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State Funds for Extracurricular Activities Could Be in Jeopardy in Kansas

By Marva Hinton on April 7, 2016 
proposed bill in Kansas would eliminate state funding for schools' extracurricular activities.
"We're talking about football and those activities outside the school grounds," said Rep. Ron Highland, a Republican who chairs the state house of representatives' education committee.  "If the school districts want a big stadium for whatever reason, then that can be done with local funds instead of taxpayer funds from all across the state."

The plan has been criticized by those who say it would cut state aid for things like marching band.

But Highland says activities such as being a member of the school band and participating on a debate team are considered to be "co-curricular" and "part of the educational process," so they wouldn't be affected.

The bill defines extracurricular as, "those activities provided or supported by a school district, but which are not required by or a substantial part of any curriculum of such school district," while co-curricular is defined as, "those activities provided or supported by a school district that are not extracurricular activities."

Under these definitions, some might argue sports could qualify as co-curricular if a program were somehow related to a school's physical education classes.

Is Playing Football Educational?

Highland says he's not convinced playing football contributes to a student's education.

"They tell me some students won't stay in school unless there is football," said Highland. "We're not telling them they can't have it. If they want it, that'll be [funded] locally."

He said the decision to propose cutting state funds for football and other sports came after a legislative committee surveyed schools and found many of them were spending lots of money on athletic facilities and coaches.

"In some of these places, they had as many as eight or 10 coaches just for football alone, and when you added all that up, it was a great deal of money," Highland said.

This bill also includes other controversial measures such as allowing parents to use tax funds to pay for private schools.

Kansas legislators are in recess until April 27.  When the legislature reconvenes, lawmakers are expected to debate this measure.

 

 

Academic Performance of Athletes and Non‐Athletes

2012 Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision

Vol. 4, No. 1, May 2012

COMPARING THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES AND NON-ATHLETES IN KANSAS IN 2008-2009

Angela Lumpkin & Judy Favor

Abstract:

The academic performance of students in grades 9-12 who did or did not participate in high school sports in Kansas during the 2008-2009 school year was analyzed. In addition to overall comparisons between athletes and non-athletes on GPAs, graduation rates, number of dropouts, ACT test scores, and state assessments, some gender, ethnicity, and grade comparisons were made. High school athletes earned higher grades, graduated at a higher rate, dropped out of school less frequently, and scored higher on state assessments than did non-athletes; results on the ACT were mixed. Differences between athletes and non-athletes were found for males and females across all academic performance measures, with females contributing more to the differences between athletes and non-athletes on GPAs and not dropping out of school. Whites contributed more to the differences between non-athletes and athletes than did the other racial categories for GPAs, graduation rates, and not dropping out of school. 

 

Read

Gannon vs State of Kansas Ruling 

Dec 30th 2014 

Excerpts:

Page 40

As the Rose factors convey, K-12 school is also a means of learning how to interact with each other, be competitive without being hostile or devastated, and appreciating the arts, music, sports and both self and the world around us. These attributes of K-12 schooling are deemed very important and an integral part of an educational pursuit if the system is to be considered constitutionally adequate. See Rose factors at “(iv) sufficient self knowledge [and one’s state of being]”; “(v) sufficient grounding in the arts . . . to appreciate his or her cultural and historical heritage.” We would believe these latter “awareness” factors also would include student interactions, whether in the classroom or in extra-curricular pursuits, that would engender a respect for others’ aspirations, the undeniable value of teamwork, an understanding of the necessity for fundamental fairness in all human endeavors, and that setbacks can be  opportunities for learning and moving forward, not giving up. Yet, it was many of these types of programs and their associated personnel that would lead to such “awareness” that fell by the wayside first in the local school boards’ attempts to salvage the “three Rs”. By the evidence, or rather by the lack of evidence or any proffer of restoration, such programs remain impeded. See Gannon District Court Opinion, p. 65 at Finding No. 203; Plaintiffs’ Exhibits 253, 254, 255, 335 and 296. As Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 254 details, which we have included here as Appendix B, the impact of the loss of funding was endemic, systemic, and statewide, including the named Plaintiff school districts. 

 

Page 43

Similarly, if other professional development is not fully funded separately or by an increase in other funds, a teacher will more likely than not only gain professional expertise in one area of instruction at the expense of gaining expertise in another, much the same as where the student artist, musician, or athlete has been forced to yield those pursuits to the budget imperative of preserving the learning of the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic. The same principle of robbing Peter to pay Paul applies to any other necessary but independently paid program or expense that is underfunded and not accommodated elsewhere.

