Session of 1999
SENATE BILL No. 295
By Senator Lawrence
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.
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1 (d) "Educational opportunities school" means any accredited non-
2 public school that is: (1) Located within the boundaries of a pilot school
3 district; and (2) is operated by a board of education or other governing
4 authority that has elected to participate in the Kansas educational oppor-
5 tunities certificate pilot program.
6 (e) "Accredited" means accredited by any one or more of the follow-
7 ing: (1) The state board of education; (2) the north central accrediting
8 association; (3) the independent schools association of the southwest; (4)
9 the independent schools association of the central states; (5) the associ-
10 ation of Christian schools international; (6) the national Lutheran accred-
11 itation association; (7) the Seventh Day Adventist accreditation
13 (f) "Pilot school district" means U.S.D. No. 259, Sedgwick county,
14 U.S.D. No. 457, Finney county, U.S.D. No. 500, Wyandotte county, and
15 U.S.D. No. 501, Shawnee county.
16 (g) "Educational opportunities certificate" means a certificate in an
17 amount equal to 80% of the amount of base state aid per pupil for the
18 current school year, which is awarded in the name of a certificate eligible
19 child for redemption by a parent of the child at an educational opportu-
20 nities school for provision of educational services to the child.
21 (h) "Certificate impact aid" means financial assistance in the form of
22 grants of state moneys provided to pilot school districts in order to lessen
23 the impact on such districts of any decrease in enrollment experienced
24 by the districts as a result of implementation and maintenance of the
25 Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot program.
26 (i) "State board" means the state board of education.
27 Sec. 3. (a) In order to achieve the purpose of this act, the state board
28 shall establish and effectuate a pilot program under which the parent of
29 any certificate eligible child, upon application, receives from the state
30 board in each school year in which the program is maintained an edu-
31 cational opportunities certificate that may be redeemed for payment of
32 the costs of enrollment of the child at an educational opportunities school
33 selected by the child's parent. Certificate applications shall be on a form
34 prescribed and furnished by the state board. The application shall request
35 only such information as is necessary to determine program eligibility of
36 a child and to efficiently administer the program.
37 (b) An application for an educational opportunities certificate may be
38 submitted to the state board, to the the board of education of the school
39 district in which the child resides, or to the board of education of the
40 school district in which the educational opportunities school selected by
41 the child's parent for enrollment of the child is located. If an application
42 for a certificate is submitted to the board of education of a school district,
43 the board of education shall transmit the application, immediately upon
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1 receipt, to the state board.
2 (c) Educational opportunities certificates received under this act shall
3 be redeemed upon certification by an educational opportunities school
4 that a certificate eligible child is enrolled and in attendance at the school.
5 The state board shall certify to the director of accounts and reports the
6 amount due the parent of each certificate eligible child. The director of
7 accounts and reports shall issue a warrant to the parent of the certificate
8 eligible child and shall cause the warrant to be delivered to the school in
9 which the child is enrolled. The parent of the certificate eligible child
10 shall use the warrant for payment of the costs of enrollment of the child.
11 If a certificate eligible child discontinues attendance at an educational
12 opportunities school before the end of the school year, the entire amount
13 which the child would otherwise qualify to have refunded, if any, up to
14 the amount paid by the state pursuant to the certificate redeemed by the
15 parent of the child, shall be paid by the school to the state board. The
16 state board shall remit any amounts so received to the state treasurer,
17 and the state treasurer shall deposit the same in the state treasury to the
18 credit of the state general fund.
19 (d) The amount of an educational opportunities certificate redeemed
20 under this act shall not be considered gross income and shall not be
21 taxable for Kansas income tax purposes.
22 Sec. 4. (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), an educational
23 opportunities school shall admit certificate eligible children who have
24 received certificates and who apply for admission, up to the limit of the
25 school's capacity after reserving places for children required or entitled
26 to be admitted to the school.
27 (b) An educational opportunities school shall establish criteria for the
28 admission of certificate eligible children. Such criteria shall be consistent
29 with the admissions criteria that the school regularly applies.
30 (c) An educational opportunities school shall provide assurance to the
31 state board that the amount of the costs of enrollment charged a certifi-
32 cate eligible child will not be greater than the amount of the costs of
33 enrollment regularly charged by the school.
