Kansas Legislature

March tax collections steady but future decreases expected because of COVID-19

March tax collections fell slightly lower than earlier projected, and Gov. Laura Kelly has warned that state revenues will likely decrease drastically in the coming months because of the shutdown of economic activity due to the coronavirus outbreak. Tax collections for March closed at $523.4 million, 1.6 percent or $8.6 million less than projected, and slightly more — 0.3 percent or $1.4 million — than March 2019. For the current fiscal year, which started July 1, revenue is running $165.6 million, or 3.2 percent ahead of projections, and $340.3 million, or 6.9 percent ahead of the last fiscal year. But while the...

Read more...

Governor signs budget bill that keeps in place school funding increases

Gov. Laura Kelly has signed into law a budget that keeps in place base state aid and special education aid increases approved last year and maintains most other programs at current levels before adjourning.  Senate Bill 66 generally adopted the governor’s budget proposal that adds $137.3 million, including $117.5 million from the State General Fund, for the state’s new estimates of expenditures for state aid to K-12 schools. Before adjourning the regular session early because of the COVID-19 outbreak, legislators approved the budget in the House, 99-16, and the Senate, 28-10.  The increase is primarily due to the Base Aid for...

Read more...

Key tasks for school boards right now

In two online video forums for school board leaders Thursday night and Friday morning, KASB executive, leadership services and legal staff presented information on critical tasks for local school boards as they confront the COVID pandemic. Approximately 400 school leaders attended. Participation was limited to board presidents, board vice-presidents, superintendents and board clerks to comply with open meetings requirements.  First, boards must determine how to conduct school board meetings that comply with both health directives like social distancing and the Kansas Open Meetings Act.  The Kansas Attorney General has proposed new regulations for conducting open meetings that have received temporary approval...

Read more...

COVID and Kansas public education

KASB has prepared a summary of what has transpired during this unprecedented disruption of public education and this historic response by educators, policymakers and everyday citizens across Kansas. We hope this handy guide to documents and policies will help as we go forward and continue teaching the next generation of Kansans. School closure for health and safety  Commission of Education Randy Watson “strongly recommends” public schools close for two weeks. (March 16)  Statewide organizations representing school boards, teachers and administrators offer support and guidance for dealing with school closure. Joint statement by Education Organizations, March 16. (KASB COVID-Resources page)  Governor Laura Kelly orders...

Read more...

COVID Response: KASB to conduct forums this week for school board presidents, vice presidents, clerks and superintendents

To address issues for school boards surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, KASB this week will hold forums for school leadership teams. The forums will be conducted free of charge via Zoom at 7 p.m. Thursday (March 26) and 9 a.m. Friday (March 27) and will focus on what school districts and boards must do to start continuous learning during building closures. The 90-minute meetings will include plenty of time to ask questions and share information. The forums will be limited to school board presidents, vice presidents, clerks and district superintendents. This will allow the meetings to be held within compliance of the...

Read more...

Legislature approves school funding, much business unfinished

The Kansas Legislature approved a budget that keeps in place base state aid and special education aid increases approved last year and maintains most other programs at current levels before adjourning.  The Legislature ended the regular session two weeks early. The House and Senate are expected to return for the wrap-up session on Monday, April 27, but that is subject to change in light of the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, a long list of bills passed by each chamber remains unfinished business.  Details of school funding in the budget  The budget bill, SB 66, generally adopted the Governor’s budget proposal that...

Read more...

KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. March 19

The Legislature approved a budget Thursday that will fund public schools at the Gannon-approved levels as lawmakers adjourned the regular session early because of the coronavirus crisis. Legislators are scheduled to return for the wrap-up session on April 27, but that schedule may change because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The budget also includes a $7.5 million increase in special education and the Legislature is expected to consider additional special education funding after the state saved funding from below estimated enrollment expenditures. The spending plan also leaves in place $5 million for school safety grants, funding for the school mental health program and...

Read more...

Local boards will be enlisted soon to review new learning programs during COVID-19 crisis

Local school boards will soon be called upon to make important decisions to ensure that Kansas students are receiving education despite district closings caused by the coronavirus outbreak. During a video, Angie Stallbaumer, assistant executive director for legal services for KASB, and Brian Jordan, deputy director of KASB, reviewed the just released "Continuous Learning Task Force Guidance," which provides a framework for schools to re-start delivery of instruction to students. The video can be accessed here. Stallbaumer and Jordan said districts may be able to start teaching students again as early as Monday, March 30. But boards will need to work with...

Read more...

Governor signs school term waiver bill, continuous learning plans required

Gov. Laura Kelly today signed a bill into law giving the State Board of Education more authority to waive minimum school term requirements, but state officials stress districts will continue to provide learning services to students.  The Governor issued an executive order Tuesday ordering all K-12 school buildings, public or private, to close and cease in-person instruction until May 29, 2020, unless they can operate under health directives, which currently limit facilities to 10 persons.  The order also directed the State Board and Department of Education to develop guidelines for continuing learning plans for students while schools are closed. Commissioner of...

Read more...

Schools closed but instruction to students to re-start soon

School buildings have been closed because of the coronavirus but there is a second start of the school year coming within weeks.  “Schools are closed in the traditional sense until the end of May, but that does not mean that students shouldn’t be accessing different forms of learning from now until the end of May,” said KASB Deputy Director Brian Jordan on Wednesday.  Jordan and Angie Stallbaumer, assistant executive director for legal services for KASB, reviewed the timeline for Kansas schools to re-start delivery of instruction to students, in addition to the numerous issues that local boards must address to accomplish...

Read more...