Archive for Friday, January 21, 2005

Bill would help districts near military installations

January 21, 2005

Legislation aimed at helping school districts with large numbers of students whose parents are in the military has sailed through a House committee.

"This bill will allow those school districts to better serve our military children," said Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth.

Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth, also pushed the bill, which now goes to the full House after approval Thursday by the Education Committee.

The measure allows districts most affected by changes in military actions to take a second enrollment count Feb. 20 in addition to the traditional one taken Sept. 20. The enrollment count is used to determine state funding.

Officials with the Fort Leavenworth school district and districts serving Fort Riley said they expected personnel growth over the next several years because of changes in active duty and reserve units.

"A second count date, as proposed, will allow us to accommodate any growth and the expenditures generated in anticipation of that growth," said Stephen Kempf, president of the Fort Leavenworth school board and a retired colonel.

At Fort Leavenworth, about 1,000 officers and 100 international officers train at the Command and General Staff College. A second course to run in tandem with the current one is expected to start in 2006.

The increase in the officer population is expected to bring additional students, though that number is now unknown, officials said. Having a second enrollment count later in the school year would help the schools get the funding they need in a timely manner, they said.

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