Kansas Legislature

State Board of Education to consider school reopening guidance plan

A plan to help districts reopen school buildings will be presented to the State Board of Education on Tuesday. The board will act on the “Navigating Change 2020” guidance document on Wednesday. Districts have been working this spring and summer on reopening schools after switching to mostly online learning in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Navigating Change 2020” is meant to ensure districts reopen buildings safely while providing strong learning environments. More than 1,000 Kansans, including teachers, parents, students, health officials, school board members, and others worked on the set of recommendations. Education leaders have said that because of COVID-19, most...

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KASB Advocacy update at noon today to review numerous K-12 issues

The KASB Advocacy staff will conduct an online session at noon today (Fri. July 10) to review and discuss numerous public school issues facing state education leaders. To register for the meeting, go to this link. Kansas’ school reopening recommendations, Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to avoid K-12 cuts, the state fiscal picture, recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on religious school funding, upcoming primaries and more will be covered during the update. The meeting will be held online via Zoom. There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the...

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Kelly issues Executive Order on foster children and education

Governor Laura Kelly today issued an executive order directing the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Education to prepare an annual report on educational outcomes for children and families.  Here is a link to the executive order, and to the Governor's media release.  The information to be provided is similar to requirements in a bill passed by the 2020 Legislature but vetoed by the Governor. Governor Kelly said she vetoed the bill over concerns about the cost of another provision in the bill that would have a created a new state scholarship program for postsecondary education.  State and local data indicate that children in foster care have...

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Second Equity Series event draws 900 viewers

The Kansas Equity Series on race and equity sponsored by KASB, USA-Kansas and Topeka USD 501 continued Tuesday morning with a focus on how school boards, districts and their communities must intentionally commit to equity training and awareness. Almost 900 people viewed Tuesday’s conversation, which was live streamed on KASB’s Facebook page and is archived there. Participants included Wichita USD 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson, Caney Valley USD 436 Superintendent Blake Vargas; Kansas African American Affairs Commission Board Member and Topeka USD 501 Director of Certified Personnel and Equity Dr. Beryl New; Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 Board Member Jurdene Coleman; and...

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Numerous K-12 issues to be reviewed during KASB Advocacy update on Friday

The KASB Advocacy staff will conduct an online session at noon Friday (July 10) to review and discuss numerous public school issues facing state education leaders. Kansas’ school reopening recommendations, Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to avoid K-12 cuts, the state fiscal picture, recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on religious school funding, upcoming primaries and more will be covered during the update. The meeting will be held online via Zoom. 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 advocacy session is available to all who receive...

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KASB online Regional Meetings will review KSDE reopening guidance

KASB will hold a series of on-line meetings for school leaders planning reopening schools this fall, following release of the Kansas State Department of Education guidance.  The guidance and options will be presented to the State Board of Education for action next Wednesday, July 15.   On Friday, July 17, at 12 noon KASB will present a 90-minute on-line interactive Zoom meeting called “Roadmap to Reopening: Framework Overview” on the major issues school boards will face in planning for school this fall. The event will be repeated the following Wednesday, July 22, also at noon. There is no charge for these sessions, but members will have to register to attend the Zoom conference.  On...

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Kansas Equity Series on race continues Tuesday

The Kansas Equity Series on race and equity sponsored by KASB, USA-Kansas and Topeka USD 501 continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. Tuesday’s discussion will feature Wichita USD 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson; Caney Valley USD 436 Superintendent Blake Vargas; Kansas African American Affairs Commission Board Member and Topeka USD 501 Director of Certified Personnel and Equity Dr. Beryl New; and Emporia USD 253 Board of Education President Art Gutierrez. The dialog on race and equity will be facilitated by USA-Kansas Executive Director G.A. Buie and former KASB President and former Topeka Public Schools Board President Patrick Woods. You can register for...

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KASB releases video and podcast on Education Issues for the 2020 Election

KASB Associate Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman has prepared a video and podcast on K-12 education issues in preparation for the 2020 primary and general elections.   The presentations run about 15 minutes and are designed to help candidates and education advocates understand issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on schools, the necessity of boosting student achievement, addressing the deep differences in student needs, how schools must change to improve student success, and how we all share responsibility for student well being and accomplishment.   The video is available on KASB’s YouTube channel; you can listen to the podcast here.  The Kansas primary election is August 4 and the General Election is on November 3. Many...

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U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of religious schools

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of tuition tax credits to aid private, religious K-12 schools. The Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case is somewhat complex but does not appear to require a state to allow public funding of private religious schools if it does not already do so. The ruling also appears to protect Kansas’ existing tuition tax credit scholarship program for low income students, which primarily benefits private religious schools, and may prompt attempts to broaden the plan. KASB’s legislative policy adopted by its Delegate Assembly opposes the use of tuition tax credits, vouchers, or...

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Kelly’s budget plan spares schools for time being

Governor Laura Kelly released a plan  to address a projected $700 million state general fund budget deficit for fiscal year 2021, which began July 1, without cuts to the major components of the school finance system. (Follow this link to Governor’s press release and further details.) But to make the plan work, she will need help from the Kansas Legislature. Over 45 percent of the savings in the proposal require Legislative approval. The Governor can achieve the rest of the plan through her statutory “allotment” authority, which allows the Governor to make targeted spending cuts if the state general fund...

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