Federal Issues

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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KASB Delegate Assembly approves 2020 advocacy policies

From protecting students to retaining high quality educators, the policies and priorities of Kansas school boards were recently approved by the KASB Delegate Assembly.  The 10-page report will guide KASB advocacy efforts during the 2020 Kansas legislative session and on federal actions affecting education. Here is a link to the document.   The report supports increased efforts to attract and retain qualified educators, boost opportunities for students to succeed and ensure the health and safety of students. It includes language on several high-profile issues, such as educating immigrant students, fighting the vaping epidemic and reducing bullying.  On the issue of school finance,...

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KASB conference concludes with officers elected, legislative report approved

Delegates at the 102nd annual KASB Conference on Sunday elected officers and approved a legislative report that will guide KASB advocacy efforts for 2020.  The actions, along with inspiring words from Chad Foster, who overcame blindness as a young man, concluded the conference in which more than 500 education leaders from across Kansas, met, learned, shared and discussed major education issues facing Kansas during more than 40 breakout sessions, workshops, school visits and a vendor show.  In addition, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson; Tim Hodges, director of research at Gallup polling; KASB President Shannon Kimball, Lawrence USD 497, and KASB Executive...

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Federal flexibility for food service hires

As KASB staff traveled across Kansas for spring and summer meetings, they heard concerns that federal requirements for the education and experience level of school nutrition program directors were hampering school district efforts to hire food service staff.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees school nutrition programs, has amended its regulations to offer smaller school districts some hiring flexibility.   First, the USDA now requires relevant food service experience rather than school nutrition program experience for new school nutrition program directors in school districts with less than 2,500 students. USDA has also given state agencies (KSDE in Kansas) the option...

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NSBA: Federal advocacy and policy update

House and Senate Leaders Inching Toward Temporary Funding Deal This week, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced that congressional leaders plan to pass a second stopgap spending bill that would fund government operations through December 20. This step would provide Senate and House negotiators needed additional time to complete the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process, including finalizing the U.S. Department of Education’s budget. The current temporary funding law expires on November 21, so Congress must act next week to provide additional short-term funding to avoid a government shutdown. Even if Congress is able to extend temporary funding until...

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Magna Awards nomination period closes Oct. 31

The deadline for school districts to submit nominations for NSBA’s 2020 Magna Awards is quickly approaching. The nominations period closes Oct. 31. For more information on how to apply, go to Magna Awards Frequently Asked Questions. The 2020 awards program will focus on equity in education. It will recognize district programs that remove barriers to achievement for vulnerable or underserved children. A grand prize and five winners will be awarded in each enrollment category: under 5,000 enrollment; 5,000-20,000 enrollment; and over 20,000 enrollment. Three grand prize winners will showcase their winning programs at a special Master Class session during NSBA’s 2020 annual conference,...

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