Federal Issues

April issue of School Board Review focuses on upcoming school board elections, safety drill

This year is an election year for school board members and the April issue of School Board Review includes a four-page, pull-out section dedicated to people who want to run for their local board. The section includes information on what school board members do, why the positions are so important for the success of Kansas students and how to file to run for office. Also in the April issue is a special report on a recent crisis drill conducted by Auburn-Washburn USD 437. We hope the story, which illustrates the collaboration between school and emergency responders, helps districts that are contemplating [...]

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Roberts to co-sponsor measure fully funding IDEA

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is a co-sponsor of a federal bill to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) over 10 years. Bipartisan bills are scheduled to be introduced today in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.  Roberts, R-Kansas, who announced he will retire from the Senate when his current term ends in 2020, remarked recently that he would like to see IDEA fully funded before he leaves office.  The IDEA governs special education services nationwide and in Kansas by seeking to ensure that disabled students have the same educational opportunities as their non-disabled peers. The [...]

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Equity must be embedded in schools

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org Kansas school board members joined 500 leaders from across the nation at the fourth annual NSBA Equity Symposium on January 26 in Washington, DC. President-Elect Shannon Kimball (USD 497 Lawrence), was a first-time attendee. Past President/Legislative Committee Chair Dayna Miller (Basehor-Linwood USD 458), former President Rod Stewart (Washington County USD 108) and NSBA Western Region Vice President Frank Henderson (Seaman USD 345) have each attended three of the annual symposia. “The face of our schools is changing,” NSBA CEO Tom Gentzel said in his opening remarks. “There’s much work to be done, but the one thing we can [...]

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NSBA opposes Trump administration proposal

A move by the Trump administration to provide federal tax credits to send students to private schools was criticized Thursday by the National School Boards Association.  In a news release, NSBA said the proposal would divert investment away from public schools, fails to recognize the many choices provided students in the public school system and would help fund private schools that aren’t required to have the same guaranteed rights for students and parents as public schools.   “School board officials support choice and employ a lot of creative ways to provide it, but sending tax dollars to schools that lack local [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. Feb. 25

Republicans on Monday remained on a collision course with Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, over tax cuts, which could affect school funding. On the last day of committee action before the unofficial midway point of the 2019 legislative session, the House Taxation Committee approved an amended SB 22. The measure now goes to the full House. As approved by the Senate, the bill would reduce tax revenue by nearly $190 million in the next fiscal year with three quarters of that tax cut going to corporations and the remainder to some Kansans who itemize on their tax returns. The House tax [...]

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Lots of legislative action slated for this week

Many bills may be voted on in committees today as the Turnaround deadline approaches for the 2019 legislative session.  It is important for education advocates to stay up to date on bills in committee and any education bill on the floor of the House and Senate since they could be amended. KASB will provide updates on social media throughout the week.  The flurry of activity is because of the Legislature’s Thursday Turnaround, which is the deadline when all bills from non-exempt committees must be forwarded by their chamber of origin to survive.   Today is the final day for committee meetings and [...]

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KASB’s Daily Education Roundup for Tue. Feb. 5

Tuesday was a busy day for public schools and education-related issues both in Topeka and Manhattan. Legislators worked on the state pension system, K-12 and child welfare while the KASB and USA-Kansas first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit wrapped up with inspiring sessions in Manhattan. KASB President-Elect Shannon Kimball, who serves on the USD 497 Lawrence board of education, kicked off the morning at the Leadership Summit by recounting her journey from Kansas farm girl to young attorney to stay-at-home mom to school board member and local politician. Liberal USD 480 Superintendent Renae Hickert gave a session on managing conflict and its aftermath and [...]

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Kansas education leaders to attend NSBA conference that includes focus on IDEA

A contingent of Kansas education leaders will confer with national education leaders next week during NSBA’s Advocacy Institute, which will also feature a keynote address by U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.   The event, running Sunday through Tuesday in Washington D.C., will kick off NSBA’s signature advocacy effort — reauthorization and modernization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Action (IDEA).   The law, enacted in 1975, is the main federal legislation providing funding for special education. Last reauthorized in 2004, the law promised Congress would pay for 40 percent of the excess cost to educate students with disabilities, but appropriations have consistently fallen [...]

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Get the latest K-12 information at Advocacy in Action Conference

Discussions on school funding, student trauma, building safety and numerous other state and federal education issues will be highlighted during the Advocacy in Action Conference next week. The conference, a joint effort of KASB and United School Administrators of Kansas, will be held Wednesday and Thursday Jan. 16-17 at the Maner Conference Center in Topeka. To register, go here.    Along with expert presentations, the annual conference also gives education leaders from across Kansas the chance to visit with legislators in the Statehouse as the 2019 legislative session gets under way. Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers, a longtime school advocate and former Wichita [...]

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