Author - Scott Rothschild

Senate majority leader says some school districts may have to repay some transportation funding

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, says school districts may have to repay millions of dollars in transportation funding allocated by the Kansas State Department of Education. Denning sent a letter to State Board of Education Chairman Jim Porter seeking information related to a state audit that found KSDE instituted a transportation funding formula for the most densely populated school districts that wasn’t authorized by state law. The audit said KSDE provided $45 million more in transportation funding over the past five years. KSDE has said the formula had been approved by legislators and discussed with legislative committees. Bills...

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Colyer to be sworn-in today as governor

Jeff Colyer, who has served seven years as lieutenant governor under Gov. Sam Brownback, will be sworn in as governor of Kansas later today as Brownback assumes his new job as ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Colyer faces major policy and political deadlines almost right away. The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature to propose a fix to the school finance system by April 30 and Colyer is running in a crowded Republican Party primary field for governor in August. In addition, the Legislature has commissioned a study of the cost of providing a constitutionally adequate school funding...

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Hearing on private school special ed services; new bills on transportation aid, bullying policies

The House Education Committee has tentative scheduled a hearing on HB 2484, which would require school districts to provide a sign language interpreter, Braille materials, and assistive technology to students attending private schools in the private school setting.  Currently, the public school gets to decide where these services will be provided after consultation with the parent and with the private school officials. The bill would likely increase the cost of providing these services, but there is no provision to increase state aid to cover these costs.  Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, has introduced HB 2561, which would amend the Kansas school equity...

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KASB Live will review Week 4 of the 2018 legislative session on Friday

KASB Live on Friday will review the fourth week of the legislative session that was highlighted by the swearing-in of a new governor and Republican legislative leaders grumbling at the Kansas State Department of Education.  The broadcast and discussion will start at 12:30 p.m. Friday. To join the discussion, go to this link.   

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Vision for free college start in high school outlined

Kansas high school students would be able to earn up to 15 hours of college credit at no cost though a plan under development by the Kansas State Board of Education and Board of Regents, and endorsed in the Governor's budget proposal for school finance.  Commissioner of Education Randy Watson and Board Regents President Blake Flanders told a joint meeting of the Senate Education and House K-12 Education Budget Committees Tuesday that final details of a proposal should be approved by the two state boards and ready for Legislative consideration within several weeks.  The concept is to identify five core courses...

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Tallman Education Report: JAG-K program shows improving graduation rates both costs and pays

In a new blog, KASB Associate Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman, shows that a program called Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas has helped at-risk students and while it does cost more money it is a sound investment.   Spending $1,230 per year to help an at-risk student graduate high school results in $5,229 more in annual earnings and $235,000 over 45 years working – even more if the student continues education after high school. Targeted funding can help the state comply with a Kansas Supreme Court order on school finance while helping the future of Kansas.   The full blog can be found...

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Impact of Kansas welfare reforms on children discussed

Welfare restrictions enacted by Gov. Sam Brownback have had a “causal effect” on the increase in child abuse and placement of children in foster care, the author of a Kansas University study said Tuesday, but an official with the Kansas Department for Children and Families disagreed with the study’s conclusions.  The KU study and Brownback administration’s position were presented Tuesday to the House Children and Seniors Committee.  Starting in 2011, Brownback and his Republican allies in the Legislature enacted a series of changes to the major cash assistance program — called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — that reduced the...

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Bill would open activities to part-time, home schooled students

A bill allowing school districts to let part-time students participate in activities regulated by the Kansas State High School Activities Association is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday afternoon in the House Education Committee.  The hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in room 546-S of the State Capitol, but could be delayed because of the ceremony for Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer's swearing in as Governor at 3 p.m.  HB 2540 would allow - but not require – local school boards to adopt "a policy permitting any student who meets the requirements of this section to participate in any activities offered by such...

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Proposed Kansas Telemedicine Act to be considered

Telemedicine healthcare services would be held to the same standards as in-person healthcare contacts under a proposed bill before the Kansas Legislature.  KASB will join other education leaders in supporting an amendment that would also apply the bill to health services provided by school districts.  The House Health and Human Services Committee will consider HB 2512 — the Kansas Telemedicine Act — during a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 546-South in the Statehouse.  Under the measure, any licensed mental health care professional or physician delivering healthcare services via telemedicine must adhere to the same practice and conduct that is required...

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Advisory group makes open government recommendations

A state advisory group is developing a series of informational and training videos on open government.  The Open Government Training Advisory Group is working on putting together short informational videos about the Kansas open meetings and open records laws. These videos will be directed to various audiences, including governing bodies, such as school boards, public employees, and attorneys.  Eventually, the videos will be housed on the Kansas Attorney General website. The advisory group also wants open government resources housed on the Attorney General website, including Kansas Attorney General opinions, the Kansas Legislature’s Briefing Book, and an easy-to-print online copy of A...

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