 

Summary of HB 2741

KASB-April 1, 2016

Eliminates $372.6 Million Dollars from School Funding Formula 

 

Part 1 - Creates a new school finance law called the School District Finance and Student Success Act, to take effect July 1, 2017 upon expiration of the two-year block grant law.

Sec.1 - Citation (title) of act.

 Sec. 2 - Purpose.

States the purpose is to provide financing of “instruction” (not “education”) to be reasonably calculated to meet the Rose standards. “Instruction" means those school district functions that directly impact the provision of education services. The term "instruction" does not include the following school district functions: Central office administration; capital improvement construction, reconstruction or remodeling; facility maintenance and repair; food service procurement and preparation; or the provision of extracurricular activities, as defined in section 19.

(Note: this definition of “instruction” does not match the federal definition of instruction used by the school district accounting handbook, or elsewhere in state law which equate instruction with “spending in the classroom.” The “accounting” definition of instruction only includes the activities dealing directly with the interaction between teachers and students - but DOES include extracurricular and co-curricular activities.)

 

Sec. 3 - Definitions - significant features include:

  • At-risk student is defined the same as under the previous system and block grants law: free lunch eligible; does not include part-time over age 19.
  • Rather than a single count date (Sept. 20) enrollment is based on the average daily enrollment (not attendance) for the previous Sept. 20 through March 20; with a declining enrollment provision similar to the pre-block grant law using previous year or three-year average.

 

Sect. 4 - Determination of General State Aid:

Beginning 2017-18, each district receives general state aid as follows: Enrollment aid (Sec. 5), plus transportation aid (Sec. 6), plus low income aid (Sec. 7), plus bilingual aid (Sec. 8), plus KPERS obligation, plus amount determined in Sec. 9, if any (hold harmless aid); subject to reduction in Sec. 38 (private education accounts).

 

(Note: the bill does not change the current system of special education funding.)

 

Sec. 5 - Enrollment Aid is:

 

Less than 400 students

$8,490 per student

400 to 999

$7,269

1,000 to 1,999

$6,137

2,000 or more

$5,763

 

(Note: there does not appear to be “linear transition” as under the previous low enrollment weighting. This likely means if a district’s enrollment changes to one student above or below the enrollment threshold, there is a significant change in enrollment funding, rather than a gradual change.)

 

According to the bill, these amounts are based on components of “typical” district in which 70 percent of students who are not low income have met achievement levels 2, 3 or 4 for college and career readiness on state assessments for 2014-15.

 

The components based on 2014-15 expenditures are:

  • Instruction - “certain expenses categorized under function” 1000 - per pupil
  • Student support - “certain expenses categorized under function” 2100 - per pupil
  • Instructional support - “certain expenses categorized under function” 2200 - per pupil
  • Administrative expenses - “certain expenses categorized under function” functions 2300 to 2500 - per pupil
  • Operations and maintenance - “certain expenses categorized under function” 2600 - per district

 

Beginning 2018-19, each amount shall be increased annually by Consumer Price Index - Midwest Region.

 

Previous law: Base budget per pupil $3,852, adjusted by weightings

 

HB 2741

Previous law (2014-15)

Estimated enrollment aid: $2.83 billion

 

Decrease = $280 Million

Unweighted base aid: $1.75 billion

Unrestricted weightings: $301.7 million

Local Option Budget: $1.06 billion

Total: $3.11 billion

 

Sec. 6 - Transportation Aid

Transportation aid is based on the formula used in the previous school finance law, but adjusted as recommended by Legislative Post Audit for what LPA believes is an error in calculating the amount, which reduces funding.

 

HB 2741 

Previous law (2014-15)

Estimated transportation aid: $86.6 million

 

Decrease = $15.2 Million

Transportation weighting: $101.8 million

 

Sec. 7 - Low Income State Aid

Based on poverty rate of individuals 5-17 in district in immediate prior year published by U.S. Census Bureau, multiplied by enrollment of district, multiplied by $3,099. The previous law used the percent of students eligible for free meals. (Note: there is no inflation adjustment for this feature.)

 

HB 2741

Previous law (2014-15)

Estimated low income state aid: $337.2 million

 

Decrease = $58.1 Million

At-Risk weighting: $343.3 million

High At-Risk Weighting: $52.0 million
Total: $395.3 million

 

 

 

Sec. 8 - Bilingual State Aid.

The number of students enrolled in a district receiving bilingual services, multiplied by $425. (Note: the previous law used the number of contact hours of bilingual instruction taught by certified bilingual teachers. There is also no inflation adjustment for this feature.)

