KASB Countdown to Conference: 1990s highlighted by new school finance formula

In the run up to the 100th annual KASB Conference, Friday-Sunday in Wichita, KASB will overview highlights of education history.

The 1990s started with President George H.W. Bush announcing his education goals that he said he hoped would be accomplished by 2000. Those goals were: all children will start school ready to learn; at least 90 percent of students will graduate high school; students will demonstrate competency in English, math, science, history and geography; U.S. students will be first in science and math; all adults will be literate and possess the skills necessary to compete in the global economy and every school will be free of drugs and violence.

At KASB, longtime employee Mark Tallman came on board in July 1990. Tallman, who is currently associate executive director for advocacy and communications, was hired as KASB’s first full-time governmental relations staff person to assist with the association’s legislative interests.

In 1992, the new Kansas school finance formula was approved by the Legislature and KASB aided in the development of Quality Performance Accreditation system.

Also in 1992, KASB relocated to 1420 SW Arrowhead Road where it bought the building for approximately $5 million, which was nearly $3 million less than it would’ve cost to build a new facility. Ironically, legislative inaction on school funding caused KASB to delay a final decision on building a new facility, which led to the purchase of the already existing building.

In 1993, several scenes from the move called “I Can Make You Love Me: The Stalking of Laura Black” were filmed in the KASB building. The fake blood from one of the scenes can still be seen in the office.

In 1994, KASB staff made a commitment to visit every school district within two years and by June 1996 that mission was accomplished. KASB staff met with board members and superintendents in an effort to better communicate with our members.

In 1995, KASB proposed an increase in the base budget per pupil from $3,600 to $4,500. Also in 1995, another longtime KASB employee, Donna Whiteman, was hired as an attorney. Whiteman had previously served as secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services (now the Kansas Department for Children and Families), been a state legislator, private attorney and teacher. Whiteman is now assistant executive director for legal services.

The 1999 Legislature mandated a study of school district organization to determine if public education could be more efficiently and effectively operated under a different configuration.

The 1990s ended with individual students from Salina and Dodge City and their districts filing a lawsuit on Dec. 14, 1999 that challenged the adequacy and equity of the state’s system of school finance. The lawsuit became know as the Montoy case.

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