H.B. 2147 amends the continuing contract provisions of the law applicable to school districts, area vocational-technical schools, and community colleges. The current law requires a governing board to notify a teacher or administrator on or before May 1 of the board's intent to terminate or nonrenew the person's contract for the next contract year. Otherwise, the employee is entitled to continue to be employed under contract with the district for the next year. The amendment makes the following exception to this policy. If the employee has used family and medical leave benefits as provided by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (P.L. 103-03) and the time of this use extends beyond May 1, then written notice of termination may be given not earlier than the expiration of the time of use of the leave and not later than 90 days after commencement of the use of the leave.
H.B. 2147 was introduced in 1997 at the request of the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB). Hearings were held on the bill in 1997. KASB explained that provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) might create a conflict with provisions of the Kansas continuing contract law. A question was whether a school district board could nonrenew a contract while the employee was using the provisions of FMLA. If it could not, there was concern about the potential abuse that would occur if an employee used FMLA to frustrate a local board's intent to nonrenew an employee. The bill was designed, therefore, to give school boards an opportunity to nonrenew personnel after expiration of the FMLA benefit.
The Kansas National Education Association opposed the bill, expressing the view that it punishes persons who need to take the leave. Further, the Association argued that the bill was unnecessary.
H.B. 2147, tabled in 1997, was revisited by the House Education Committee in the 1998 Session and amended as described in the brief (above).
An instance of use of the FMLA to frustrate a school board's desire to nonrenew an employee was reported by the lobbyist for the Blue Valley school district.
The Division of the Budget's fiscal note indicated that the bill would have no fiscal impact on revenues or expenditures of the state.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.