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Minutes for HB2301 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Requiring accredited high schools to provide a course of instruction in personal financial literacy.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 23, 2021

Taking the position of Chairperson temporarily, Vice Chair Adam Thomas opened the hearing on HB2301.

Revisor Nick Meyers gave an overview of the bill. This legislation would require the State Board of Education to develop curriculum standards for personal financial literacy for students in grades 11 and 12.  It would add a graduation requirement to each school district that offers this course to adopt a policy that allows a student to fulfill 1/2 of a math credit that includes personal fiscal literacy and to require all public post secondary schools to accept this 1/2 math credit for admissions purposes.  (Attachment 4)

Dr. Walt Chappell spoke as a proponent of HB2301, although he noted that his support depends upon the attachment of his amendment requiring the passing of a course on financial literacy as necessary for graduation.  He shared this amendment with the Committee.  Chappell urged the Committee to take action and require that every high school student take a stand-alone course to learn how to manage money before they graduate.  (Attachment 5)

Chairperson Huebert took the Chair back from Vice-Chair Adam Thomas. 

Representative Thomas spoke as a proponent; urging the Committee to take the language in the letter between the 2015 House Education Committee and the Chair of the State Board and make it law.  The agreement to put such curriculum in place was good but it has not been fully implemented.  To ensure all students have access to this vital education it is necessary to put it into statute.  He noted that current and past state treasurers helped him as he worked on this bill, also he thanked Representative Anderson. (Attachment 6)

Mark Tomb was present to speak as a proponent but due to administrative error was listed as a written proponent.  His organization, Kansas Association of Realtors, strongly supports this bill.  (Attachment 7)

G.A. Buie, spoke as an opponent, on behalf of both Kansas Association of School Boards and the United School Administrators of Kansas.  While approving of the importance personal financial education has for today's students, he warned of the unintended consequences of legislation tying curriculum to graduation.  Requirements for graduation are carefully designed by the State Board of Education in consultation with local school boards and school administration.  He urged the Committee to trust the process that is presently in place and working.  (Attachment 8)

Written Opponent Testimony:

Deena Horse and Ben Jones, Legislative Liaisons, Kansas State Board of Education (Attachment 9)

Mark Desetti, Kansas National Education Association (Attachment 10)

There was a discussion, interrupted by technical problems with sound and webex problems.  One question was asked about the 2015 agreement between the Legislature and the State Board of Education.  Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander responded via email on the following day.  That answer is attached to these minutes. (Attachment 11)

Chairperson Huebert closed the hearing on HB2301 and adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.