Kansas Legislature

Congress and White House agree to two-year budget deal

Last week, the Senate passed a two-year, $2.7 trillion budget agreement. The measure increases overall spending by $320 billion over the next two years and lifts the debt ceiling until 2021. The deal includes an aggregate $57 billion increase for non-defense programs, including education.The package is expected to be signed by the president. With the new budget deal in place, the Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to begin making significant progress on the fiscal year 2020 during September and October. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) will strongly encourage Senate appropriators to follow the House’s lead in approving significant...

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Anti-bullying task force receives expert testimony

The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying met in Salina on Monday to continue gathering data and public input. The task force will make recommendations to the Kansas Legislature in January 2020.  As the task force meets across the state, a new national report offers some insights into the bullying; you can read KASB Associate Executive Director for Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s blog about it at this link.  Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson announced the formation of the Task Force in March, citing data that 28 percent of students in grades six through twelve experience bullying. Bullying has also...

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August School Board Review with feature on restorative justice is available

The August edition of KASB’s School Board Review features a look at restorative justice, columns by KASB leaders and a profile of KASB’s newest regional board member. The issue is available online here and is already in the mail for those who prefer a print copy. Many school districts are incorporating restorative justice to handle student discipline. KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter takes an-depth look into this method. KASB President Shannon Kimball writes about the oath that school board members take to “faithfully discharge" their duties and KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about the anxiety that some students experience on the...

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KASB Summer Regional Roundtables continue this week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe

Hot education topics ranging from student safety to school redesign are among those being discussed at KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings that continue this week. Meetings will be held Tuesday in McPherson and Greenbush; Wednesday in Haysville and Topeka and Thursday in Olathe. At meetings last week in Stafford, Hiawatha and Colby, school board members and other leaders discussed challenges and opportunities for the upcoming school year. In addition to student safety and redesign, the topics focused on were legislative priorities, the 2020 Census and local issues. For more information and to register online go to www.kasb.org and click on the specific...

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KASB Summer Regionals kick off in Hiawatha, Stafford

School leaders in Stafford and Hiawatha met Wednesday to discuss major education issues and how to improve Kansas public schools as the KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings kicked off. The next meeting is set for Thursday in Colby with meetings scheduled next week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe. Board members and district leaders discussed challenges and opportunities in schools after KASB provided focus topics that included school safety, school redesign, the 2020 Census, upcoming legislative session and local issues. In Hiawatha, board members and superintendents from the Atchison, Hiawatha, Sabetha, Marysville and Washington school districts said they worry that the...

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New report rates Kansas system low spending with strong schools

WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked Kansas 20th in the nation in its 2019 report on states with the best and worst school system, and rated Kansas among eight states with “low spending and strong public-school systems.”  Earlier this summer, KASB released its annual Comparing Kansas report, which ranked Kansas 9th based on a weighted average of 15 educational measures of student success, including national reading and math tests, ACT and SAT results, graduation rates and young adult educational attainment.  The WalletHub rankings use a different methodology, including not only “outcomes” like test scores but factors such as class size, teacher...

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Hot education topics to be discussed at KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings that start this week

KASB’s Summer Regional Roundtable meetings begin this week and will provide local education leaders an opportunity to interact with their regional counterparts to discuss hot topics affecting public schools. The meetings will be held in Stafford and Hiawatha on Tuesday; Colby on Thursday; McPherson and Girard, Tue. Aug. 6; Haysville and Topeka, Wed. Aug. 7 and Olathe, Thur. Aug. 8. For more information and to register online go to www.kasb.org and click on the specific event location that you want to attend. Meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. and last no longer than three hours. Here is a link to a short...

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Kansas, national school board groups gear up to reduce vaping among students

As Kansas education leaders work on efforts to curb the use of e-cigarettes by students, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) has announced its support in Congress of The Smoke-Free Schools Act of 2019. The bi-partisan measure was recently introduced by U. S. Reps. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., Chris Stewart, R-Utah and Haley Stevens D-Mich. The legislation is vital to helping school districts and local education agencies address the rapid increase of e-cigarette usage in schools, NSBA said. An identical bill has been filed in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah and Tom Udall, D-N.M. The measure clarifies that...

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Kelly urges Education Council to provide bold ideas

Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday urged leaders from across the state to propose bold recommendations in helping align education and economic needs. “I encourage you to work toward bold innovations,” Kelly said in a recorded message to the Governor’s Council on Education, which was meeting at Wichita State University. Kelly also affirmed her position that improved access to early childhood learning is key to improving opportunities. “I believe early childhood development is essential to put every Kansan on the path to success,” Kelly said. Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers, a former Wichita USD 259 board member, attended the daylong meeting, and gave the...

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KASB Summer Regional Roundtables to feature format designed for discussion on local education issues

KASB’s Summer Regional Roundtables, which begin next week, will provide local education leaders an opportunity to interact with their regional counterparts to discuss hot topics affecting public schools. The emphasis of the meetings will be to discuss the challenges and opportunities unique to local school districts while KASB staff will also provide updates on important issues that are likely to dominate state and national politics. KASB Deputy Executive Director Brian Jordan said the new structure of the meetings is meant to encourage more interaction among board members and other education leaders in a more informal setting, while also providing local advocates...

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