Bill would allow new school districts in Kansas, review process of school closures

Bill would allow new school districts in Kansas, review process of school closures
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:19 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A bill has been introduced in the Kansas House that would allow for the creation of new school districts as well as a review process for the closure of current schools.

On Monday, March 13, a new bill was introduced in the Kansas House of Representatives that would allow the State Board of Education to create a new unified school district.

Specifically, House Bill 2458 would authorize the KSBOE to establish a new unified school district to attach part of a district disorganized by voters. It would also allow for administrative and judicial reviews of resolutions to permanently close a public school building.

The bill does not affect the number of votes, petitions or percentages needed to consider a district disorganized.

HB 2458 would also allow residents who remain unhappy with the decision to close a school 90 days after the decision is made to call for an administrative review. This review will be considered by the KSBOE over the next 60 days and a decision will be made. A public hearing is also required during this process.

In February, members of Prairie Hills USD 113 Board of Education announced that it will close the doors to Wetmore Academic Center at the end of the 2022-23 school year. Currently, members of the Wabaunsee Co. School District continue to consider closing Maple Hill Elementary School.

HB 2458 would give parents who face similar challenges with their school districts in the future to start that administrative review process.

The bill was sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs and was referred to the Committee on Education. The bill is still under review by the committee and a vote is expected in the coming months.

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.