 

HB 2741

Previous law (2014-15)

Estimated Bilingual State Aid: $20.8 million

 

Decrease = $19.7 Million

Bilingual Weighting: $40.5 million

 

Sec. 9 - “Hold Harmless” Aid - For school years 2017-18 and 2018-19:

  1. For each district, determine total state aid received in 2014-15, less federal funds received from state solely as pass through.
  2. Add proceeds of any tax levied by district in 2014-15 other than bond and interest.
  3. Deduct any state aid received in current year (excluding federal aid received under this section).
  4. Deduct from (1+2) savings directly attributable to state health insurance plan as certified by budget director (see sections 27-32).
  5. Deduct from (1+2) savings attributable to efficiencies in food service and extracurricular activities as certified by budget director (see sections 19 and 20 - district may not spend general state aid on food service or extracurricular activities.)
  6. Deduct from (1+2) one-third of cash balance reconciliation amount.

Essentially, if state aid under the new system is less than what a district received in 2014-15 (adjusted to health insurance savings, food service and extracurricular programs, and “excessive” cash balances), the district receives additional aid to make up the difference. (This provision is in effect for the first two years only.)

The “cash balance reconciliation amount” is the amount of cash on hand July 1, 2014, in all funds except bond and interest, capital outlay, gifts and grants and any federal funds, in excess of 15 percent of expenditures in functions 1000, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2400, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2900, 3100 or 3300. (Basically, the A&M state efficiency study recommendation but spread over three years rather than five.)

 

Reduction from 2014-15

 

$372.6 million

Estimated H.H.Reductions:

Food Service:

$27.6 million

 

Activities:

$64.3 million

 

Health Insurance:

$80.0 million

 

Cash Balances:

$60.0 million        (Three years only)

 

Total

$231,745,454

Hold Harmless Aid (Two Years Only):

$257,391,213

 

Note: Statewide estimates only; may vary significantly by individual districts.                                      

Sec. 10-13

Maintains School District Finance Fund, state collection of statewide mill levy; dates of distribution of state aid; repayment of excess state aid; adoption of district budgets by August 25.

Sec. 14, 46 - Success grants. 

Sec. 14 - Beginning in 2018-19, the State Board shall disburse grants to districts based on student success indicators. No amount of funding provided.

The State Board is to use the following factors to measure student success:

  • Number of students graduating in immediately preceding school year divided by number in ninth grade cohort.
  • Number of students receiving nationally recognized certificate in preceding school year divided by number of students who graduated in second preceding school year.
  • Number of students that graduated in second preceding school year who enrolled in third consecutive semester of postsecondary institution divided by number of students graduated in second preceding year, and
  • Number of students graduating in second preceding school year and required to take remedial courses after graduation divided by number of students graduated in second preceding year.

 

The amount a school district receives must be proportional to the district’s success as compared to all other school districts. The higher the success factor score, the more grant money the district will receive.

Success grants shall be disbursed to employees in the following classifications equally on a per employee basis: Principal; assistant principal; vocational education teacher; pre-kindergarten teacher; kindergarten teacher; reading teacher; other teacher; library specialist; school counselor; and school psychologist.

 Sec. 46 - Directs the state department of education collect information for success metric.

 

Sec. 15 - Statewide mill levy.

Districts are required to levy a 35 mill property tax, compared to the current 20 mill tax rate.

 

Sec. 16 - Local property tax.

Districts may levy a property tax for up to five years, with no limit, but subject to public vote. The purpose of the proceeds must be specified, but may not be used for instruction unless the course of study is offered to every other district in the state electronically. No state equalization aid provided.

 

Sec. 17-18 - Continues school district budget funds currently authorized, and allows transfers among funds as the same basis as the current block grant law.

 

Sections 19, 69, 74 - Extracurricular Activities

 

Sec. 19 - Prohibits spending general state aid for extracurricular activities.

No district may spend general state aid for extracurricular activities or related to such activities, but may use revenues raised under Sec. 16 or other local revenues (i.e. gate receipts, fees.) “Extracurricular activities” means those activities provided or supported by a school district, but which are not required by or a substantial part of any curriculum of such school district. “Co-curricular activities” means those activities provided or supported by a school district that are not extracurricular activities.

 

Section 69 - Requires more precise accounting of receipts and expenditures from activity funds used for extracurricular activities.

 

Section 74 - Requires reporting on receipts and expenditures for extracurricular and co-curricular activities by the specific activity to which the receipt or expenditure relates. Extracurricular and co-curricular activity reports are not to be commingled.

 

Sec. 20 - Prohibit spending general state aid for food service.

No district may spend general state aid for food service or related activities, but may use revenues raised under Sec. 16.

