Author - Scott Rothschild

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Kelly vetoes GOP bill, calls special session, ends state’s phased-in reopening rules

Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday vetoed the Republican bill that decreased her authority in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, called a special legislative session and ceded to local health departments the job of implementing restrictions during the pandemic.  In a news conference, Kelly reiterated her criticisms of HB 2054, which was passed during a marathon 24-hour session last week. The measure, approved with only Republican votes, put legislators in charge of allocating federal coronavirus relief funds and limited the governor’s ability to proclaim disasters, close businesses and impose crowd limits.   Kelly described the legislation as “partisan, self-serving and shortsighted.” But House...

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Unprecedented end of 2020 session to be discussed at board leadership forum

KASB’s Mark Tallman and Leah Fliter on Wednesday will provide details to education leaders on what the 2020 Legislature did to close its business during a marathon 24-hour session last week. The discussion will be held as part of KASB’s “Lunch and Learns” series, via Zoom from noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday (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 pinpoint@kasb.org...

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