Session of 1999
HOUSE BILL No. 2504
By Committee on Federal and State Affairs
9 AN ACT enacting the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot
10 program act.
12 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
13 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Kansas
14 educational opportunities certificate pilot program act. It is the purpose
15 of this act to establish a pilot program under which eligible children are
16 awarded certificates which provide the financial assistance necessary to
17 avail such children and their parents of an opportunity to exercise choice
18 in the selection of schools. The program shall be conducted in U.S.D.
19 No. 259, Sedgwick county, U.S.D. No. 457, Finney county, U.S.D. No.
20 500, Wyandotte county and U.S.D. No. 501, Shawnee county, in the
21 1999-2000 through 2002-03 school years.
22 Sec. 2. As used in this act:
23 (a) "Certificate eligible child" means any child who: (1) Is a resident
24 of this state; (2) is school age and enrolled in or eligible for enrollment
25 in an educational opportunities school and for attendance at any of the
26 grades one through five; (3) is eligible for free meals under the national
27 school lunch act; (4) has scored at or below the 40th percentile on na-
28 tionally normed achievement tests; and (5) was enrolled and in attendance
29 at school in a unified school district during the school year immediately
30 preceding the first school year for which application is made for an ed-
31 ucational opportunities certificate or was the recipient of an educational
32 opportunities certificate for the school year immediately preceding the
33 current school year.
34 (b) "Parent" means and includes natural parents, adoptive parents,
35 stepparents, foster parents and persons acting as parents.
36 (c) "Person acting as parent" means: (1) A guardian or conservator;
37 or (2) a person, other than a parent, who is liable by law to maintain, care
38 for, or support the child, or who is liable by law to maintain, care for or
39 support the child, or who has actual care and control of the child and is
40 contributing the major portion of the cost of support of the child, or who
41 has actual care and control of the child with the written consent of a
42 person who has legal custody of the child, or who has been granted cus-
43 tody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction.
44 (d) "Educational opportunities school" means any accredited non-
45 public school that is: (1) Located within the boundaries of a pilot school
46 district; and (2) is operated by a board of education or other governing
47 authority that has elected to participate in the Kansas educational oppor-
48 tunities certificate pilot program.
49 (e) "Accredited" means accredited by any one or more of the follow-
50 ing: (1) The state board of education; (2) the north central accrediting
51 association; (3) the independent schools association of the southwest; (4)
52 the independent schools association of the central states; (5) the associ-
53 ation of Christian schools international; (6) the national Lutheran accred-
54 itation association; (7) the Seventh Day Adventist accreditation
56 (f) "Pilot school district" means U.S.D. No. 259, Sedgwick county,
57 U.S.D. No. 457, Finney county, U.S.D. No. 500, Wyandotte county, and
58 U.S.D. No. 501, Shawnee county.
59 (g) "Educational opportunities certificate" means a certificate in an
60 amount equal to 80% of the amount of base state aid per pupil for the
61 current school year, which is awarded in the name of a certificate eligible
62 child for redemption by a parent of the child at an educational opportu-
63 nities school for provision of educational services to the child.
64 (h) "Certificate impact aid" means financial assistance in the form of
65 grants of state moneys provided to pilot school districts in order to lessen
66 the impact on such districts of any decrease in enrollment experienced
67 by the districts as a result of implementation and maintenance of the
68 Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot program.
69 (i) "State board" means the state board of education.
70 Sec. 3. (a) In order to achieve the purpose of this act, the state board
71 shall establish and effectuate a pilot program under which the parent of
72 any certificate eligible child, upon application, receives from the state
73 board in each school year in which the program is maintained an edu-
74 cational opportunities certificate that may be redeemed for payment of
75 the costs of enrollment of the child at an educational opportunities school
76 selected by the child's parent. Certificate applications shall be on a form
77 prescribed and furnished by the state board. The application shall request
78 only such information as is necessary to determine program eligibility of
79 a child and to efficiently administer the program.
80 (b) An application for an educational opportunities certificate may be
81 submitted to the state board, to the the board of education of the school
82 district in which the child resides, or to the board of education of the
83 school district in which the educational opportunities school selected by
84 the child's parent for enrollment of the child is located. If an application
85 for a certificate is submitted to the board of education of a school district,
86 the board of education shall transmit the application, immediately upon
87 receipt, to the state board.
88 (c) Educational opportunities certificates received under this act shall
89 be redeemed upon certification by an educational opportunities school
90 that a certificate eligible child is enrolled and in attendance at the school.
91 The state board shall certify to the director of accounts and reports the
92 amount due the parent of each certificate eligible child. The director of
93 accounts and reports shall issue a warrant to the parent of the certificate
94 eligible child and shall cause the warrant to be delivered to the school in
95 which the child is enrolled. The parent of the certificate eligible child
96 shall use the warrant for payment of the costs of enrollment of the child.
97 If a certificate eligible child discontinues attendance at an educational
98 opportunities school before the end of the school year, the entire amount
99 which the child would otherwise qualify to have refunded, if any, up to
100 the amount paid by the state pursuant to the certificate redeemed by the
101 parent of the child, shall be paid by the school to the state board. The
102 state board shall remit any amounts so received to the state treasurer,
103 and the state treasurer shall deposit the same in the state treasury to the
104 credit of the state general fund.
