KASB Advocacy Blog - Mark Tallman

KASB Advocacy Blog - Mark Tallman

Governor Signs Innovative Districts Bill

On Monday, April 22, Governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2319, the Coalition of Innovative Districts Act, which will allow up to ten percent of the state’s school districts (currently 28) to opt out of most state laws and rules and regulations in exchange for setting higher student achievement goals. After the first two districts are approved by state officials, it creates a Board of Innovative Districts to approve additional districts, up to the maximum number allowed. Background and legislative history The bill has become very controversial within the public education community, as well as the Legislature. It was drafted at the request of Senate Education Committee Chair Steve...

Read more...

State Revenue Estimate Essentially Unchanged

New state revenue estimates released today were almost unchanged from November projections the Governor and Legislature have been using to develop the state budget.  State general fund revenues were projected to be $29.9 million higher in the current year that the estimate released in November.  SGF projections for next year were projected to be $10 million lower than the November estimate. The net upward change of $19.9 million is just 0.3% of nearly $6.2 billion in total state general fund revenues this year. Although revenue estimates are almost unchanged from November, state revenues are dropping significantly.  Total SGF revenues...

Read more...

Gun Bill Prompts Questions on Schools

GovernorBrownback signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2052 earlier this week. Thisbill makes a number of changes to the regulation of firearms under the KansasPersonal and Family Protection Act. A number of questions have been raisedregarding this bill’s impact on school districts. School leaders may have heardincomplete media accounts or from individuals affiliated with other publicbodies that are affected in different ways.  Here is asummary from KASB legal and advocacy staff on the key points in this bill: 1.     School districts are exempt from thenew security requirements for buildings. HB2052 restricts state agencies and municipalities from prohibiting carrying aconcealed handgun by a licensed...

Read more...

Governor Signs School Finance Changes

KASB will provide reports on major education bills signed by the Governor. Governor Sam Brownback signed SB 23 yesterday, April 16. The bill contains provisions from five different bills considered during the regular Legislative session that were bundled together by a conference committee. Continuation of the 20-Mill Levy The bill authorizes the 20 mill school district property tax levy for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, and continues the $20,000 residential property tax exemption to the end of tax year 2014. The statewide levy raises an estimated $575 million each year, which equals about 22% of total statewide...

Read more...

School Board Members: Re-election and Turnover

KASB has begun a series of training workshops for local school board members elected April 2, starting in Garden City yesterday, Oakley today and Beloit tomorrow. We will be in Kansas City Saturday, Greenbush next Tuesday, Clearwater Wednesday and Topeka Thursday, with two final Saturday sessions in Hays May 4 and Hutchinson June 22. New board members, experienced board members and district administrators can register to attend here. School district elections were a big issue this Legislative session, with a number of bills proposed that would change the date of elections. None passed, but the debate will...

Read more...

Regular Session Wrap-Up – April 7, 2013

The main part of the 2013 Legislative Session ended late Friday night with action on several education bills.  However, the critical issues of the state budget and revenues to finance it will have to wait until legislators return to the statehouse May 8 for the final wrap-up session.  Here is a summary of educational issues addressed this year.  Remember, bills that did not pass can still be considered during the final session, and all bills not sent to the Governor or actually killed will carry over to next year. School Finance: Formula One of the final bills passed by the House and Senate Friday night was a conference committee report...

Read more...

Education Conference Committees Reach Agreements

After a long day of meetings, House and Senate leaders have negotiated a series of agreements on education bills that will go to the House and Senate for up or down votes without amendment.  If either chamber rejects a proposal, a new conference committee can be appointed to continue negotiations.  On several bills, it will take a procedural vote called “agree to disagree” because at least one of the three Senators and three House members refuse to sign the report.  Subsequent committee reports take only four of the six members to sign an agreement. Each of these measures could be voted upon by the House and Senate Thursday...

Read more...

Tuesday action on education bills; today’s agenda

Gun Bill Appears to Exempt Schools The conference committee on HB 2052 reached a tentative agreement Tuesday night on language that would exempt school districts from new requirements for public building security, the position passed by the House of Representatives and supported by KASB. The agreement would include provisions passed by both the House and Senate allowing school boards to permit employees licensed for concealed carry of handguns to bring such weapons into schools, even if the building is posted to prohibit concealed carry by the general public.  KASB believes schools already have similar authority, and was neutral on this provision. Also Tuesday, the conference committee also agreed on language for...

Read more...

Conference Committees Open on Weapons, Education Bills

The first day of the last week of the regular session opens with a conference committee on weapons in public building, including schools, and setting the stage for conference negotiations on a long list of education bills. Guns in Schools The conference committee Federal and State Affairs bills (Senators Ostmeyer, Emler and Faust-Goudeau; Representatives Siegfreid, Brunk and Ruiz began discussing HB 2052 – Concealed carry in public buildings – this afternoon, but did not address the major difference regarding school districts.  The Senate version of the bill requires most public building to allow concealed carry of handguns unless the building has specific security measures, and DOES apply to school districts; however,...

Read more...