KASB Advocacy Blog - Mark Tallman

KASB Advocacy Blog - Mark Tallman

Question 5 for the 2021 Legislature: School district cash balances, how much and why

Between now and Jan. 11, legislators are preparing for what will undoubtedly be an historic session because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once in session, legislators will debate issues concerning how schools should be operating, budget problems and numerous other issues that will directly or indirectly affect public schools. Now is a crucial time for education leaders to develop or solidify relations with legislators, including those who are returning to office and the many new ones, so that our concerns, challenges and suggestions are considered. Here are the questions that legislators are likely to be asking, some statewide perspectives...

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Question 4 for the 2021 Legislature: School funding and the Gannon agreement

Between now and Jan. 11, legislators are preparing for what will undoubtedly be an historic session because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once in session, legislators will debate issues concerning how schools should be operating, budget problems and numerous other issues that will directly or indirectly affect public schools. Now is a crucial time for education leaders to develop or solidify relations with legislators, including those who are returning to office and the many new ones, so that our concerns, challenges and suggestions are considered. Here are the questions that legislators are likely to be asking, some statewide perspectives...

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Question 3 for the 2021 Legislature: Do fewer students and remote operations save money?

Between now and Jan. 11, legislators are preparing for what will undoubtedly be an historic session because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once in session, legislators will debate issues concerning how schools should be operating, budget problems and numerous other issues that will directly or indirectly affect public schools. Now is a crucial time for education leaders to develop or solidify relations with legislators, including those who are returning to office and the many new ones, so that our concerns, challenges and suggestions are considered. Here are the questions that legislators are likely to be asking, some statewide perspectives...

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Question 2 for the 2021 Legislature: COVID and school operations

Between now and Jan. 11, legislators are preparing for what will undoubtedly be an historic session because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once in session, legislators will debate issues concerning how schools should be operating, budget problems and numerous other issues that will directly or indirectly affect public schools. Now is a crucial time for education leaders to develop or solidify relations with legislators, including those who are returning to office and the many new ones, so that our concerns, challenges and suggestions are considered. Here are the questions that legislators are likely to be asking, some statewide perspectives...

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Five questions legislators will likely want answered for the 2021 session

Between now and Jan. 11, legislators are preparing for what will undoubtedly be an historic session because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.   Now is a crucial time for education leaders to develop or solidify relations with legislators, including those who are returning to office and the many new ones, so that our concerns, challenges and suggestions are considered.  This week (Nov. 16-20), KASB will present a series that features key questions and answers for educators and legislators to consider. Please join us at noon Friday (Nov.20) for an Advocacy Update to discuss the issues covered in this series and...

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What new reports show about school enrollments, funding and the state budget

Every November, state officials release a Consensus Revenue Estimate – the best guess about how much tax revenue will be available to spend in the State General Fund. The Governor and Legislature use that estimate to make budget adjustments in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and plan for the next year. The final budget is usually adopted after another CRE released in April. As part of the process, experts also prepare a consensus school finance estimate – basically, what it is expected to cost to fund the current school finance system with the latest enrollment numbers and...

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2020 general election results and Kansas education

At this time (Thursday, Nov. 5), the outcome of the 2020 election for President and control of the U.S. Senate have not been resolved. The results for Kansas government are clearer, although there are several close races that could change from the unofficial vote totals posted so far.  In Kansas, state officers such as the Governor are not elected during the same year as the presidential race, but all 40 State Senators and 125 Representatives are elected. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly will spend the next two years dealing with “supermajorities” of the opposite party that can override her vetoes (and pass constitutional amendments, which then must be approved by voters).  Kelly will also...

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Issues in the 2020 Election and Beyond

The 2020 election day is next week, but people have been voting for weeks and close contests may not be decided until weeks later. Here are some of the top issues that will be affected by the results of those elections.  How do candidates stand on these issues? Although Democrats and Republicans tend to vote like others in their party, there are many exceptions on individual issues. Beyond a party label, voters can learn more by looking at a candidate's background, past voting record if any, stated views – or if possible, just ask them.  Will Kansas continue to fund the school finance plan accepted by the Kansas Supreme Court in the Gannon case?  In a series of rulings over...

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What new research on COVID in schools may mean for onsite learning

School boards across Kansas have approved varying school reopening plans during the COVID-19 pandemic based on both local circumstances and state and national recommendations.  Now, new reports indicate that school reopening in the U.S. and internationally may not have caused the spike in COVID spread some feared, and school do not appear to be driving spread in Kansas.  However, cases have been increasing in Kansas and other states, and students, educators and families continue to be at-risk.  While circumstances can change and research is ongoing, this evidence suggests school districts have been effective in deciding when to open for in person learning and what steps should be taken to do so safety. Here are some things to think about as school communities respond.  What...

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School District Challenges in Responding to COVID and Beyond

                        Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Kansas last March, locally elected school boards have responded to unprecedented challenges, using volumes of data, state and national directives and input from families, staff and other constituents.   The following is a statewide summary of the major challenges schools have faced as a result of the COVID pandemic, how schools are responding, and some of the on-going issues that will have to be addressed.  KASB has prepared this report for education leaders, state policy makers and candidates for office, the news media and general public. Local school leaders are encouraged to share their specific experiences, responses, and issues with local elected officials and members of their community.  Last Spring’s School Closure  School districts faced a statewide order to close schools with little time to plan and had to immediately implement remote learning for all students. At...

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