Author - Scott Rothschild

NSBA analysis of Trump’s education budget proposal shows impact on schools

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has released an initial analysis of President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for the Department of Education (DOE), which eliminates several programs important to Kansas schools and directs additional funding to “school choice” programs. The Trump education budget proposal cuts $10.6 billion from the DOE budget, including roughly $60 million in federal funds that go to Kansas schools. Eliminated in the proposal are Title II, the 21st Century Learning Center grants program and Impact Aid to school districts. Here is an overview of federal funds sent to Kansas. Kansas schools use Title II...

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Senate committee removes controversial amendments from school finance bill

The Senate Select Committee on Education Finance worked on and off throughout the day Tuesday on amendments to SB 251, removing a controversial proposal to raise school funding through a fee on utility bills and a proposal to stop state funding for out-of-state students. The committee is scheduled to meet again Wednesday at 9 a.m. to continue amending the bill before sending it to the full Senate. KASB will provide a complete report on SB 251 when the committee reports the bill. SB 251 as introduced is relatively close to the school finance formula developed over several months in the House...

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School finance debate may occur in House on Wednesday

A long-awaited debate on a school finance plan may occur Wednesday. Substitute for House Bill 2410 is the only bill on General Orders in the House, which gavels in at 9 a.m., although indications are that the school finance debate will be in the afternoon. The bill was advanced last week without recommendation by the House K-12 Education Budget Committee. As it came out of committee, the funding increase for schools had been drastically reduced from when the bill was initially introduced  — down from $750 million over five years to approximately $280 million over two years. Under the proposal before the full...

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Action Alert: Education advocates urged to contact Congress about proposed Medicaid cuts

KASB members and other educational leaders should contact their members of Congress to urge them to vote against cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to public schools. The cuts are found both in the federal Fiscal Year 2018 budget released today and a House of Representatives proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In early May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which puts at risk the roughly $4 billion in annual Medicaid reimbursements for in-school services such as speech, physical therapy and behavioral therapy. Kansas Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Roger...

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House passes working after retirement overhaul

The Kansas House voted 114-0 this morning to make major changes in the rules for going back to work after retirement in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The Senate will vote next, and passage sends the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback. The conference committee agreement on SB 21 removes the "earnings limit" that has applied to most retirees from the KPERS system if they return to work for the same or another KPERS employer. It also will require future retirees to wait 180 days before returning to work if under age 62. The current 60 day waiting period is...

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Back to work on school finance and taxes

The fourth week of the 2017 veto session begins today with one scheduled meeting - the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance at 1:30 p.m. - but behind-the-scenes efforts continue trying to resolve the interwoven issues of school funding, tax policy and the state budget. The House is not scheduled to debate its school finance bill, HB 2410, today, but there are methods to move it to general orders when leadership or the majority of members are willing to do so. An effort by House Democrats Friday to force debate failed on a near-party line vote. The Senate Select Committee on...

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Senate opens hearings on school finance; may raise money with utilities charge

The Senate Select Committee on Education Finance is scheduled to begin hearings today on the school finance bill that has not yet passed the House, as well as a proposal to raise $150 million annually for K-12 aid through a new fee on utility bills and other alternatives in a proposed Senate substitute bill. The committee is expected to continue hearings through Friday, and may extend hearings or begin to work the bill on Saturday. The House has not yet scheduled its floor debate on Sub HB 2410, which was reported without recommendation by the K-12 Education Budget Committee Monday. Yesterday,...

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KPERS working after retirement simplified

The Kansas Legislature has simplified KPERS working after retirement provisions and eliminated the earnings cap, making it easier for Kansas school leaders to hire qualified retirees for critical positions. Under an agreement reached in mid-May, as of January 1, 2018, the following provisions apply to any KPERS school retiree, regardless of retirement date: There is no earnings cap; For non-covered employees (those who work 630 hours or less in a calendar year) employers do not make a contribution to the KPERS fund; Employers will make the statutory contribution on a covered employee’s first $25,000 in earnings in a calendar year...

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KASB webinar on Tuesday on school finance bill advanced to full House

KASB will conduct a webinar at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on the scaled-down school finance increase advanced by the House K-12 Education Budget Committee.  The measure, HB 2410, was reduced from a $750 million, five-year plan to a $285 million, two-year plan. It will be considered by the full House later this week.  To join the webinar please go to https://kasb.adobeconnect.com/e3kqhmifkpzs/event/login.html. If you have participated before, look for the blue text stating “If you have registered with us before, please click here.” You will be taken to a new page. For those who cannot participate in the live webinar, it will be...

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