Financing Schools

School finance workshops focus on new funding

It’s school finance workshop season in Kansas, and state leaders are urging district budget officials to take advantage of the additional funding provided by the state legislature and approved by the Kansas Supreme Court.  Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis and School Finance Director Craig Neuenswander were in Salina on Wednesday to brief about 200 superintendents clerks and school business officers on the impact of the 2019 Legislature’s work and to walk them through the budget software released this week. School district budgets for Fiscal Year 2020 must be finalized by mid-August.  Dennis told the crowd that school boards are in a “unique and unusual position” as they prepare their Fiscal Year 2020...

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State Board limits budget request for 2020-21 school year

After what officials called the largest four-year increase in school funding in state history passed the Kansas Legislature and was approved by the Kansas Supreme Court this year, the State Board of Education decided not to ask for more money next year, with one exception and a note to the Legislature.  The board will request an additional $1.55 million in 2020-21 to fully fund transportation aid for high school students attending post-secondary technical education programs. Current funding of $650,000 covers only 30 percent of costs. The board will also add a statement to the Legislature that if additional funding is available for...

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State Board of Education to consider budget, school redesign plans

The State Board of Education on Tuesday is scheduled to discuss and approve budget recommendations for the next fiscal year. Last month, the Kansas Supreme Court approved the state’s school finance system but retained jurisdiction to ensure implementation of the plan. The board will consider a number of options that could increase the funding request for various segments of school funding, such as special education, Parents as Teachers, mentoring teachers, professional development and other programs. In other business, the board will — Recognize Dyane Smokorowski, a pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade technology and innovation lead teacher at Andover USD 385 and 2013 Kansas Teacher of...

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FCC proposal would force schools and hospitals to compete against each other for funds

KASB opposes a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to cap the E-Rate and Rural Health Care funds. Comments on the proposal are due July 15.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking invites comment on the FCC’s proposal to cap the overall Universal Service Fund (paid for through a surcharge on U.S. telephone bills) as well as the USF’s E-Rate and Rural Health Care subsidiary funds.   “The Commission believes capping the [Universal Service] Fund overall will strike the appropriate balance between ensuring adequate funding for the universal service programs while minimizing the financial burden on ratepayers and providing predictability for program participants,” the...

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Kansas and U.S. personal income growth slows in first quarter

Kansas personal income grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3 percent in the first quarter of 2019 (January to March), down from 4.6 percent in the last quarter of 2018. Nationally, personal income grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent, down from 4.1 percent the previous quarter.  This data was released in June the by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income is defined as the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of financial assets, and...

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New federal opportunity for mental health funding

The U.S. Department of Education is inviting school districts to seek funding through the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program to support innovative partnerships that will train school-based mental health services providers. Applications are due by August 5. According to the Department, the partnerships must include one or more high-need school districts or a state educational agency on behalf of one or more high-need districts; and one or more eligible institutions of higher education. Partnerships must provide opportunities to place graduate students in school-based mental health fields into schools to complete required field work, credit hours, internships, or related...

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KASB announces Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative

To develop a deeper understanding and network of education advocates in Kansas, KASB is excited to announce the Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative (AATI) for the 2019-2020 school year.  “With the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in support of the four-year school finance plan adopted by the Kansas Legislature, advocacy and support for education becomes more critical than ever,” said KASB governmental relations specialist Rob Gilligan. “The focus of our efforts will now be less on securing additional funding than on keeping the long-term financial commitments in place and ensuring that we communicate effectively the progress that continues to be made...

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KASB Live: Special Report on 2020 Census

School officials are being urged to get involved in the Census to ensure Kansas receives its fair share of federal dollars, including education funds, through an accurate count.   Wendi Stark, Census Outreach Manager for the League of Kansas Municipalities, and Rob Gilligan, KASB Government Relations Specialist, spoke recently about the upcoming Census on a special report of KASB Live. Here is a link to the video and here is a link to a PowerPoint presentation containing Census information. KASB has created a Census page on its website here and in the coming weeks, KASB will hold a series of regional...

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U.S. Department of Education announces new grant applications for school climate program

Kansas schools working on improving school climate, please take note: the U.S. Department of Education has invited applications for the School Climate Transformation Grant Program. School districts may seek funding for implementing a multi-tiered system of support for improving school climate. The department will prioritize support for certain communities that will benefit from implementation of this system, including rural communities, Tribal communities, and Local Education Agencies that are in Qualified Opportunity Zones. This discretionary grant program has a total of $40 million in estimated available funds, contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications. Applications are due by July...

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KASB Statement on Kansas Supreme Court’s Gannon decision

Today is an historic day in Kansas public school education history. Today’s decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold SB 16 will provide funding certainty for our public schools while also helping ensure the state’s multiyear commitment becomes reality. KASB applauds Gov. Laura Kelly, legislators, the State Board of Education and education advocates who have supported Kansas schools throughout this litigation and school districts that fought tirelessly for the level of K-12 commitment required by the Kansas Constitution. Kansas schools already are redesigning their operations to focus on early education, social-emotional growth, careers and civic engagement and Kansas academic standards are...

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