Federal Issues

President signs $2 trillion stimulus. Here is what it will do for education.

President Trump has signed into law an historic, $2 trillion economic stimulus package intended to address the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law contains several billion dollars in education funding to assist state governments and local K-12 public schools respond to students’ needs.   The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act legislation contains $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund to assist states, school districts, and higher education institutions for costs related to the coronavirus pandemic. K-12 public schools will receive $13.5 billion.  The CARES Act follows previous Congressional action on two previous COVID-19-related bills. One provided...

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COVID and Kansas public education

KASB has prepared a summary of what has transpired during this unprecedented disruption of public education and this historic response by educators, policymakers and everyday citizens across Kansas. We hope this handy guide to documents and policies will help as we go forward and continue teaching the next generation of Kansans. School closure for health and safety  Commission of Education Randy Watson “strongly recommends” public schools close for two weeks. (March 16)  Statewide organizations representing school boards, teachers and administrators offer support and guidance for dealing with school closure. Joint statement by Education Organizations, March 16. (KASB COVID-Resources page)  Governor Laura Kelly orders...

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KASB President Kimball urges Congress to provide education stimulus funding

As Congress struggles to provide a legislative response to the COVID-19 virus, KASB President Shannon Kimball is urging federal lawmakers to remember K-12 public education in its emergency deliberations. Congress has failed twice in the past roughly 48 hours to come to an agreement on how to support the economy during the pandemic.  In her letter delivered Monday, Kimball joins education leaders from across the U.S. in urging Congress to enact a wide-ranging funding package that will help school districts and communities respond to the continuing crisis. Kimball reminds the Kansas congressional delegation -- Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran...

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Kansas NSBA attendees lobby against vouchers

The National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C. focused on reminding Congress of widespread national support for America’s public schools. The KASB delegation included more than a dozen school board members, superintendents and public school advocates. Entitled “Champion Our Children,” the Institute featured the release of a major national poll of 1,000 likely 2020 voters on attitudes toward public schools. The poll was commissioned by the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), which is presided over by former KASB President Frank Henderson, who also serves as a NSBA Western Region Director and is a long-time member of...

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March issue of School Board Review available now

The March issue of School Board Review is full of news about what is happening in education from Washington, D.C. to Topeka and throughout Kansas. Here is a link to the publication and a hard copy should be arriving for school board members and administrators in the mail soon. Federal K-12 issues are previewed with insights from NSBA Executive Director Thomas Gentzel and new polling information about the public’s view of public schools. Meanwhile, KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter provides coverage of KASB attendees recent trip to the NSBA Advocacy Institute in D.C. in which Kansas board members met with Kansas’ congressional...

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NSBA Weekly Policy Update: Trump’s budget proposal, hearings to start

Congressional Update   President Trump Submits Fiscal Year 2021 Education Budget Request to Congress  The White House released President Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget request this week, including his proposed budget for the Department of Education. The president asked Congress to cut the Department of Education’s total budget by 8.4% and urged legislators to combine 29 Elementary and Secondary Education Act programs – including Title I – into a single funding stream called the “Elementary and Secondary Education for the Disadvantaged Block Grant”.  Under the president’s proposal, the new block grant would receive $19.4 billion, which represents a $4.8 billion cut to...

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School leaders urged to help make the Census count

In one month, 2020 Census invitations will begin hitting mailboxes across our country and online response will open. Ensuring each Kansan counts holds significance for everyone in Kansas—but especially Kansas schools as the 2020 Census counts affect federal funding for a number of education programs, like school breakfast and lunch programs. These counts affect federal funding for the next 10 years for Kansas schools, communities, and our state. Let’s ensure that #EachKansanCounts. EARLY CHILDHOOD Ensuring that our youngest Kansans, those aged 0 to 5, are counted with their families is essential when it comes to federal early childhood program funding.  An...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Feb. 11

Two heavy days of hearings on education bills are on tap Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the House Education Committee held a hearing on HB 2573, which would require students pass an American civics exam in order to graduate. The student could take the test as many times as needed and as early as seventh-grade.  The exam would have 100 questions similar to the questions used for United States citizenship and immigration services.  KASB opposes the bill, saying curriculum should be established by the local board and that students already are required to take three history and government unites to...

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National poll finds strong support for public schools

Candidates for elected office who are looking for a winning issue need look no further than their local public school. A national poll released Monday shows that teachers, public schools, school boards and increased K-12 funding enjoy solid support. And those likely voters don’t think President Donald Trump and Congress are doing a good job when it comes to public schools, according to the poll commissioned by the National School Boards Action Center, which advocates for public schools. And a strong majority of 73 percent agreed with the statement: “we should not take away public funds from our public schools to...

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January School Board Review previews legislative session and more

The January edition of School Board Review offers a preview of top education issues for the 2020 legislative session and information on how education leaders can stay on top of developments under the Statehouse dome. The issue is now available online here and is in the mail to members. In addition to news about the session that starts Monday (Jan. 13), SBR covers the election of new KASB officers, an update from KASB President Shannon Kimball about the association’s work and thoughts from KASB Executive Director Dr. John Heim on mixing education and politics. The edition also provides more information on...

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