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Minutes for SB422 - Committee on Senate Select Committee on Education Finance

Short Title

Requiring a minimum local option budget and requiring local school boards to notify the state board of education of their intent to increase local option budget authority.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 20, 2018

Chairperson Baumgardner called the meeting to order for the hearing on SB422.

Tamera Lawrence, Office of Revisor of Statutes, gave an overview of the bill in a memorandum.  (Attachment 1) She discussed that the bill would require all school districts to adopt a local option budget (LOB) equal to 30% of the school district's total foundation aid, determine supplemental state aid based on the current year's LOB, continue the protest petition process for LOB but void any existing LOB resolution adopted by a school district prior to July 1, 2017, that was not subject to an election or protest petition process, require local school boards to notify the State Board of Education of their intent to raise their LOB authority in the succeeding school year and require each school district to transfer from the LOB an amount that is proportional to its total foundation aid attributable to its at-risk weighting to its at-risk fund.

Senator Pettey asked if this bill is passed would every year the Kansas State Board be required to turn in a report.  Mrs. Lawrence stated that they would be required to submit written notice.

Senator Denning asked what the advantage of a March 15th date would be.  Mrs. Lawrence responded that the intent would be so the legislature would be aware and to help with the appropriation process.

Senator Bollier asked why would they leave the name as LOB, opposed to another name.  Chairperson Baumgardner stated the name was something that could be discussed.  Discussion ensued on the language and terms.

Chairperson Baumgardner asked if she feels that SB422 addresses the equity and adequacy concerns that the Supreme Court had issues with in the past.  Mrs. Lawrence responded that the Gannon V brought up concerns, and two of them were LOB concerns.  She stated that one was the protest petition of a prior year and the other was the supplemental state aid based on the preceding year, which this bill strikes.  She believes that these two provisions in SB422 are addressed.

Senator Pettey asked for clarification with at-risk funds.  Mrs. Lawrence responded that the amount proportional to a district's total foundation aid that is attributable to the at-risk weighting would be transferred from the LOB fund to the school district at-risk fund.  Senator Bollier asked that when money goes into the at-risk fund does the money have to be spent a specific way.  Mrs. Lawrence stated that it was required to be used for at-risk programing.

G.A. Buie, Executive Director, United School Administrators of Kansas, presented neutral testimony on SB422.  (Attachment 2) He discussed his concerns with calling it a LOB, and they have the same concern requiring school districts to use a portion of the LOB account to support a districts At-Risk program.  Mr. Buie stated that it should be up to the local school district to identify the programs they choose to support with those funds.

Mark Tallman, Associate Executive Director, Kansas Association of School Boards, presented neutral testimony on SB422.  (Attachment 3) Mr. Tallman stated that his organization is neutral because the bill contains several provisions our members have not voted upon.  Mr. Tallman discussed their comments and concerns with five separate points, and provided a spreadsheet of each district with relevant data. (Attachment 4)

Aaron M. Popelka, Vice President of Legal and Governmental Affairs, Kansas Livestock Association, provided opposition testimony for SB422.  Mr. Popelka noted that if this bill passes it would create a property tax increase in a number of school districts and would eliminate the ability of other school districts to give property relief when appropriate.  He discussed their concerns in detail.

Bill Brady, Schools For Fair Funding, provided opposition testimony for SB422.  (Attachment 5) Mr. Brady discussed their concerns, and noted that the bill voids any resolution on June 30, 2018 if an election was not held, stating that only partially solves the inequity found by the court.  He stated that this bill does nothing to address the inequality created by the election process itself.  Mr. Brady stated that all of this could be cured by allowing the adoption of LOB by local board resolution and vote.  Mr. Brady discussed their concerns further.

John Donley, Kansas Farm Bureau, presented opposition testimony.  (Attachment 6) Mr. Donley discussed property taxes in his testimony, and stated that he didn't feel that property taxes were how to raise money for school funding.  Mr. Donley discussed their concerns further.

The Committee asked questions of the conferees.  Discussion ensued if the Senate Attorney should be asked for their opinion, and Chairperson Baumgardner noted that would be possible.

Ranking Minority Member Senator Hensley asked procedural questions in regards to the transportation bill, noting it does not have a number yet.  He was concerned that conferees would not have a chance to provide input.  Chairperson Baumgardner commented that the bill has been discussed for several week's and interested parties have been told that they could get a draft copy and it still has to go through the Revisor of Statute's process.  She noted they are working as quickly as they can.

Chairperson Baumgardner adjourned the meeting.