Federal Issues

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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Get the latest information on education issues at the Advocacy in Action Conference set for Jan. 16-17 in Topeka

With school finance at the top of the 2019 legislative session, education advocates can get the latest information on K-12 issues, visit with legislators and hear from state leaders during the Advocacy in Action Conference in Topeka.  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. To register, go here.  On Wed. Jan. 16, the conference will include talks from state officials and bus transportation to the Statehouse for meetings with legislators. The conference will also include a watch party as incoming Gov. Laura Kelly [...]

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Federal commission releases report on school safety

The Federal Commission on School Safety released its report today. The Commission recommends increasing school safety through intergovernmental cooperation and funding of school safety training and building security measures and increased cooperation and funding to provide school-based mental health services. It recommends schools develop crisis training and media plans to respond to and address school shootings, advocates for emergency and crisis training for law enforcement and applauds efforts to funnel retired law enforcement officers and members of the military into education-related jobs.  Many of the issues and recommendations identified in the report were addressed on the state level by the [...]

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Shutdown would not affect federal education funding

Although a federal government shutdown appears increasingly likely, the U.S. Department of Education’s Fiscal Year 2019 funding will not be affected.  Congressional leaders and President Trump continue to battle over Trump’s desire to pay for a $5 billion proposal by the administration and the Department of Homeland Security to build a wall at the border with Mexico. If the government shuts down, it would impact the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing & Urban Development. Funding for other agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, was approved prior to the midterm elections.  School Safety   Last [...]

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USDA approves more flexibility in school meals standards

The United States Department of Agriculture on December 6 released a “final rule on school meal flexibilities” that gives local school food programs some new menu options. The new regulations, which take effect July 1, 2019, roll back some Obama-era standards enacted under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which sought to reduce the amount of fat and sodium in school meals and increase the amount of whole grains served. Students, parents and some school nutrition directors almost immediately raised concerns about the standards. They said students didn’t like the new menu options and threw much of the food in [...]

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National, state school finance experts slated for KASB’s School Finance Conference on Dec. 12

Top national and state school finance experts will be featured during KASB’s School Finance Conference on Wed. Dec. 12.  The conference -- occurring approximately one month before the start of the 2019 Kansas legislative session -- will be held at KASB headquarters, 1420 SW Arrowhead Rd. For more information and to register, go to this link.  KASB is also inviting all Kansas Legislators and State Board members to attend, and encourages local school leaders to invite their local lawmakers to participate.  Dr. Bruce Baker, a widely recognized scholar in education finance, will speak about school funding from a national perspective. Baker, a [...]

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KASB asks DHS to withdraw public charge proposal

KASB is urging the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that could cause thousands of Kansas schoolchildren to lose access to healthcare, nutrition and other programs, damaging their ability to learn.  The Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Proposed Rule is designed to discourage legally-authorized immigrants who are seeking Legal Permanent Resident (“green card”) status from applying for programs like Medicaid, CHIP (children’s health insurance), SNAP (formerly called “food stamps”) and some housing assistance programs. Doing so could cause them to be classified as a “Public Charge.”   “Public Charge” is a term used in immigration law to [...]

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SBR: Get the facts on federal issues, candidates

As the countdown to the Nov. 6 general election continues, incumbent lawmakers and candidates will be looking for opportunities to showcase their support of K-12 public schools in Kansas. KASB through the National School Boards Association (NSBA) recommends NSBA’s 2018 Summer Recess Guide as a good source of background material and talking points on federal legislation and policy, suggestions for in-district events to showcase your schools, sample questions for candidates, a grassroots engagement guide and other important Congressional information. Education advocates should use the Recess Guide throughout the Fall as midterm elections focus attention on federal support of Kansas K-12 [...]

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