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Minutes for SB199 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Creating the AO-K to work program that allows certain adults to earn high school equivalency credentials by participating in career pathway oriented postsecondary classes.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 20, 2019

Chairperson Huebert opened the meeting and asked for a motion to accept the minutes as presented.

Representative Karleskint moved, Representative Benson seconded, to recommend approval of the minutes of February 7, 12, 13, 18, 20, 21, 25, and March 11, as presented. Motion passed.

The Chairperson opened the hearing on SB199.  Revisor Zack Fridell gave an concise overview of the legislation.

Chairperson Huebert invited proponents to speak.

Proponent Christopher Stanyer stated this bill creates a pathway for individuals to move into the workplace and start a career, as opposed staying in a minimum wage job.  Adult education students generally work in addition to studying.  This bill provides a resolution, using existing systems and resources, but realigning them.  He explained how the system would work through the Board of Regents system, pointing out that there is an age limit of over 21, noting that there are 60,000 persons that would be helped by this change, and he strongly urged the Committee to support the bill. (Attachment 1)

Proponent Jason Watkins noted the Wichita Chamber is focused on workforce development.  They need trained workers in Wichita; there are many jobs but need shifts in policy like SB199 to make it possible for people to move into career positions.  It is important to have the workforce to attract and keep vital companies in the area.  (Attachment 2)

Proponent John Jenks shared that there is a critical need for workers in the Kansas City Area.  As with the previous conferee, Kansas City businesses need a trained, qualified workforce to attract and retain businesses.  There are 61,000 jobs in the KC area that are unfilled.  This program is a step Kansas can take to streamline the process for students and expand the career pathways for individuals and support businesses.  (Attachment 3)

Written Only Proponent Testimony:

Dr. Blake Flanders, President, Kansas Board of Regents  (Attachment 4)

There was a brief conversation with the Committee.

Chairperson closed the hearing on SB199.