Kansas Legislature

Leadership for Tomorrow class learns powerful lessons in southeast Kansas

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow program visited Coffeyville and Neodesha in May for powerful lessons about school redesign, community partnerships, and change theory. More than 200 school board members, superintendents and administrators have participated in LFT over the past 13 years. Visits to local schools, classroom observations and presentations provide a foundation for class discussion and analysis of issues and opportunities in Kansas education. Class members explore change theories and strategies, gain training in leadership skills and expand their understanding of education key issues for effective governance and raising student achievement. `Empathy education’ in Coffeyville Coffeyville USD 445 is one...

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State officials gathering information to form early childhood strategic plan

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org When it comes to providing early childhood education and health care, the earlier the better. That’s why Kansas officials are holding public meetings to gather input on what early childhood services are available in communities across the state and how improvements can be made in the quality of and access to those services. The goal of the “community engagement sessions” is to put together a statewide plan that covers all facets of the early growing years — learning, health care, child care, family resources and many other areas. Once a plan is put together, it will be aired out...

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Gov. Kelly signs budget that includes increased school funding; line-item vetoes several education-related programs

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed into law the state budget, which includes a $90 million increase for K-12 to address the school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court, and made several education-related line-item vetoes. “There is a lot to celebrate in this state budget,” Kelly said. “We can accomplish so much good for the people of Kansas when reckless tax policy does not leave our state embroiled in a perpetual budget crisis. I appreciate the bipartisan work of lawmakers to pass a budget that takes meaningful strides to rebuild Kansas – including investments in public education, public safety,...

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New edition of KASB School Board Review is available

The new issue of School Board Review is available and features stories on the emphasis on early childhood services, a call for school board service as the candidate filing deadline nears, a wrap up of the legislative session and a look at what’s on the horizon for educators. The June issue is available here online and will be mailed out early next week. The edition also contains advice for school boards to reflect on what they did the past year to drive student success, a preview of the new task force that will recommend ways to address bullying, analyses of trends...

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Kansas Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying to meet May 28; public comment ground rules

The Kansas Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying will hold its first meeting later this month and is seeking public comment on ways to address bullying. The initial meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tue. May 28 in Clearwater at the South Central Kansas Education Service Center. The goals of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying are to study the problem, coordinate with stakeholders, review work in areas of social and emotional learning; review current statutes and practices and make recommendations to the State Board of Education. Members of the 37-member task force include educators, legislators, counselors,...

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Kansas Supreme Court: Arguments made; decision awaits

The state and plaintiff school districts Thursday argued before the Kansas Supreme Court over whether the state’s recent $90 million increase for K-12 funding was enough to settle the long running Gannon lawsuit. Toby Crouse, an attorney representing the state, said the increase complied with the inflation adjustment ordered last year by the court. Coupled with an earlier approved $522 million phase-in of increased funding, Crouse said the state was in substantial compliance with court decisions in the decade-long litigation and the case should be dismissed. Alan Rupe, the attorney representing school districts that sued the state, said the $90 million...

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Kansas school finance system back in court

KASB will provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of oral arguments Thursday in the Gannon school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court. Follow KASB on Twitter for developments during the arguments, which start at 9 a.m., and then Facebook for interviews after the event and later at 12:30 p.m. during KASB Live for analysis of the court proceedings from KASB’s Donna Whiteman, attorney and assistant executive director legal services, and Mark Tallman, associate executive director advocacy and communications. The dispute before the court centers on SB 16 — the legislative fix to add an inflation adjustment to school funding. The state argues SB 16...

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Education bills approved this session

While school finance dominated much of the first part of the 2019 legislative session, legislators turned their attention to other education issues as well.   Here is a list of bills approved and signed into law that will affect schools:   SB 9 - Authorizing the transfer of $115 million from the state general fund to the Kansas public employee's retirement fund during fiscal year 2019.     SB 16 - Amendments to the Kansas school equity and enhancement act and other statutes related to education (Gannon lawsuit response).     Increases BASE for school years 2019-23;     Changes schedule of school finance audits;     Requires KSDE to prepare state accountability reports and school district funding reports;    State...

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Legislature ends session with budget, including school funds, and tax cuts

Kansas legislators Sunday ended the 2019 session after approving a budget that includes school funding and a tax bill that would reduce revenue by approximately $240 million over three years. The next battle over K-12 finance will be Thursday when attorneys for the state and plaintiff districts square off before the Kansas Supreme Court over whether SB 16 satisfies the court’s order to provide an inflation adjustment to school funding. Approved earlier in the session, SB 16 adds $90 million more to the general state education aid of approximately $4 billion, which was contained in the final appropriations bill approved over...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. May 2

Key legislators put the finishing touches on a final state budget and another tax cut bill started moving through the Legislature on Thursday, the second day of the wrap up session. Major items in the budget for education include rolling over about $2 million in unexpended funds to expand the school mental health initiative and providing another $5 million for school security. Under the proposal, the increased funding for mental health services would require 25 percent matching funds from schools. The budget is in conference committee report for SB 25. Meanwhile, Republican leaders put together a new tax cutting plan that...

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