Session of 1999
House Concurrent Resolution No. 5016
By Committee on Education

  9             A  CONCURRENT RESOLUTION directing the State Board of Edu-
10             cation to undertake a study of school district organization and to design
11             a comprehensive plan for attainment of the optimal school district
12             configuration.
14             WHEREAS,  The basic pattern for organization of school districts in
15       Kansas was established before admission of the territory into the Union
16       in 1861; by 1896, a total of 9,284 districts were being operated; and
17             WHEREAS,  A major step in the reorganization of school districts was
18       taken by the Legislature in 1945 by enactment of legislation requiring all
19       elementary districts to reorganize; the act was declared unconstitutional
20       in 1947; and
21             WHEREAS,  In 1957, the Legislature authorized a comprehensive ed-
22       ucational survey of the state which resulted in enactment of legislation
23       providing for statewide unification of school districts; the act was declared
24       unconstitutional in 1962; and
25             WHEREAS,  In 1963, the Legislature enacted legislation for the gen-
26       eral improvement of the public schools in the state and to expedite the
27       organization of public school districts of the state so as to establish a
28       thorough and uniform system of free public schools throughout the state;
29       the act was declared constitutional in 1965; and
30             WHEREAS,  Kansas society and the educational needs of Kansas chil-
31       dren have changed significantly since unification of school districts was
32       completed in 1969; and
33             WHEREAS,  The Kansas Constitution authorizes the State Board of
34       Education to perform such duties pertaining to the educational interests
35       of the state as may be imposed by the Legislature: Now, therefore,
36             Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas,
37       the Senate concurring therein: That the Legislature, in acknowledgment
38       of the fact that it has plenary power over the establishment, alteration,
39       disorganization, and reorganization of school districts, and in recognition
40       that any part of that power may be delegated to the State Board of Ed-
41       ucation, hereby directs the State Board to undertake a comprehensive
42       study of the organization of school districts in this state to determine if
43       the public school system could be more efficiently and effectively oper-
44       ated under a different configuration; and
45             Be it further resolved: That in making the study of school district or-
46       ganization, the State Board of Education should: (a) Review grade level
47       and school district enrollment and projected enrollment, pupil transpor-
48       tation requirements including the distances pupils must travel to attend
49       the schools of a district and the proximity of schools in adjoining districts
50       with respect to pupils having lengthy bus commutes, the capacity and
51       condition of existing school facilities in each district, communities of in-
52       terest in matters such as commerce and tradition, property tax bases of
53       districts, and other matters deemed appropriate to the study; (b) deter-
54       mine and document the existence of problems with respect to matters
55       reviewed and provide suggestions for solution or alleviation of such prob-
56       lems; (c) envision a configuration of school districts that would serve the
57       needs of Kansas children, Kansas taxpayers, and Kansas society in the
58       most efficient and effective manner attainable and design a comprehen-
59       sive plan for attainment of such optimal configuration; (d) formulate rec-
60       ommendations for actualization of the comprehensive plan for attainment
61       of the optimal school district configuration and for legislation deemed
62       necessary for actualization of the plan; and (e) present findings of the
63       study, the comprehensive plan for attainment of the optimal school dis-
64       trict configuration, and recommendations with respect to actualization of
65       the plan to the Chairperson of the Committee on Education of the House
66       of Representatives and the Chairperson of the Committee on Education
67       of the Senate on or before January 15, 2001; and
68             Be it further resolved: That the State Board of Education is hereby
69       authorized to establish advisory committees and secure consultant serv-
70       ices for assistance in performing the duties imposed in the foregoing
71       resolving clause; and
72        Be it further resolved: That the Secretary of State is hereby directed
73       to transmit enrolled copies of this resolution to the State Board of Edu-
74       cation and to the Commissioner of Education at 120 S.E. 10th Avenue,
75       Topeka, Kansas 66612-1182.