KELA becomes HB2367
Much of the progress is due to our Vice Chair Al Terwlep who has worked tireless to advance KELA. Not only has he meet with countless state representatives, but he has worked with Foundation for Educational Choice, Institute for Justice, Americans for Prosperity, Kansas Public Institute and Kansas Catholic Conference, numerous parents, and teachers. Al has worked tirelessly to coordinate with these groups to propel KELA to where it is now. The bill has progressed as far as it has through the efforts of our Policy Researcher Stacey Davis. Mr. Davis actually wrote the bill, found initial support in the Kansas House of Representatives, spoke to representatives, and has publicly spoken about KELA numerous times.
HB2367 is largely the bill that Stacey Davis wrote and that the Executive Committee approved to be presented as Libertarian Party of Kansas Model Legislation. Changes have been made to the original wording which has limited eligible schools and eliminated home schoolers from the program. Stacey, Al, and the others scheduled to testify will fight to restore the original wording.
The hearing is in the House Education Committee next week, Tuesday, March 15th at 9 a.m. on the 7th floor of the Docking Building in room 784. Anyone interested, please send written testimony to the Education Committee Chairman’s secretary. Her name is Jane Johnston and her office is 174W in the Capital building, 785.296.7672.
You can view KELA HB2367 here:
You can view the original Kansas Education Liberty Act here: http://www.supportkela.com/
The Libertarian Party of Kansas has crafted The Kansas Education Liberty Act (KELA) and will introduce it during the 2011 legislative session. KELA now has a stand alone website which can be found at www.SupportKELA.com and a page on Facebook (please become a fan to show your support). This legislation not only addresses the budget challenges facing Kansas, but positions Kansans to achieve better education outcomes by beginning the process of returning the primary control of educating children to the only place it truly belongs: to the parents of Kansas. You can find the synopsis of KELA below. At the bottom of this page are links to Frequently Asked Questions.
Kansas Education Liberty Act
This bill addresses one of the most daunting challenges confronting the citizens of Kansas: the education of our children. Our already overburdened education system(1) is now facing additional trials due to ongoing state budget deficits. This bill turns to the people of Kansas to help address both our education and budget crises.
The Kansas Education Liberty Act emulates eighteen school choice programs already in place in ten states and the District of Columbia, serving over 171,000 American students(2). This bill authorizes a tax credit for individual and corporate contributions to organizations that provide educational scholarships to eligible students so they can attend qualified public and non-public schools of their parents’ choice. With legislative mandated limits on individual scholarships, the total tax credits associated with this bill are less than what is currently spent in the Base State Aid Per Pupil (BSAPP) thus reducing spending from the state’s general fund and reducing the budget short fall. Moreover, our children will enjoy improved education outcomes in both public and private education(3) in the state of Kansas.
Passage of the attached Kansas Education Liberty Act will allow Kansas to do the following:
- Increase parental involvement in education
- Increase community involvement in education
- Reduce class size in public schools
- Increase resources per pupil in public schools
- Encourage the growth of non-public school options
- Improve education outcome through allowing struggling students who normally demand greater resources in public schools to choose education options that more closely meet their individual needs and learning styles
- Encourage the development of alternative school environments to meet the needs of our most challenged and gifted students
- Reduce overall tax burden
- Reduce the Kansas education budget (Annual Savings of $133 Million)
Link: PDF of the complete Act