Kansas Legislature

Tax Reform Council leaders tell KASB workshop they are seeking budget stability

The leaders of the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform said Friday their recommendations will seek to help stabilize the state’s finances after years of upheaval that followed Gov. Sam Brownback’s drastic income tax cuts. Those tax cuts were overturned in part in 2017 after years of budget shortfalls, but problems remain in the state budget to fund education, social services public safety and roads. “We are still not out of the woods,” said Steve Morris, who is co-chair of the tax reform council and is a former state Senate president. Co-Chair Janis Lee, also a former state senator, said she would...

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Governor’s Tax Council to consider food sales rebate and property tax relief

Following public testimony, the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform seems likely to propose several targeted tax changes for the upcoming Legislature session, while preparing for a more comprehensive strategy for its final report next year.  Co-chair Steve Morris, former Kansas Senate President from Hugoton, recommended Thursday the council focus on two issues at its next meeting in December: a food sales tax rebate and funding a program to lower property taxes statewide.  The 2020 Legislature is expected to also consider proposals to reduce income taxes for Kansans who had increases due to changes in the federal tax code, look at taxation...

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Gov. Kelly starts budget listening tour on Tuesday in Garden City

Gov. Laura Kelly will start a “Kansan to Kansan Budget Listening Session” tour on Tuesday in Garden City. Public school advocates are urged to attend. Those wanting to speak to the governor about their priorities for the state budget can can RSVP using the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2164115610558665/ The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Garden City Community College in the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex Gymnasium, 801 Campus Drive. Doors open at 5 p.m. Kelly will be visiting communities across Kansas this fall as part of her listening tour to hear from Kansans about what they...

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Student photo contest set with theme of `Going to School in Kansas’

The Kansas Historical Society is conducting a student photo contest with the theme “Going to School in Kansas.” Kansas students, from first-grade through high school, are invited to submit photos by 5 p.m. Dec. 20. Winners will be announced as part of Kansas Day celebrations at the Statehouse on Jan. 29. First place in each grade will receive iPads and second place in each grade will receive Kindles. For more information, go here.

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KASB Live: Watson, Busch talk about Kansas test scores, other measurements

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson and State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathy Busch explained how Kansas analyzes multiple data points to determine how students are doing. The KASB Live interview with Mark Tallman, associate executive director advocacy and communications, can be seen here. “We are trying to look at the multiple pieces of data,” to determine if students are prepared to succeed after high school,” said Watson. “Test scores are important … but what you really have to do is look at multiple data points,” Busch said. Education officials are considering state assessments, ACT, SAT, Advanced Placement scores and the number of students...

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KASB to testify to tax reform panel; co-chairs will discuss panel’s work at KASB event on Friday

Gov. Laura Kelly’s Council on Tax Reform on Thursday will receive testimony from KASB and others and the council’s co-chairs will discuss the panel’s work Friday morning at KASB’s School Finance and Budgeting Seminar.  For information about the KASB event, including agenda and registration, click here.  The tax council was established to study both short- and long-term issues in the Kansas tax system. The Governor appointed as co-chairs former Republican Senate President Steve Morris and former Democratic Senator Janice Lee, as well as current KASB President Shannon Kimball, board member for Lawrence USD 497. Here is a link to information about...

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State Board approves wide-ranging policies on dyslexia

The State Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved policies aimed at improving the identification of students with dyslexia, providing them with better services and increasing teacher training. The wide-ranging measures follow more than 18 months of discussion by educators, advocates, psychologists and other stakeholders and will require more funding, although a specific amount wasn’t cited. Board member Jim Porter, who had led a task force on dyslexia, said the policies are needed and represent compromises. “This is a nationwide movement and we are slow to come to the table,” Porter said. Cynthia Hadicke, an education program consultant for the Kansas State...

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KASB regional vice-president nominations sought

Each year there are members of the KASB Board of Directors up for election or re-election due to completing a three-year team or an appointment to that position. The KASB Constitution provides for a three-member Regional Nominating Committee convened in the region where an election is to take place. Each committee's responsibility is to provide the Association with the names of board members interested in serving in this position. Regional Vice-President Elections will be held for KASB Regions 4, 5, 6, and 10 on Sun-day, December, 8, 2019 during the annual Delegate Assembly. Any interested current school board member whose organization...

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Vaping, dyslexia, legislative agenda on tap for State Board of Education meeting

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive recommendations on curbing e-cigarette use and improving ways to help students with dyslexia. Here is a link to the State Board’s agenda and background materials. The E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force will provide a final draft on keeping tobacco and vaping products out of schools. The task force will also update the board on the Tobacco 21 initiative, which would increase the minimum age in Kansas to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The dyslexia recommendations are aimed at improving pre-service teacher programs, professional learning of teachers already in the classroom, screening...

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