An Act concerning Kansas educational institutions; establishing a program under which financial assistance is provided for enrollment at such institutions by national guard members; relating to write-off of accounts receivable and taxes receivable by the state educational institutions; amending K.S.A. 75-3728a and repealing the existing section.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
New Section 1. Sections 1 through 5 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the Kansas national guard educational assistance act. It is the purpose of the Kansas national guard educational assistance act to establish an educational assistance program under which payment of the tuition and fees charged eligible members of the Kansas national guard for enrollment at Kansas educational institutions shall be provided for by the state.
New Sec. 2. As used in the Kansas national guard educational assis- tance act:
(a) ``Kansas educational institution'' means and includes area voca- tional schools, area vocational-technical schools, community colleges, the municipal university, state educational institutions, technical colleges, and accredited independent institutions.
(b) ``Eligible guard member'' means a newly enlisted or reenlisted member of the Kansas national guard who is a resident of Kansas, who has been a member of the Kansas national guard for not more than 15 years, who has had military service prior to membership in the national guard or has completed basic military training, and who is enrolled at a Kansas educational institution. The term eligible guard member does not include within its meaning any member of the Kansas national guard who is the holder of a baccalaureate or higher academic degree, who does not hold a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) credentials, or who is entitled to federal educational benefits earned by membership in the Kansas national guard, except financial assistance un- der the federal education assistance program for members of the selected reserve.
(c) ``Kansas national guard educational assistance program'' or ``pro- gram'' means the program established pursuant to the provisions of the Kansas national guard educational assistance act.
(d) ``Educational program'' means a program which is offered and maintained by a Kansas educational institution and leads to the award of a certificate, diploma or degree upon satisfactory completion of course- work requirements.
New Sec. 3. The adjutant general shall adopt rules and regulations for administration of the Kansas national guard educational assistance act and shall:
(a) Establish a mechanism to ensure distribution of funds for tuition and fee reimbursement throughout the Kansas national guard organiza- tion;
(b) enter into a cooperative relationship with the state board of re- gents and the state department of education to ensure efficient operation of the program;
(c) develop and effectuate a system of accountability for all disburse- ments under the program and provide written reports as prescribed; and
(d) establish a procedure to ensure initial and on-going eligibility of all guard members who are program participants.
New Sec. 4. (a) Subject to the availability of appropriations for the Kansas national guard educational assistance program and within the lim- its of any such appropriations, every eligible guard member who is en- rolled at a Kansas educational institution and who is participating in the program shall be paid the amount of tuition and required fees charged by the Kansas educational institution for enrollment in courses necessary to satisfy the requirements of an educational program.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), eligible guard members shall not be paid the amount of tuition and required fees charged for any course repeated or taken in excess of the requirements for completion of the educational program in which the eligible guard member is enrolled. The amount of tuition and required fees paid an eligible guard member pursuant to subsection (a) shall be at a rate not to exceed the maximum rate that would be charged by the state educational institutions for enrollment of the eligible guard member.
New Sec. 5. (a) In order to qualify for participation in the Kansas national guard educational assistance program, an eligible guard member must agree in writing to continue service in the Kansas national guard for a period of not less than four years after receiving a final payment under this act.
(b) In order to remain eligible for participation in the program, an eligible guard member must remain in good standing at the Kansas ed- ucational institution where enrolled, make satisfactory progress toward completion of the requirements of the educational program in which en- rolled, and maintain satisfactory participation in the Kansas national guard. It shall be the responsibility of the eligible guard member to obtain a certificate from the member's commanding officer attesting to the member's satisfactory participation in the Kansas national guard and to present the certificate to the adjutant general, or a designee thereof, in order to obtain a payment under this act. The certificate shall be pre- sented at the time payment is requested for completed courses.
(c) Upon failure of any person, who as an eligible guard member received payments under the Kansas national guard educational assis- tance act, to satisfy the agreement to continue service in the Kansas na- tional guard for the required four-year period, such person shall pay to the state of Kansas an amount equal to the total amount received. All amounts paid to the state under this subsection shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the state general fund.
Sec. 6. K.S.A. 75-3728a is hereby amended to read as follows: 75- 3728a. As used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) ``State agency'' means any state office or officer, department, board, commission, institution, bureau or any other state authority which may lawfully request a state appropriation.
(b) ``Head of a state agency'' means the secretary of revenue, the secretary of administration, the secretary of social and rehabilitation serv- ices, the state board of regents, the chief executive officer of a state edu- cational institution, the state board of education and the officer, board, commission or authority determined by the director of accounts and re- ports to have the chief policy making executive function of a state agency.
Sec. 7. K.S.A. 75-3728a is hereby repealed.
Sec. 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Kansas register.
Approved May 17, 1996.
Published in the Kansas Register: May 30, 1996.