Teachers  (Attachment 3)

There was a period of questions and answers with the Committee. 

Neutral (Written Only)

Patty Jurich, Kansas PTA President  (Attachment 4)

Opponent (Oral)

Leah Fliter, Kansas Association of School Boards, stated the position of her organization as being one of local control. They believe each school board should decide what policy they want to affirm.  (Attachment 5)

There was a request to find out how many school boards have the official due process as part of their policy.  Leah Fliter stated she would get that information to the Committee. 

The Chairman closed the hearing on HB2163.

The next meeting is February 7, 2023.