 

Sec. 21 - Accreditation System

No district shall be accredited unless the district can demonstrate it is meeting the Rose standards. Reinstates system used in block grant law and previous law, referring to Rose capacities as state education goals, requiring state standards and assessments, site councils.

 

(Note: by directing that schools must be meeting the Rose standards to be accredited, if a school is accreditation it is evidence that its funding is constitutionally suitable. This section raises issues of the State Board of Education’s constitutional powers regarding school accreditation.)

 

Sec. 22 - Rules and regulation authority to State Board.

 

Sec. 23 - Sections 1-23 are not severable.

 

Part 2 - Capital outlay and capital improvement (bond and interest) state aid

 

Sec. 24 - Capital Outlay State Aid Fund.

Equalization for district capital outlay levies of up to eight mills is based on cube root of assessed valuation per pupil, multiplied by mean federal adjusted gross income for preceding tax year, multiplied by average appraised value of single family homes in districts to the determine the equalization base for each district. (Currently equalization is based on assessed valuation per pupil only.)

 

Values are rounded to nearest $1,000 and ranked high to low. Aid is based on 25 percent at the median equalization base, increasing or decreasing by 1 percent for each $1,000 up or down. (This is the same equalization formula for capital outlay in the bill passed to respond to the Kansas Supreme Court equity order, except that bill uses AVPP only.)

 

Sec. 25 - Capital Improvement Aid.

Beginning July 1, 2016, the Joint Committee on State Building Construction is to review those projects for which a school district is requesting capital improvement state aid to help finance the project.

 

The committee shall consider the use of each facility and authorize (1) up to 100 percent of the state aid amount as the percentage of utilization for direct instruction for any school building that is a classroom attendance center; (2) up to 50 percent as the percentage of utilization for direct instruction for any building that is used for student transportation services, or for any portion of a building that is not a classroom, but is used on a daily basis by students for classes and extracurricular activities, including, but not limited to, auditoriums and gymnasiums; and (3) no percentage of utilization for direct instruction for any athletic facility or for any school administration and support building.

 

(Note: this differs from legislation recently approved by Senate and the House Education Committees, currently in conference committee, which sets a state cap on bond and interest expenditures rather than limiting state aid by usage and has priorities for aid set by the State Board.)

 

Sec. 26 - Study of state bonding programs for capital outlay and improvements.

Creates joint committee on school district capital outlay and improvements, appointed by legislative leaders to:

  1. Review and make recommendations on proposals to implement a state revolving loan fund as a source of financing for school district capital improvement projects, which would utilize the bonding authority of the Kansas development finance authority;
  2. Review and make recommendations on proposals to implement a master lease program as a source of financing for school district capital outlay acquisitions, which would utilize the bonding authority of the Kansas development finance authority; and
  3. Submit a report on or before January 15, 2017, to the Governor and the Legislature on the special joint committee's findings, conclusions and recommendations. The committee then expires.

 

Sec. 66 - Bidding for construction projects

No expenditure for construction, reconstruction or remodeling of a facility for which bonds have been issued by the school district to finance such expenditure shall be made unless such school district has received at least three sealed proposals. (Note: this section could override authority for school districts to use construction management at risk.)

 

Sec. 83 - State aid formula for capital improvement aid.

The equalization formula used the block grant law is continued (using a lower equalization formula than the capital outlay plan just approved by the Legislature).

 

Part 3 - School District Health Insurance Program

 

Sec. 27-32

Directs that the state employees health care commission shall develop and provide for the implementation and administration of a unified school district employee health care benefits program.

Beginning Jan. 1 2018, no school district shall offer or enter into any contract for the provision of any health plan in lieu of a high-deductible health plan and health savings account under the unified school district employee health care benefits program.

A school district may offer or enter into a contract for the provision of supplemental health coverage in addition to a plan offered under the unified school district employee health care benefits program.

An employee shall be eligible to elect such supplemental health coverage only if the employee also elects a high deductible health plan and health savings account under the unified school district employee health care benefits program.

(Note: this is based on recommendation of the Alvarez and Marsal efficiency study. A&M estimated current district health care expenditures of $300 to $350 million. Saving $80 million would require reducing expenditures by approximately 25 percent. Assuming approximately half of 80,000 school district employees receive health insurance through the district, this would require shifting about $2,000 per year to each covered employee.)

Sec. 58 - Professional Negotiations Act

Amends state law so matters relating to health care benefits in Sec. 27 are not negotiable.

Part 4 - Creates the Kansas Education Freedom Act, beginning July 1, 2017

Sec. 33, 34 - Citation; Definitions.

