Financing Schools

Federal COVID-19 funds will help early childhood care in Kansas

The recent allocation of federal COVID-19 funds by state leaders will help early childhood care in Kansas, officials said Wednesday. Allocations approved earlier this month by the State Finance Council included $9.9 million in early childhood investments. About $4.8 million will be used to fund seven Child Care Health Consultants — at least one for all public health regions in Kansas. These consultants will help child care facilities prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide COVID emergency kits to children. About $3 million of those funds will be available for an early childhood workforce health fund. This would cover early child care...

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KASB `Lunch & Learn’ board leadership session at noon today to focus on COVID-19 funds, “Kansas School Gating Criteria”

Two important issues for education leaders — the just-released Kansas School Gating Criteria and accessing COVID-19 funds — will be the subject of today’s (Wed. Aug. 12) Board Leadership “Lunch and Learn” forum. The session will be held at noon and 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 via Zoom. Here is a link to register. KASB guest Monica Murnan will provide important information to school leaders on accessing funds distributed by the state to counties for COVID-19 expenses. These...

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State medical groups offer guidance determining on-site, hybrid and remote learning

The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday accepted a new set of criteria local district officials can use to determine when schools should be open for onsite learning and other activities based on trends in COVID-19 cases.  The “Kansas School Gating Criteria” document was put together with input from the University of Kansas Pediatrics, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians, Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and education leaders who headed committees that produced KSDE’s Navigating Change guidelines.   The new medical guidance suggests that the learning model (onsite, hybrid or remote), student activities and access...

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State approval of $60 million for broadband expansion could help K-12 students

K-12 students could benefit from a decision Monday by state leaders to spend $60 million in federal COVID-19 funds to expand broadband service in Kansas. The decision by Gov. Laura Kelly and state legislative leaders meeting as the State Finance Council will allocate $50 million in coronavirus relief funds to private internet service providers to expand broadband to improve tele-health, education and businesses. In addition, $10 million will go toward helping low-income Kansans get high-speed internet. Last week before another panel, Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland said, “The need for connectivity has never been more pressing and urgent.” KASB sent...

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Schools need to talk with county officials about use of COVID funds

School district officials should be working with their local county officials to access federal COVID-19 funds to help pay for the additional costs to educate students caused by the pandemic. That’s the advice of Monica Murnan, Director of Student Support Services with the Greenbush education service center, which is assisting counties in dealing with the state Office of Recovery, which recommends allocation of those federal funds. Murnan spoke to about 50 Kansas education leaders during KASB’s Advocacy Update via zoom on Friday. Here is a link to a video of the event. Through the CARES Act federal stimulus package, states received...

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KASB Advocacy Update at noon today (Fri. Aug. 7) will focus on SPARK school funding, primary results

Please join us at noon today (Fri. Aug. 7) for a KASB Advocacy Update that will focus on access to federal COVID-related funding for schools and this week’s primary election results and what they may mean for K-12 education. 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 session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media. Here is a link to register. During the zoom session, KASB guest Monica Murnan will provide important information to school leaders...

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Primary election report: Conservative shift seen in GOP state House, Senate results

Unofficial election results indicate a conservative shift among state Senate and House Republicans, with a number of moderates losing races. In general, conservative Republicans in the Legislature have sought less state spending, which could include school funding; more support for funding non-public school programs, such as vouchers; more opposition to the policies of Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and more support for constitutional amendments that could limit the judiciary in school funding issues. State Senate  Seven Republican Senators were defeated, although one race is within about 50 votes.  Six were viewed as moderates; all elected four years ago and helped repeal the income...

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Officials urge Kansans to be counted in Census

Kansas officials are urging school leaders, counties and cities to help people get counted as soon as possible by the U.S. Census because a political battle is raging about when to stop the once-a-decade count.  An undercount in the Census will mean less federal funding for a wide range of services, which could lead to overcrowded classrooms, inadequate health care and many other service shortages. Here is a link to a toolkit to help educators make sure that all students and their families are counted.  Based on population, Kansas receives approximately $6 billion annually though many different federal programs, such as...

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COVID-related relief funds available for schools; broadband expansion

Federal dollars flowing to Kansas for COVID-19 relief could have a significant impact on K-12 funding but will require action by local education leaders.  Counties have already received $400 million in Round 1 of Kansas’ $1.25 billion in the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).   Counties may spend these funds on a variety of COVID-related expenditures, which may include expenditures by school districts. These allocations are determined at the county level and are at different stages in different counties, so school leaders should consult with their county officials to determine what resources may be still available for school costs.  Last week, the State Finance...

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KASB online sessions this week focus on school opening, Title IX and advocacy

KASB will be offering three online sessions this week to help education leaders. Wed. Aug. 5 Starting at noon, join us for our weekly “Lunch and Learn” meeting in which we cover timely information and developments to help you plan for the school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. No registration fee is required, however, pre-registration is required to received access to the online sessions via Zoom. Here is a link to register. Thur. Aug. 6 Starting at 9 a.m., KASB will conduct "Title IX Sexual Harassment Response" training. The session...

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