Session of 1999
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
12       association.
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
39       safety.
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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  1       year.
  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
24       state.
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.