105 (d) The amount of an educational opportunities certificate redeemed
106 under this act shall not be considered gross income and shall not be
107 taxable for Kansas income tax purposes.
108 Sec. 4. (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), an educational
109 opportunities school shall admit certificate eligible children who have
110 received certificates and who apply for admission, up to the limit of the
111 school's capacity after reserving places for children required or entitled
112 to be admitted to the school.
113 (b) An educational opportunities school shall establish criteria for the
114 admission of certificate eligible children. Such criteria shall be consistent
115 with the admissions criteria that the school regularly applies.
116 (c) An educational opportunities school shall provide assurance to the
117 state board that the amount of the costs of enrollment charged a certifi-
118 cate eligible child will not be greater than the amount of the costs of
119 enrollment regularly charged by the school.
120 (d) An educational opportunities school shall publish or otherwise
121 make available information regarding the school's program of instruction,
122 achievement data regarding children attending the school (which data
123 shall be stated in the aggregate by grades maintained by the school),
124 incidence of alcohol and drug abuse, if any, and school discipline and
126 (e) Prior to the commencement of school in each school year in which
127 the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot program is main-
128 tained, each educational opportunities school shall certify to the state
129 board the amount of the costs of enrollment to be charged in such school
131 Sec. 5. (a) Prior to the commencement of each school year in which
132 the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot program is main-
133 tained, the state board shall prepare and publish in pilot school districts
134 information regarding the educational opportunities certificate program,
135 the procedure to be followed by parents in applying for educational op-
136 portunities certificates for their children, and a list of all educational op-
137 portunities schools. Such information and list shall be maintained on file
138 at the state department of education and shall be made available to mem-
139 bers of the public upon request.
140 (b) The state board shall monitor the academic performance of cer-
141 tificate eligible children attending educational opportunities schools. If
142 the state board determines in any school year that a majority of the cer-
143 tificate eligible children attending any such school are not demonstrating
144 satisfactory academic achievement or that any such school is not meeting
145 the requirements of section 4, and amendments thereto, the school shall
146 not be eligible to accept certificates from the parents of certificate eligible
147 children in the succeeding school year.
148 Sec. 6. (a) (1) In each school year in which the pilot program estab-
149 lished under the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot pro-
150 gram act is maintained, each school district which is eligible for certificate
151 impact aid may submit an application to the state board for a grant of
152 state moneys. The application shall be prepared in such form and manner
153 as the state board shall require and shall be submitted at a time to be
154 determined and specified by the state board. Approval by the state board
155 of applications for grants of state moneys is prerequisite to the award of
156 grants. The state board shall establish a procedure for ensuring that no
157 pilot school district experiences a decrease in enrollment of more than
158 100 pupils. If more than 100 pupils from a pilot school district apply for
159 educational opportunities certificates, the state board shall utilize a lottery
160 for selection of children to whom educational opportunities certificates
161 will be issued.
162 (2) The state board shall approve applications of school districts for
163 grants, determine the amount of grants and be responsible for payment
164 of grants to school districts. In determining the amount of a grant which
165 a school district is eligible to receive, the state board shall: (A) Determine
166 the number of certificate eligible children who were enrolled as pupils in
167 the school district in the preceding school year, who received an educa-
168 tional opportunities certificate, and who are enrolled in an educational
169 opportunities school in the current school year; and (B) multiply the
170 amount of $1,000 by the number of children determined under subpart
171 (A). The product is the amount of certificate impact aid the district is
172 eligible to receive. If the amount of appropriations for the payment of
173 grants under this subsection is insufficient to pay in full the amount each
174 school district is determined to be eligible to receive for the school year,
175 the state board shall prorate the amount appropriated among all school
176 districts which are eligible to receive grants of state moneys in proportion
177 to the amount each school district is determined to be eligible to receive.
178 (3) Each school district which is awarded a grant under this section
179 shall make such periodic and special reports of statistical and financial
180 information to the state board as it may request.
181 (4) All moneys received by a school district under authority of this
182 subsection shall be deposited in the educational opportunities impact aid
183 fund of the school district, which fund is hereby established. Amounts in
184 the educational opportunities impact aid fund may be expended for any
185 purpose for which expenditures from the general fund are authorized.
186 (b) Except as provided in K.S.A. 72-8306, and amendments thereto,
187 no school district shall be responsible for the furnishing or provision of
188 transportation for certificate eligible children to or from any educational
189 opportunities school.
190 Sec. 7. Nothing in this act shall be applied or construed in any man-
191 ner so as to create, effectuate, change or superinduce any power, duty or
192 function of the state board with respect to regulation or supervision of
193 nonpublic schools in this state. Nothing in this act shall be applied or
194 construed in any manner so as to regulate or prohibit free exercise in
195 matters of curriculum, creed or practice of any nonpublic school in this
197 Sec. 8. Upon completion of the 2002-03 school year, the state board
198 shall evaluate the pilot program established under the Kansas educational
199 opportunities certificate pilot program act, assess the impact the program
200 has had on the educational systems of the school districts affected by the
201 program, collect data on the academic achievement of certificate eligible
202 children, determine the total amount of savings realized by the state due
203 to maintenance of the program, and make a recommendation to the gov-
204 ernor and the legislature with regard to effectuation of the program on a
205 statewide basis.
206 Sec. 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
207 publication in the statute book.