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4/29/2020 8:00 AM

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June 5th Advocacy Update

6/17/2020 9:00 AM

New Clerks and Superintendents, Too! (Hays)

6/18/2020 9:00 AM

New Clerks and Superintendents, Too! (Topeka)



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KASB Legislative Roundup, Tue. June 2

On the eve of a special legislative session, lawmakers on Tuesday began reviewing a draft COVID-19 response bill that apparently would require Gov. Laura Kelly to get the approval of the State Board of Education before closing schools again.  That proposal and others contained in the lengthy document received a frosty reception from some legislators as they prepared to return to Topeka. Last month, Republicans pushed through a measure restricting Kelly, a Democrat, in using emergency powers during the pandemic. Kelly vetoed the bill, which was crafted during a 24-hour marathon on the final day of the regular session, and...

State tax collections fare better than expected for May

State tax revenue exceeded projections for May but fell significantly below May 2019, another sign of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. In April, state budget experts downgraded revenue projections based on the shutdown of businesses and massive unemployment caused by the health crisis. The new revenue estimates show the state will fall $1.27 billion short of earlier projections over the current and next fiscal year, which starts July 1. But for May, tax collections exceeded those lowered estimates by 6.6 percent, or $29 million, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue. Still, May revenues fell 20 percent or $114 million...

KASB Advocacy on Friday will conduct review of special session and more

Kansas education leaders are invited Friday to a review by the KASB Advocacy staff of the special legislative session, election filings for the Aug. 4 primary and critical education issues that can be shared with candidates and voters. The meeting will be held online via Zoom at noon Friday (June 5). There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The advocacy session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media. To register for the meeting, go to...

Kelly vetoes Legislature’s last-day education bill

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday vetoed a package of education measures that included a provision that would have required an annual report card on educational outcome data for students who are in the foster care system. Kelly said she supported many parts of HB 2510, but vetoed it because it would have cost millions of dollars in new expenditures at a time when the state faces a drastic revenue shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic. “I cannot in good conscience sign a bill establishing a new discretionary spending program that is unrelated to Kansas COVID-19 response efforts when such severe financial...

The big question of the summer: Will schools re-open in August?

By Scott Rothschild   srothschild@kasb.org  Now that the school year is over, the question on the minds of students, parents, teachers and board members is — will schools re-open in August?  Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson says at this point, that’s the plan.  “We are cautiously optimistic we will be in school in August 2020,” Watson said recently.  After schools were shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kansas teachers won praise for quickly developing continuous learning programs through online instruction and sending lesson packets to students’ homes. But teachers across the state have also acknowledged that without daily contact in the classroom,...

School boards turn to Zoom for hiring

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Hiring a school superintendent is arguably the most important decision a local school board will make. The superintendent is the CEO of the district, implements the board’s policies and often serves as a leader in the community. Now imagine filling that position without the benefit of having in-person interactions with the candidates for the job. That’s what school boards have been experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic as boards and job candidates comply with social distancing and quarantine restrictions. “I would much prefer to shake their hand and look them in the eye and talk with them,” said Dan Patterson, president...

Federal COVID-19 response for schools

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org In late March Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that funnels $13.5 billion to states for elementary and secondary education. At least 90 percent of those funds must support local school district coronavirus-response activities, such as planning and coordinating long-term school closures; purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students; and additional activities authorized by federal elementary and secondary education laws. The law also includes a separate $25 million rural development line item that is pegged for distance learning. Kansas will receive $84 million of the CARES Act funding for K-12 schools. Kansas...

What the future holds for KASB workshops and meetings

By Carol Pitts  cpitts@kasb.org   Over the past three months, the coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to deal with “the new normal.”  As your member association, KASB is no exception.  When schools were shut down in March, KASB quickly pivoted to online sessions via zoom to provide training on everything from student data privacy to open meetings to special education. Our legal staff retooled our human resources academy into a blended learning opportunity entitled Human Resources Coaching and Consultation. This workshop is still available on demand for members who would like to access the six learning modules and two recorded Q and A sessions.    Hundreds...

KASB new annual surveys now open

by Ted Carter, tcarter@kasb.org Earlier this month, KASB made available a new method for submitting the annual survey data we ask our member districts to provide. Previously this information had been collected via an external website requiring a separate login access code. Now these surveys have been added to the KASB Member Portal so that anyone with Account Administrator rights can update the information for his or her district. However, the location isn’t the only thing that has changed. Here are some other features that members might be excited about: Number of surveys reduced from 10 to 6 Previously KASB asks districts to...

May issue of School Board Review focuses on end of school, plans for next school year

The May issue of School Board Review covers how the “new normal” was anything but normal this year as students, parents and educators dealt with the statewide school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the issue jumps into the conversation on what happens next. Will schools re-open in August, and if so, what will they be like? In her final column as president of KASB, Shannon Kimball calls on local school board members to listen to and follow sound public health advice when tackling the tough issue of planning for school in the fall. The May issue also includes important information...

Advocacy update today for local board members: End of session, Kelly veto, call for special session to be discussed

A lot has happened in Topeka recently and KASB’s Mark Tallman and Leah Fliter today will provide details to education leaders and what that might mean for public education in Kansas. The discussion will be held as part of KASB’s “Lunch and Learns” series, via Zoom from noon to 12:45 p.m. today (Wed. May 27). The event is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. There is no registration fee, however, pre-registration is required to receive access to the online sessions. To register, go to this link. Once registered, participants will receive a registration confirmation email from...

KASB President’s Perspective: Let grace, compassion, patience lead the way

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 The 2019-2020 school year has ended—whew! The last nine weeks of the school year seemed to last for an entire calendar year all by itself. We have navigated such extraordinary change and anxiety in such a short period of time, not to mention the loss of beloved experiences and traditions for our staff and students. I especially missed honoring our graduating classes this year; my district plans a graduation celebration at each of our high schools in mid-July, conditions permitting, but it will look very different than such past ceremonies. The burning question on my mind,...