Federal Issues

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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KASB meets with U.S. House District 3 candidates Yoder, Davids

KASB is scheduling meetings with Congressional incumbents and candidates this election season to share our members’ legislative positions. The first set of meetings took place in the 3rd U.S. House District, where four-term Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Republican, faces Democratic newcomer Sharice Davids. Meetings with the Congressional candidates and incumbents in Districts 1, 2 and 4 will be arranged soon. The election is Nov. 6.  A graduate of Leavenworth High School and Johnson County Community College, Davids earned a law degree at Cornell University and served as a White House Fellow in 2016-17. She is also a Native American. Davids [...]

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Senate, House versions of Farm Bill, child nutrition regulations headed to negotiations

Congressional negotiations to reauthorize the federal Farm Bill may include language giving local school boards some say in child nutrition regulations, which have been controversial in the past. “Farm Bills” are enacted roughly every five years to update the nation’s federal farm programs and nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch Program, National School Breakfast Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). The U.S. House’s farm bill, passed in July, has a child nutrition standards amendment but the U.S. Senate bill, also passed in July, does not. Differences between the two bills will [...]

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CTE bill sent to Trump for consideration

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the reauthorization of the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, clearing the legislation for President Trump’s signature. Highlights of the final bill include: Reauthorizes Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs through Fiscal Year 2024; Proposes alignment with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for greater state and local flexibility to establish "high quality" programs and standards that are to correspond with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act for coordinated programming and reporting; Requires disaggregated data reporting for student subgroups to help inform [...]

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CTE reauthorization passes U.S. Senate

The United States Senate on Monday evening passed its Carl Perkins Act reauthorization legislation, clearing the way for along-sought bipartisan update of the program.  The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act funnels $1.1 billion in grants to states to assist with programs in K-12 and higher education. It was last reauthorized in 2006. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” in 2017. The Senate passed an amended version of that bill last night; the House may vote on the amended Senate version on or before Thursday. [...]

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NSBA cyber security webinar is July 18

The National School Boards Association and Board Docs will hold a cyber security briefing for school board leaders and superintendents on Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. The briefing and webinar are part of NSBA’s new Cyber Secure Schools initiative. While technology has enhanced record keeping, communication, and teaching, a cyber-attack on a vulnerable IT system can cripple public school operations and result in the theft of student, parent and other sensitive information. Given the technical nature of cyber security there may be a tendency to delegate this exclusively to staff; and while staff can address technical implementation [...]

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NSBA announces cyber-secure schools initiative

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has announced a new cyber-secure schools initiative to help local school boards respond to cyber-attacks. While technology has enhanced record keeping, communication, and teaching, a cyber-attack on a vulnerable IT system can cripple public school operations and result in the theft of student, parent and other sensitive information. Given the technical nature of cyber security there may be a tendency to delegate this exclusively to staff; and while staff can address technical implementation and maintenance, there are practices and decisions necessary at the board level as well. Cyber Secure Schools will offer clear, non-technical, executive-level [...]

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Trump administration proposes consolidating departments of education and labor

The Trump Administration is proposing to consolidate the federal Education and Labor departments to “address the educational and skill needs of American students and workers in a coordinated way” and reduce duplication of efforts. Government overhaul proposals have traditionally been met with stiff Congressional opposition; the Trump proposal is considered unlikely to buck that trend.  The proposal, released last week, would combine the agencies into a single Department of Education and the Workforce (DEW). Four sub agencies would address K-12 education, higher education and the workforce, enforcement, and research/evaluation/administration. The Administration says the two departments have some common goals for [...]

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SBR President’s Perspective: KASB is the ‘truth machine’

by Dayna Miller KASB President Basehor-Linwood USD 458 A lot has been going on in Kansas education over the past couple of years at the state level. After the tax cuts of 2012, state revenue repeatedly failed to meet expectations, causing extreme strains on the budget, including for our schools. By 2016, voters had enough and elected a more school-friendly Legislature which repealed most of the tax cuts and increased K-12 funding. CLICK HERE to download the full issue. Now, many of those legislators who took courageous votes on taxes are seeking re-election. They will face an onslaught of criticism from deep-pocket special interests whose [...]

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Budget cuts, Education Savings Accounts and net neutrality in D.C.

Kansas education leaders have been focused on the final days of the state’s 2018 legislative session; meanwhile, Congressional issues include budget cuts, net neutrality and Education Savings Accounts. President Donald Trump on May 7 announced $15 billion in cuts to previously-approved federal spending. The proposed cuts, which total less than 0.4 percent of government spending for the 2018 fiscal year but are designed to appeal to conservative budget-hawks, don’t touch the federal Department of Education. The Administration does, however, propose to cut $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The program covers 9 million children in the U.S.; [...]

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