  • Eligible students must be residents of Kansas who: (A) are or have been enrolled in kindergarten or any of the grades one through 12 in a school district organized under the laws of this state; (B) are eligible to be enrolled in any school district in the school year in which an account is first sought for such child and the child is under the age of six; or (C) have established an account under this program and have not graduated from high school. (This appears designed to limit participation in the program to students currently in public schools or who have not yet started school. However, as written, a student who had ever been enrolled in public school would qualify, so if a parent enrolled a child in a public school for a single day, the child would be eligible.)

 

  • Participating entity means any nonpublic school that provides education to elementary and secondary students located in this state and is registered with the state board as a non-accredited non-public school, including home schools. (Participating entity is more broadly defined in Sec. 41 below.)

 

Sec. 35, 36 - Allows creation of education freedom accounts for students whose parent satisfies the requirements of the act, under administration of the State Treasurer. Parents must agree the student shall receive instruction in state-required subjects and not be enrolled full-time in a public school.

 

Sec. 37 - A student’s account shall receive an aggregate annual amount equal to 70 percent of the general state aid of such student’s resident school district as determined under the finance law, excluding any amounts certified by the board of trustees of the Kansas public employees retirement system for the participating employer's obligation of such school district to the system for the immediately preceding school year divided by the enrollment of such school district for the immediately preceding school year. If the student enrolls in public school on a part-time basis, the amount shall be prorated. (Up to 2 percent deducted for administrative expenses.)

 

Sec. 38 - Each student with an account shall be counted in the enrollment of the resident public school district, and the amount equal to 70 percent of general state aid shall be deducted for each participating student. (Note: it appears this means the districts retains the other 30 percent, which is not addressed by the bill.)

 

Sec. 39, 40 - Moneys in each account shall be accessed only by parents and may only be spent on specific educational costs; provides for random audits of accounts.

 

Sec. 41 - A participating educational provider must be: (A) An accredited nonpublic school; (B) a program of distance education not operated by a public school or the department of education; (C) a tutor or tutoring facility accredited by a state, regional or national accrediting organization; or (D) a non-accredited private school registered with the State Board pursuant to K.S.A. 72-53,101; and must provide instruction in at least those subjects required by state law; provides for audits and revocation of approval.

 

Sec. 42 - The state treasurer shall conduct an annual survey of parents to include, but not be limited to:

  • The number of years the student has been a participant in the program;
  • The relative satisfaction of the parent with the program; and
  • Any opinions regarding any topics, items or other issues the treasurer determines may aid in the evaluation of the program or increase effectiveness of the program.

 

(Note: there are no requirements for academic testing or other assessment or accountability measures for students.)

 

Sec. 43 - Rules and regulation authority of State Treasurer.

 

Sec. 44 - Nothing in this act shall be deemed to limit the independence or autonomy of a participating entity or to make the actions of a participating entity the actions of the state government.

 

Part 5 - USD Efficiency Incentive Program

 

Sec. 45 - Creates USD efficiency incentive program.

Any employee of a school district may submit a plan for the efficient operation of school districts which will result in cost savings. More than one employee may be identified as a submitter on any plan. Such plan shall be submitted in such manner and form as prescribed by the State Board, and investigated by the State Board.

Each January the State Board is to submit a report describing each plan, the potential cost savings, and any legislation that may be necessary for implementation

Upon certification of savings by adopting such a plan, 10 percent of savings are awarded to the employee or employees.

Part 6 - School Finance Litigation

Sec. 51 - Amends K.S.A. 60-2102 to strike the right to directly appeal a decision in a school finance lawsuit to the Kansas Supreme Court. Under this amendment an appeal from a trial court decision would first have to be made to the Kansas Court of Appeals. This section is effective on July 1, 2016.

Sec. 59 - Prohibit any general state aid moneys from being used by a school district to fund a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of any law concerning school finance. This section is effective on July 1, 2017. (It was would this would require these funds to be raised by the local levy levy authorized in Sec. 16.) 

Sec. 60 - Provides for selection of a three-judge panel for school finance trials by lottery, rather than appointment. The first judge selected via lottery is to be designated as the presiding judge over the panel. This section is effective on July 1, 2016.

 

Part 7 - Conforming amendments; ending sections and effective date

 

Sec. 47-50; 52-57; 61-65; 67-68; 70-73; 75-82; and 84-91 - Provides conforming amendments to various statutes outside the area of school finance that are needed if the act becomes law on July 1, 

Sec. 92-93 - Repealers of existing law, which would be replaced by the amended laws contained in the bill.

 

Sec. 94 - Provides that the bill is effective upon publication in the statute book.