Federal Issues

Call to action for stimulus bill to stabilize school funding

School board members and other education leaders should contact U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran to urge them to support a fourth federal stimulus bill to stabilize school funding.  Click here for a sample text and contact information. Advocates may call, email, or post on the Senators’ social media accounts.  Before the pandemic struck, education and other social services were beginning to recover from years of state revenue shortfalls and the state’s economic outlook was improving.   But as a result of the state and national shutdown in response to the coronavirus, economic experts project that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic...

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KASB Advocacy update, noon Friday

Kansas education leaders are invited to join the KASB Advocacy staff to review recent public school developments on the state and federal level. Kansas Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander will join us to discuss KSDE efforts to provide guidance on reopening schools. The meeting will be held online via Zoom at noon Friday (June 19). There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The advocacy session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media. To register for...

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KASB Legislative Roundup, Thur. June 4

The Legislature on Thursday finished work on the COVID-19 emergency bill and wrapped up the special legislative session.  The measure, HB 2016, includes a new wrinkle if Gov. Laura Kelly wants to close schools again because of the pandemic. Under the new bill, Kelly would have to first seek approval from the State Board of Education to shut down schools.  Approved 107-12 in the House and 26-12 in the Senate, Kelly said she would sign the bill into law, describing the legislation as a compromise.   In March, Kelly closed schools as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Some complained she acted prematurely or...

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KASB Legislative Roundup, Wed. June 3

On the first day of the special legislative session, the House approved the COVID-19 emergency response bill and the Senate Education Committee recommended legislation that includes most of the provisions that were contained in a bill vetoed earlier by Gov. Laura Kelly.  On the new education bill — SB 5 — KASB issued a statement in support of the measure.   The bill would:   — Provide free ACT and ACT WorkKeys assessments at no charge to anyone enrolled in private school. This would be in addition to current policy of providing the tests free to public school students.  — Allow school districts...

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KASB Advocacy on Friday will conduct review of special session and more

Kansas education leaders are invited Friday to a review by the KASB Advocacy staff of the special legislative session, election filings for the Aug. 4 primary and critical education issues that can be shared with candidates and voters. The meeting will be held online via Zoom at noon Friday (June 5). There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The advocacy session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media. To register for the meeting, go to...

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Federal COVID-19 response for schools

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org In late March Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that funnels $13.5 billion to states for elementary and secondary education. At least 90 percent of those funds must support local school district coronavirus-response activities, such as planning and coordinating long-term school closures; purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students; and additional activities authorized by federal elementary and secondary education laws. The law also includes a separate $25 million rural development line item that is pegged for distance learning. Kansas will receive $84 million of the CARES Act funding for K-12 schools. Kansas...

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Unprecedented end of 2020 session to be discussed at board leadership forum

KASB’s Mark Tallman and Leah Fliter on Wednesday will provide details to education leaders on what the 2020 Legislature did to close its business during a marathon 24-hour session last week. The discussion will be held as part of KASB’s “Lunch and Learns” series, via Zoom from noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday (May 27). The event is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. There is no registration fee, however, pre-registration is required to receive access to the online sessions. To register, go to this link. Once registered, participants will receive a registration confirmation email from pinpoint@kasb.org...

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Legislature passes bills on COVID response, education and tax policies on final day

Just short of 24 hours after it began, the final day of the 2020 Legislature passed a multi-part bill addressing the COVID pandemic that Democrats say could be vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly.  The Legislature also approved a bundle of several education bills, including a provision allowing districts to pay for student tuition in dual high school/college courses, and combined a number tax provisions.  Here are the provisions:  COVID response – HB 2054. Bill description. Conference Committee report.   The bill appropriates federal funding Kansas receives from COVID relief to the Legislative Coordinating Council, rather than the office of the Governor. It requires state...

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KASB Legislative Roundup, Wed. May 20

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a package of bills prompted by the COVID pandemic and the state’s response, sending to them to the full Senate tomorrow for an unusual one-day session to wrap up the 2020 Legislature.  The measures were amended into House bills, which means if passed by the Senate, the House can either agree to Senate positions without amendment or request a conference committee to negotiate changes. There are also several bills already in conference committee, which could be used to bring legislation to final action by the full House and Senate.  The specific wording of bills...

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KASB Legislative Roundup, Tuesday, May 19

Senate Judiciary plans action on COVID related bills  After two days of hearings, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to debate on Wednesday a series of proposals including COVID-related liability issues; the governor’s disaster emergency declarations, orders and authority; and greater legislative control over spending federal COVID-related funding.  According to committee chair Sen. Rick Wilborn, R-McPherson, bills will be drafted for the committee’s consideration when it meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. If approved, these bills could go the full Senate for debate when the Legislature returns for a one-day wrap-up session Thursday. The concepts include:  First, extending legal liability protection for...

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