Financing Schools

Tax reform council begins work with sobering budget projections

Gov. Laura Kelly’s Tax Reform Council convened its first meeting Tuesday with deep background briefings on state sales and income tax policies, budget projections, and economic updates. One highlight: current budget trends and modest forecasts in state revenue growth show a $482.5 million state general fund deficit in FY 2022-23, a shortfall of 5.8 percent.  The council will continue meeting Wednesday, and October, November and December before submitting an interim report to the 2020 Kansas Legislature. It is expected to pick up work next summer to prepare a final report to the 2021 Legislature. That work will take place during...

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U.S. House, Senate differ on education spending plans

As party leaders try to pass a temporary U.S. government funding measure, Congress continues to work on several long-term spending bills, including the legislation that will eventually authorize funding for the U.S. Department of Education for federal Fiscal Year 2020, which begins October 1.   The U.S. House and Senate differ on their approaches to education funding, with the Democratic-controlled House offering $75 billion for discretionary spending in FY 2020, a $3 billion increase over FY 2019. That bill passed the House in June. The Republican-controlled Senate’s plan offers $71.4 billion in discretionary spending. Differences between the two chambers and their...

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Fall Regional Roundtables, legal training workshops this week

In regional roundtable discussions and legal workshops, KASB staff will be on the road this week meeting with education leaders across Kansas to work on issues that will promote student success.  The Fall Regional Roundtable meetings will be held in Stafford on Tuesday; Garden City and Topeka, Wednesday; Colby and Olathe, Thursday; McPherson and Greenbush, Tue. Oct. 1 and Beloit and Haysville, Wed. Oct. 2. Meetings are from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to this link.   Meanwhile, the KASB Legal/Policy Services staff will be providing training on student rights and civil rights issues.   The events, which run from...

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State education officials agree to push for free college credit in high school

Kansas public school and higher education leaders Thursday said they would ask the Legislature to approve funding that would allow students to take freshman English at no cost while still in high school and earn three hours of college credit.  The proposal would cost the state approximately $5 million and would be considered the first step toward the goal of offering students 15 hours of free college credit while in high school, officials said.  “This would be huge for our state if we could make this happen,” said Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Shane Bangerter.  The issue was discussed during a joint...

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The Census is important for Kansas schools

By Rob Gilligan  rgilligan@kasb.org  Every 10 years, the federal government through the efforts of the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to accurately count everyone living in the United States. This massive undertaking has taken place every decade since the first count held in 1790 and led by Thomas Jefferson. The information collected through the decennial census provides a wealth of knowledge and information, much of which is used by KASB in developing reports and information for our members.  While there are certainly countless applications of Census data in both academic and commercial research, there are four key functions of the Census that affect...

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Gov. Kelly appoints KASB President Kimball to Council on Tax Reform

KASB President Shannon Kimball, a member of the Lawrence USD 497 school board, has been named by Gov. Laura Kelly to the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform. “Gov. Kelly has identified supporting public investment in education as an important consideration in creating a stable and fair tax policy for Kansas. I am excited and honored to contribute my years of experience as a school board member and education policy advocate to this important discussion,” Kimball said. The council will conduct an 18-month, in-depth study and make recommendations to the Legislature on establishing a responsible, fair and sustainable tax structure, Kelly said. “While...

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KASB Regional Roundtable meetings will seek input from local school boards

School board members will have the opportunity at upcoming Fall Regional Roundtable meetings to share information with their peers while also providing valuable input that will guide KASB’s agenda in the 2020 legislative session.  The Fall meetings will be held in Stafford and Hiawatha on Sept. 24; Garden City and Topeka, Sept. 25; Colby and Olathe, Sept. 26; McPherson and Greenbush, Oct. 1 and Beloit and Haysville, Oct. 2. For more information, go to this link.    The meetings are structured in a way to encourage more interaction among board members while providing local advocates the opportunity to discuss issues with KASB...

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September issue of School Board Review is out; focus on vaping

The September issue of the KASB School Board Review focuses on the alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes by young Kansans and includes articles covering numerous other education issues. The issue, available here online and in the mail to school leaders, also includes columns by KASB President Shannon Kimball and Executive Director John Heim. In addition, Mark Tallman, KASB’s associate executive director of advocacy and communications, provides further analysis of the achievement gap in the second installment of a three-part series. SBR also includes coverage of KASB’s Board of Directors, Legislative Committee and Workers Compensation Committee; KASB Annual Survey data;...

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Wealth of public school data in new KASB Annual Surveys

The KASB Surveys 2018-19 Annual Report, which covers a wide range of data gathered from public school districts, is now available.  Here are links to a new summary report and a KASB Live video on the surveys with KASB Chief Data Officer Ted Carter.  The survey results are available to school districts and other education advocates while district level data is available to KASB members under the member portal. For more information or to ask questions about the data, contact Carter at tcarter@kasb.org.  KASB is one of the only school board associations in the nation that conducts annual data collection from its members and...

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At KASB workshop, national school board advocate reports on funding, special education battles in D.C.

The head of NSBA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. said Thursday there is bipartisan support in Congress to phase in fully funding special education at the federal level but that education funding in general has been caught in some political tangles. Chip Slaven, the chief advocacy officer for the National School Boards Association, was in Kansas this week, speaking at KASB-held events in Topeka, Dodge City and Salina. A portion of each session was devoted to discussing efforts in Congress to modernize and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When first enacted in the 1970s, Congress promised to...

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