K-12 Education; Waivers for School Year Attendance Requirements; House Sub. for SB 142

House Sub. for SB 142 clarifies the authority of the State Board of Education (State Board) to grant waivers to the minimum number of school hours required each school year. The bill expands the circumstances in which a local board of education can apply to the State Board for a waiver to include conditions restricting the operation of public schools. The bill also amends the definition of “disaster” to include any declaration of a state of disaster emergency issued by the Governor or the closure of schools by order of the county or joint board of health, a local health officer, or the Secretary of Health and Environment.

KSA 72-3115(b) requires students in kindergarten attend at least 465 school hours, students in grades 1 through 11 attend at least 1,116 school hours, and students in grade 12 attend at least 1,086 school hours per school year.

The bill also includes a statement of legislative intent that school districts continue to pay hourly employees, including, but not limited to, paraprofessionals and custodial employees, during any school shutdown due to a disaster.