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Governor Kelly Signs Compromise Legislation to Provide Greater Flexibility for Schools to Determine State Aid

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By the Kansas Office of the Governor

 

TOPEKA, Kan. — Governor Laura Kelly today signed Senate Bill 73, amending the process for determining school district enrollment under the Kansas School Equity and Enhancement Act (KSEEA). 

“This bill represents a crucial step in ensuring that our school funding formula supports all types of districts, from growing suburban schools to our vital rural schools,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “By allowing districts more flexibility when determining their enrollment count, we’re helping districts across the state better plan for the unique needs of their communities. This bill shows how compromise and collaboration lead to policies that support all Kansas schools.”  

Senate Bill 73 aims to assist districts dealing with declining enrollment by providing three enrollment count options for the 2024-2025 school year: the current year, the preceding year, or the average of the preceding and second-preceding years. From the 2025-2026 school year onward, districts will be required to choose between the current year and preceding year enrollment counts, ensuring fairness and accuracy in education funding allocation across Kansas.  

“Every Kansas student deserves access to a great education, and that starts with setting our school districts up to succeed,” said Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes. “This bill strikes a crucial balance between helping our growing school districts without immediately harming districts with declining student enrollment. It recognizes that declining enrollment districts need time to adapt without suffering a significant and sudden loss in funding.”  

“It’s important for future planning that growing school districts have access to current year enrollment funding, but at the same time, it is also important to support schools with declining enrollment, which face the loss of dollars and their planning needs as well,” Senator Elaine Bowers, Kansas Senate District 36. “SB73 strikes the right balance and creates a fair, workable solution for our 286 school districts moving forward.” 

“Kansans can be proud of the bipartisan work by lawmakers and public education advocates who sought common ground,” said Dr. Brian Jordan, Executive Director, Kansas Association of School Boards. “It’s a win for Kansas kids when school districts have a responsible path to plan effectively and efficiently. We applaud Republicans and Democrats for reaching this agreement.” 

“As we plan for open enrollment in the 2024-25 school year and the potential for increased enrollment, we believe that modifying the statute to allow for flexibility with student counts for funding will assist us in continuing to provide high-quality programs and services,” said Dr. Brent Yeager, Superintendent, Olathe Public Schools. “The ability to use current year enrollment will likely be beneficial. I am grateful to the legislature and governor for their work on this.” 

In addition to Senate Bill 73, Governor Kelly also signed the following bills: 

House Bill 2547: Allows schools to keep emergency medication kits for life-threatening conditions and updates drug regulations, including adding and removing certain substances from controlled substance schedules. 

House Bill 2560: Allows youth in foster care aged 16 and older to open bank accounts without cosigners, removing barriers to success and enhancing financial literacy skills prior to exiting foster care services. The bill also updates statutes related to money transmission, puts in place regulations for earned wage access services, clarifies rules for abandoned banking applications, allows trustees outside Kansas, expands safe deposit box access, and simplifies bank deposit withdrawals.  

House Bill 2562: Creates protections against financial exploitation for vulnerable adults and establishes a consumer protection framework for contracts for deed transactions. The bill also makes any restrictive covenant on property in violation of the Kansas Acts Against Discrimination void.