Weekly Update
April 9, 2021
Budget passes sans education funding, for now
Breaking news....

Kansas passed a budget bill but without funding for K-12 education. On a 20-20 vote, the Senate rejected SB 175, which also included controversial school choice legislation. Tying school choice to funding for education resulted in a split vote among senators. Appropriations Chair Troy Waymaster said, "We know we have to fund K-12 education, and we will."  

The legislature will recess for three weeks and then return for the omnibus session on May 3. The Appropriations Committee will meet on April 27.

Aligned has been working with lawmakers to clarify that the U.S. Treasury Department guidelines for stimulus funding do not allow states to supplant general revenue with federal dollars. The latest budget did not contain supplanted funds.

Also breaking, the Kansas Senate approved passage of the the Promise Scholarship Act by a vote of 35-0 late today. More on that in our Kansas News Section below.

Missouri choses hub leaders for early care and education

In our last newsletter, we discussed some of the activities in Missouri funded by the PDG B-5 grant program. A significant outcome from this program is the creation of regional hubs across the state

According to DESE, "Hubs are designed to coordinate existing community services in a more direct, effective and daily-centered way. Hubs are not intended to become direct service providers themselves."

The Office of Early Learning received 42 nominations for prospective community leaders that would get the hubs up and running. The coordinator is charged with hub readiness activities designed to 
  • Promote partnerships;
  • Coordinate programs;
  • Meet the needs of families in the community;
  • Ensure public and private perspectives; and
  • Identify an administrator and location.
DESE has released the second of three rounds of community leaders. Here are the selections so far.

Missouri News
Aligned Priorities

Bills moving...

Real-World Learning

Senate Committee on Education heard SB 448 (Rowden) this week, a stand-alone bill that allows the State Board of Education to grant temporary teaching certificates to subject matter experts in hard-to-staff school and hard-to-fill subject areas. 

testified in support along with the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, the Missouri School Boards Association, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. There was no opposition.

Early Care and Education

HB 1071 (Shields) - a bill that extends the sunset on the Quality Assurance Report was voted "do pass" from the committee on Rules-Legislative Oversight on April 8th.

HB 973 (Shields) - increases the amount of state aid districts and charters can claim for Pre-K remains in the committee on Rules-Administrative Oversight

HB 865 (Shields) - a bill that gives counties the authority to seek voter-approved property tax increases and establish local early childhood boards for early childhood education remains in the committee on Rules-Legislative Oversight

Innovative Practices

HB 624 (Richey), the Show-Me Success Diploma program, also includes language to establish a competency-based task force, was heard in Senate Committee on Education on April 6th. Aligned testified in support.

SB 152 (Hoskins), an education savings plan bill that includes the competency-based education grant program and task force will be heard by the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday, April 13th at 8:00 a.m.

Other education legislation

SHOW-ME SUCCESS DIPLOMA PROGRAM: On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Education conducted a public hearing on HB 624, sponsored by Rep. Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs). This bill establishes the "Show Me Success Diploma Program" as an alternative pathway to graduation for high school students. 

Aligned testified in support along with Missouri State Treasurer's Office, Missouri NEA, and Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Supporting testimony submitted through the online portal includes Associated Industries of Missouri and Goodwill of Eastern MissouriOpposing testimony submitted through the online portal was a private citizen.

CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATE: On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Education conducted a public hearing on SB 386, sponsored by Sen. Karla Eslinger (R-Wasola). Under this act, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Career and Technical Advisory Council, shall develop a statewide plan establishing the minimum requirements for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) CertificateSupporters told the committee that this legislation helps address teacher shortages and gives another path for student success.

Aligned testified in support along with Missouri NEA, Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri School Board Association, Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri Association of Career and Technical Education, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and IndustryThere was no testimony in opposition.

For more details read the Aligned Capitol Report.