34 (d) An educational opportunities school shall publish or otherwise
35 make available information regarding the school's program of instruction,
36 achievement data regarding children attending the school (which data
37 shall be stated in the aggregate by grades maintained by the school),
38 incidence of alcohol and drug abuse, if any, and school discipline and
40 (e) Prior to the commencement of school in each school year in which
41 the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot program is main-
42 tained, each educational opportunities school shall certify to the state
43 board the amount of the costs of enrollment to be charged in such school
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2 Sec. 5. (a) Prior to the commencement of each school year in which
3 the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot program is main-
4 tained, the state board shall prepare and publish in pilot school districts
5 information regarding the educational opportunities certificate program,
6 the procedure to be followed by parents in applying for educational op-
7 portunities certificates for their children, and a list of all educational op-
8 portunities schools. Such information and list shall be maintained on file
9 at the state department of education and shall be made available to mem-
10 bers of the public upon request.
11 (b) The state board shall monitor the academic performance of cer-
12 tificate eligible children attending educational opportunities schools. If
13 the state board determines in any school year that a majority of the cer-
14 tificate eligible children attending any such school are not demonstrating
15 satisfactory academic achievement or that any such school is not meeting
16 the requirements of section 4, and amendments thereto, the school shall
17 not be eligible to accept certificates from the parents of certificate eligible
18 children in the succeeding school year.
19 Sec. 6. (a) (1) In each school year in which the pilot program estab-
20 lished under the Kansas educational opportunities certificate pilot pro-
21 gram act is maintained, each school district which is eligible for certificate
22 impact aid may submit an application to the state board for a grant of
23 state moneys. The application shall be prepared in such form and manner
24 as the state board shall require and shall be submitted at a time to be
25 determined and specified by the state board. Approval by the state board
26 of applications for grants of state moneys is prerequisite to the award of
27 grants. The state board shall establish a procedure for ensuring that no
28 pilot school district experiences a decrease in enrollment of more than
29 100 pupils. If more than 100 pupils from a pilot school district apply for
30 educational opportunities certificates, the state board shall utilize a lottery
31 for selection of children to whom educational opportunities certificates
32 will be issued.
33 (2) The state board shall approve applications of school districts for
34 grants, determine the amount of grants and be responsible for payment
35 of grants to school districts. In determining the amount of a grant which
36 a school district is eligible to receive, the state board shall: (A) Determine
37 the number of certificate eligible children who were enrolled as pupils in
38 the school district in the preceding school year, who received an educa-
39 tional opportunities certificate, and who are enrolled in an educational
40 opportunities school in the current school year; and (B) multiply the
41 amount of $1,000 by the number of children determined under subpart
42 (A). The product is the amount of certificate impact aid the district is
43 eligible to receive. If the amount of appropriations for the payment of
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1 grants under this subsection is insufficient to pay in full the amount each
2 school district is determined to be eligible to receive for the school year,
3 the state board shall prorate the amount appropriated among all school
4 districts which are eligible to receive grants of state moneys in proportion
5 to the amount each school district is determined to be eligible to receive.
6 (3) Each school district which is awarded a grant under this section
7 shall make such periodic and special reports of statistical and financial
8 information to the state board as it may request.
9 (4) All moneys received by a school district under authority of this
10 subsection shall be deposited in the educational opportunities impact aid
11 fund of the school district, which fund is hereby established. Amounts in
12 the educational opportunities impact aid fund may be expended for any
13 purpose for which expenditures from the general fund are authorized.
14 (b) Except as provided in K.S.A. 72-8306, and amendments thereto,
15 no school district shall be responsible for the furnishing or provision of
16 transportation for certificate eligible children to or from any educational
17 opportunities school.
18 Sec. 7. Nothing in this act shall be applied or construed in any man-
19 ner so as to create, effectuate, change or superinduce any power, duty or
20 function of the state board with respect to regulation or supervision of
21 nonpublic schools in this state. Nothing in this act shall be applied or
22 construed in any manner so as to regulate or prohibit free exercise in
23 matters of curriculum, creed or practice of any nonpublic school in this
25 Sec. 8. Upon completion of the 2002-03 school year, the state board
26 shall evaluate the pilot program established under the Kansas educational
27 opportunities certificate pilot program act, assess the impact the program
28 has had on the educational systems of the school districts affected by the
29 program, collect data on the academic achievement of certificate eligible
30 children, determine the total amount of savings realized by the state due
31 to maintenance of the program, and make a recommendation to the gov-
32 ernor and the legislature with regard to effectuation of the program on a
33 statewide basis.
34 Sec. 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
35 publication in the statute book.