Schools Dealing With New Attendence Law

As more Kansas school districts report rising cases of COVID-19 and virus-related quarantines, educators are having to navigate a new state law that limits what they can offer online.

The Kansas News Service report the law is already having an effect on school schedules in Wellington, where officials abruptly closed all schools through Labor Day.

Starting this week, the Wellington district added ten minutes to the end of each school day to comply with state guidelines for the minimum number of instructional hours.

A measure Kansas lawmakers passed last spring was intended as a message to districts: Kids should be in school, in person.

The new law dictates that long-term online or hybrid learning models – anything over 40 hours per student per year – could mean losing up to two-thirds of state funding for that student.

Mark Tallman, a lobbyist with the Kansas Association of School Boards, said there are lots of questions about the new law, which allows some exemptions for health issues or emergencies.