Author - Scott Rothschild

Kansas’ National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized by State Board of Education

Kansas’ 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized Tuesday by the State Board of Education.  The schools are: Eisenhower Elementary, Geary County USD 475; Sheridan Elementary, also in Geary County USD 475; Gardner Elementary, Gardner-Edgerton USD 231; Ruth Clark Elementary, Haysville USD 261 and Wineteer Elementary, Derby USD 260.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon program recognizes public and private schools where students achieve high academic standards — Exemplary High Performing — or closing the achievement gap — Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing. All five Kansas schools were in the Exemplary High Performing category.  The schools were honored in November during...

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State Board of Education to consider alternative pathways

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will consider a pilot program that would allow alternative pathways to becoming an elementary or special education teacher, including issuance of a Limited Apprentice license. The proposal has been recommended by the Teacher Vacancy and Supply Committee. Candidates would be issued a Limited Apprentice license as they meet the requirements of the program and would have to complete the approved program within two years. To be eligible they must have a college degree and be identified by the district as having great potential. Under the proposal, the statewide pilot would be reviewed after two years. Details...

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Education advocates attending Advocacy in Action conference should set up time to meet with legislators

Education advocates attending the Jan. 11-12 Advocacy in Action conference should make sure to set up some time to meet with their legislative representatives.  The KASB/USA conference will coincide with the opening week of the 2018 Legislative session and there will be a lot to discuss with legislators about school finance. Plus, after a couple of days of getting settled in for the session, legislators will appreciate seeing someone from home.   Here is a link to the legislative website which contains contact information for legislators. And please invite your legislators to the Jan. 11 legislative reception. As a general rule,...

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Advocate for schools like a pro by attending Advocacy in Action conference

With school finance at the top of the 2018 legislative session, school board members can help guide the future of Kansas public education by attending next week’s Advocacy in Action conference in Topeka.  The event, sponsored by KASB and USA/Kansas, will be held Thursday and Friday Jan. 11-12 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Maner Conference Center Ballrooms. Here is a link to register.   The conference will provide the latest details on K-12 funding, Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposals and his response to the Gannon school finance lawsuit and other proposals unveiled during the opening days of the legislative session.  After receiving...

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Brownback to deliver State of State address; respond to Gannon

Gov. Sam Brownback says he will respond next week in the State of the State address to the Oct. 2 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that the school finance system is inadequate.  In addition, Brownback has asked Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to meet with key advocacy groups to address the administration’s budget proposals. Brownback will deliver the State of the State address at 5 p.m. Tuesday and release the budget the following day.  Brownback has often been at odds with the Kansas Supreme Court and has in the past proposed ways to change the way justices are selected to the court. In...

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December tax receipts exceed projections

State taxes collected in December were a whopping 13.1 percent over projections, but state officials said Tuesday the receipts were “artificially inflated” by recent changes in federal tax law. Some Kansans made estimated tax payments before the end of the calendar year because the recently approved federal tax changes put a $10,000 cap on state and federal local tax deductions, according to Kansas Department of Revenue Secretary Stan Williams. “This is simply a shift in the timing of tax payments,” Williams said. “We truly will not know the effect of state and federal tax policy until after the filing deadline in...

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Experts hired for school finance study and review; why it matters

Legislative leaders on Friday voted to hire a professor from Texas A&M University to conduct a new study of the cost of providing constitutionally adequate school funding in Kansas. Also approved was hiring a second expert from the American Institute for Research to peer review that study and previous studies at the heart of the Gannon school finance case.  Dr. Lori L. Taylor will conduct the main study, which is to be completed by March 15. Dr. Jesse Levin will then "peer review" that work, as well as reviewing the 2002 Augenblick and Myers Kansas cost study, which was a...

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2017 Advocacy Review and 2018 Preview

It has been quite a year in Kansas political news, and next year promises more.  Following large gains by Republican moderates and Democrats in the 2016 election, a new set of Legislative leaders and a new majority ultimately repealed a large part of the 2012 Kansas income taxes over Gov. Sam Brownback's veto, passed a new school finance system similar to the model repealed by the block grant system, and increased K-12 operating funding by $300 million over two years in response to last spring's Kansas Supreme Court ruling in Gannon.  However, in October, the Supreme Court ruled the Legislature had...

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Happy Holidays from KASB

From all of us at KASB, we wish you peace and happiness over the holiday season. The KASB office will close on Dec. 22 and re-open Jan. 2. We look forward to serving you and advocating on behalf of public schools and students in 2018.  

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KPERS challenges continue to loom over state budget

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System continues to need major increases in state funding to meet its long-term obligations, and those needs will complicate the Legislature's response to the Gannon school funding case before the Kansas Supreme Court.  The court ruled in October that the Kansas Legislature did not demonstrate an increase of nearly $300 million in general state funding spread over two years would provide adequate funding to raise student achievement. Although the court did not tell the Legislature how much would be required, plaintiffs say it will require at least $600 million.  At the same time, KPERS Executive Director...

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