Kansas Legislature

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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First session of KASB’s new advocacy training institute will feature discussion with NSBA advocacy leader

The Advanced Advocacy Training Institute -- KASB’s newest initiative to develop a network of education advocates throughout Kansas -- will start with a deep dive into federal issues as the attendees meet with Chip Slaven, NSBA Chief Advocacy Officer.   Applications for the AATI program are open until Aug. 9 and can be found on the KASB website here. Participants selected for the program will be notified the week of Aug. 12.  With more than two decades of experience advocating for public education, implementing national grassroots campaigns, and building bipartisan support, Slaven joined the NSBA team this past June to strengthen NSBA’s ability...

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KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings start soon

KASB is hitting the road again for Summer Regional Roundtables that will give board members and district leaders the opportunity to discuss crucial education issues with their counterparts in area school districts.  Meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. and last no longer than three hours — providing plenty of time for sharing ideas on the following topics: school safety and security; school redesign and success; the 2020 Census; school funding post-Gannon and the upcoming legislative session; and issues and challenges unique to your district and area of the state.  “We designed these opportunities to build on the value of school board...

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How KASB determines legislative policy positions

KASB is seeking input from members on advocacy issues and position. It’s a process that begins with recommendations from school leaders and members school boards. The KASB Legislative Committee considers new ideas and changes in current positions and takes feedback from KASB members before developing recommendations to the KASB Delegate Assembly. The Assembly has the final vote on KASB positions. A detailed description of the process follows. KASB welcomes members to share their ideas, concerns and proposals with their representative on the Legislative Committee or KASB, and the KASB Regional Roundtables beginning later this month. Here is a link to current...

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Broadband Task Force Sub-Committee on Deployment discusses barriers

The Statewide Broadband Task Force that was formed by the 2018 Legislature continues to work on developing recommendations to help expand access throughout the state.  The subcommittee on “Deployment” met Friday for review and discussions around a few key charges.  Andy Huckaba, City Council of Lenexa presented information about the work that is being done at the federal level to promote support for expansion including model legislation that came out of a working group established by the Federal Communications Commission called the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).  Discussion then focused on getting a better picture of the many different federal programs that can support the expansion...

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Vaping Task Force gears up for school year

The state Task Force on Vaping/E-Cigarettes in Schools met in Topeka on Monday to continue its work to help schools respond to what many educators say is an “explosive” increase in the use of the addictive devices.  The Task Force was established at the direction of the Kansas State Board of Education following a May presentation by public health officials that shocked the state board members. They directed the immediate formation of a Work Group to develop recommendations by June. The work group has now evolved into a permanent Task Force that will make monthly progress presentations to the State Board; KASB Assistant Executive Director of Legal Services Angie Stallbaumer represents the association on the task force.    The...

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Still a lot to learn of broader implications from Board of Tax Appeals ruling in Johnson County case

A state tax decision is expected to lower property tax revenue in Johnson County, but its statewide implications are not yet clear.  The Kansas Board of Tax Appeals ruled in favor of the “Big Box Retailers” at the end of June in one of many appeals currently in process from Johnson County.  This is the second ruling that would effectively lower the valuations on “Big Box Retail” stores in Johnson County following a sharp increase in valuations between 2015 and 2016.  Although the board has not yet published the rationale for its ruling, it appears to focus on a change in the method of...

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School finance workshops focus on new funding

It’s school finance workshop season in Kansas, and state leaders are urging district budget officials to take advantage of the additional funding provided by the state legislature and approved by the Kansas Supreme Court.  Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis and School Finance Director Craig Neuenswander were in Salina on Wednesday to brief about 200 superintendents clerks and school business officers on the impact of the 2019 Legislature’s work and to walk them through the budget software released this week. School district budgets for Fiscal Year 2020 must be finalized by mid-August.  Dennis told the crowd that school boards are in a “unique and unusual position” as they prepare their Fiscal Year 2020...

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