Access the Aligned Priority Tracking Report.
Legislative News

Here are a few toplines from the activity this week:
  • President Joe Biden has nominated former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan as Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). This independent agency oversees much of the national government's operations. 
  • This week, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported the first case of the South African COVID variant that involved a patient from Jackson County. 
  • On Thursday, Governor Mike Parson met with Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (R), Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (D) in Council Bluffs, Iowa to continue discussions on the Missouri River flooding issues and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. 
  • Next Thursday is the day many Missourians have been awaiting. The state enters Phase 3 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan Thursday, meaning all Missourians can receive the vaccine
  • This week, a bill that would strip St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties from the federally mandated emissions program, was passed by the Senate and sent to the House. The bill could result in the loss of $52 million in funding for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Read all the details in our Aligned Capitol Report.

Budget Update

The Senate read in the FY22 appropriation bills and markup will begin the week after next.

This week the House Committee on Budget met to discuss HB 21, which contains the funding ($1,022,787,164) recommended by the Governor for Medicaid expansion. There was no public testimony in support or opposition presented to the committee. We expect the mark-up on this bill to take place next Monday.

The bill includes the following for education:
  • An additional $18 million for transportation for DESE
  • An additional $2 million for Adult High Schools
Our Aligned Capitol Report contains the full breakdown.
Kansas News

Legislative Update 

Yesterday, the Kansas Legislature gave final approval to H Sub for SB 91, a bill that will provide liability protection to businesses that participate in work-based learning programs. Through our work, we discovered that some companies are hesitant to open their doors to high-school students, which limits the supply of quality internship-type opportunities. Currently, school boards allow districts to provide insurance contracts for school-sponsored activities. This legislation extends those protections to cover work-based learning as well.

This bill was one of Aligned's top priorities this year in Kansas. We are working on similar provisions in Missouri. 

Also, S Sub B 2287, the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act, passed today by a vote of 123-0. Main provisions of the bill are:
  • For an eligible student to utilize a scholarship, the student must attend a two-year associate degree program, career and technical education certificate, or stand-alone program at a qualified institution in one of the following fields of study:
    • Information technology and security;
    • physical and mental healthcare;
    • early childhood education and development; or
    • Advanced manufacturing and building trades.
  • Prioritizes awards based on income;
  • Requires program completion;
  • Stipulates satisfactory academic progress;
  • Requires two-year in-state residency.
Bills on the move

HB 2039, a bill requiring students to pass a civics test and financial literacy course before graduating high school, is in conference. The conference committee report brief can be viewed here
SB 91, the Real-World Learning liability bill, was passed by the House by a vote of 123-0.

HB 2085, the students' right to know act to provide information on postsecondary education options to better prepare students for the workforce, was enrolled and presented to the Governor on Friday, April 9th. 
SB 32 would allow school districts, at the discretion of the local board of education, to pay all or a portion of the costs of tuition, fees, books, materials, and equipment for any high school student who is concurrently or dually enrolled at a postsecondary educational institution (postsecondary institution) is in House Committee on Appropriations. No change this week.
There's some 'unfinished learning' to attend to
One of the benefits from having national partners is the exposure to a wealth of education policy expertise. 

Our friend, Michael Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute, published a plan to address "unfinished learning" related to COVID-19. 

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stipulates that that public school districts set aside 20% of their stimulus funds to address "learning loss"

In his report, Petrilli notes that the youngest kids in the highest-needs schools will need "high-dosage tutoring", extended learning time, and expanded access to mental health supports. 

Click here to Access The Acceleration Imperative. Petrilli says, "It's also in the public domain, with no rights reserved, so feel free to plagiarize as well.

Editor's note: We prefer Petrilli's term "unfinished learning".

Our sympathies to Rep. Pietzman and his family

As you know we work with lawmakers in Kansas and Missouri daily during the legislative session. We recently learned of the passing of Jacob Pietzman , the 22-year old son of State Representative Randy Pietzman. We are sending our deepest condolences in the wake of this unforeseen tragedy. 

All our best.

Torree Pederson
(913) 484-4202

Linda Rallo
(314) 330-8442