Kansas Legislature

What Gov. Kelly’s budget recommends for Kansas education

Gov. Laura Kelly’s budget released Thursday would fund base state aid per pupil and equalization programs as outlined in the Gannon school finance lawsuit settlement for K-12 education, but does not redirect savings in general state aid to boost special education aid as requested by the State Board of Education.  School finance changes  Under the law passed last year by the 2019 Legislature, base state aid per pupil will increase from $4,436 this school year to $4,569 in Fiscal Year 2021, $4,706 in 2022 and $4,846 in 2023. After that, the base is to be adjusted by the prior year change...

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At-risk funding in spotlight next week

Three legislative committees will take turns reviewing at-risk student funding next week.  A Legislative Post Audit report on at-risk funding raised questions about whether State Board of Education policies and local expenditures are following state law. Districts receive over $400 million annually in at-risk state aid. About $50 million of that aid which goes to districts with higher percentages of low-income students will expire after this year unless the Legislature removes a “sunset” provision.  The House Education receives a briefing on the audit at 1:30 p.m Tuesday. The House K-12 Education Budget Committee will hear from the auditors and Kansas State...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Jan. 15

Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday described restoring school funding and winning Kansas Supreme Court approval last year to the bi-partisan school finance plan as the top accomplishments of her tenure as governor. In delivering her second State of the State address, Kelly also pushed for Medicaid expansion, a new transportation plan, property tax relief and a food sales tax refund. She vowed to veto any tax cut that "throws our state back into fiscal crisis, or debt, or sends us back to court for under-funding our schools." On Thursday, Kelly will unveil her proposed budget, which is expected to include fully...

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KASB, USA-Kansas Advocacy in Action conference gets under way

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab on Wednesday addressed the annual Advocacy in Action Conference, conducted by KASB and USA-Kansas. In his remarks, Schmidt focused on initiatives to address youth suicide and vaping. In 2018, the Tower Mental Health Foundation and Schmidt formed a task force to survey efforts under way in Kansas to reduce the incidence of youth suicide and provide recommendations on further steps that could be taken. Schmidt noted the number of young people in Kansas who have killed themselves has increased from eight in 2005 to 32 in 2017. On vaping, Schmidt said...

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KASB Live on Friday to review first week of session, governor’s budget plan

KASB Live will broadcast at 10:30 a.m. Friday to review the first week of the 2020 legislative session, Gov. Laura Kelly's budget proposal and more. Here is a link to the webinar. Please note that the schedule for the webinar may change due to the weather. Please follow KASB News Briefs and on social media for any developments. After the live presentation, the interactive broadcast will be archived and available as a video and podcast. Here is a link to the KASB Live Youtube channel and here is a link to KASB Live podcast. KASB has staff and resources that can...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Jan. 14

State education officials said Tuesday the Legislature must repeal a provision that would do away with the at-risk high-density weighting or Kansas will face more legal action on school finance. The funding stream — about $50 million annually that helps schools with the highest proportion of low-income students — will expire on July 1 unless the provision is removed. Officials have previously said the expiration date was put into the law by mistake but on Tuesday Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis said it was inserted by a legislator who is no longer serving. “That one proviso has got to go,” Dennis told...

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State Board of Education approves task force report aimed at reducing school bullying

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a task force report that calls for a wide range of strategies to address bullying in schools. Board member Jean Clifford, of Garden City, who served on the Blue Ribbon Bullying Task Force, said the recommendations “are going to go a long way to addressing the issue of bullying at schools.” The 35-member task force, co-chaired by Rick Ginsberg, dean of the University of Kansas School of Education, and James Regier, superintendent of Whitewater-Remington USD 206, held meetings statewide and received input from numerous interests, including students. The State Board approved the report 8-2...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. Jan. 13

Legislators arrived, they gaveled in and then most of them returned to their Statehouse offices to continue getting organized as the 2020 session started Monday. Committees already are ramping up, including Senate Education, which has scheduled two days of briefings on “Kansas schools by the numbers.” Mark Tallman, KASB associate executive director for advocacy, will be one of those speaking with the committee Tuesday. Here is a link to the committee’s agenda. Also on Tuesday, the State Board of Education will convene its monthly meeting. Here is a story that provides a look at the board's agenda. On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly...

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2020 Legislature starts; KASB provides coverage, analysis and advocacy

The 2020 legislative session starts today and KASB will provide updates throughout the session on social media, emailed news briefs and the KASB website.   In addition, as the Legislature gears up, KASB and USA-Kansas will conduct the annual Advocacy in Action conference in Topeka on Wednesday and Thursday. The conference will feature numerous sessions led by experts on the top education issues before the Legislature. For more information and to register go here.   On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly will deliver her State of the State address, which will be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on public television stations throughout Kansas. KASB and...

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Many issues affecting public education swirling around Statehouse

By Scott Rothschild  In some ways, Kansas is experiencing the ad astra (to the stars) portion of its state motto after years of the per aspera (through difficulties).   The Gannon school finance lawsuit is somewhat settled, state revenues are recovering from the shortfalls of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration and Kansas attitudes have shifted dramatically. More than 77 percent of Kansans feel Kansas is on the “right track” when just three years ago, only 30 percent felt that way, according to the Kansas Speaks Survey done by Fort Hays State University.  But education advocates cannot get complacent because education issues will continue to...

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