Kansas Legislature

May issue of School Board Review focuses on end of school, plans for next school year

The May issue of School Board Review covers how the “new normal” was anything but normal this year as students, parents and educators dealt with the statewide school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the issue jumps into the conversation on what happens next. Will schools re-open in August, and if so, what will they be like? In her final column as president of KASB, Shannon Kimball calls on local school board members to listen to and follow sound public health advice when tackling the tough issue of planning for school in the fall. The May issue also includes important information...

Read more...

Advocacy update today for local board members: End of session, Kelly veto, call for special session to be discussed

A lot has happened in Topeka recently and KASB’s Mark Tallman and Leah Fliter today will provide details to education leaders and what that might mean for public education in Kansas. The discussion will be held as part of KASB’s “Lunch and Learns” series, via Zoom from noon to 12:45 p.m. today (Wed. May 27). The event is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. There is no registration fee, however, pre-registration is required to receive access to the online sessions. To register, go to this link. Once registered, participants will receive a registration confirmation email from...

Read more...

Kelly vetoes GOP bill, calls special session, ends state’s phased-in reopening rules

Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday vetoed the Republican bill that decreased her authority in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, called a special legislative session and ceded to local health departments the job of implementing restrictions during the pandemic.  In a news conference, Kelly reiterated her criticisms of HB 2054, which was passed during a marathon 24-hour session last week. The measure, approved with only Republican votes, put legislators in charge of allocating federal coronavirus relief funds and limited the governor’s ability to proclaim disasters, close businesses and impose crowd limits.   Kelly described the legislation as “partisan, self-serving and shortsighted.” But House...

Read more...

Unprecedented end of 2020 session to be discussed at board leadership forum

KASB’s Mark Tallman and Leah Fliter on Wednesday will provide details to education leaders on what the 2020 Legislature did to close its business during a marathon 24-hour session last week. The discussion will be held as part of KASB’s “Lunch and Learns” series, via Zoom from noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday (May 27). The event is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. There is no registration fee, however, pre-registration is required to receive access to the online sessions. To register, go to this link. Once registered, participants will receive a registration confirmation email from pinpoint@kasb.org...

Read more...

Elections 2020: Deadline to file candidacy is Monday, June 1

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org Elections will proceed as scheduled this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. With the Monday, June 1 filing deadline approaching, school leaders should be looking at candidates who they believe can best represent their values, including possibly running themselves. Several legislators and State Board of Education members began their public service as school board members and educators. Every seat in the Kansas Legislature is on the ballot, so the August primary and November general elections will be particularly important for Kansas public education because the final years of the funding formula that settled the Gannon school finance case...

Read more...

Legislature passes bills on COVID response, education and tax policies on final day

Just short of 24 hours after it began, the final day of the 2020 Legislature passed a multi-part bill addressing the COVID pandemic that Democrats say could be vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly.  The Legislature also approved a bundle of several education bills, including a provision allowing districts to pay for student tuition in dual high school/college courses, and combined a number tax provisions.  Here are the provisions:  COVID response – HB 2054. Bill description. Conference Committee report.   The bill appropriates federal funding Kansas receives from COVID relief to the Legislative Coordinating Council, rather than the office of the Governor. It requires state...

Read more...

KASB Legislative Roundup, Wed. May 20

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a package of bills prompted by the COVID pandemic and the state’s response, sending to them to the full Senate tomorrow for an unusual one-day session to wrap up the 2020 Legislature.  The measures were amended into House bills, which means if passed by the Senate, the House can either agree to Senate positions without amendment or request a conference committee to negotiate changes. There are also several bills already in conference committee, which could be used to bring legislation to final action by the full House and Senate.  The specific wording of bills...

Read more...

Kelly names recovery council

Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday announced the formation of a Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) taskforce to lead the state economy’s recovering from the COVID-29 pandemic.   The task force will work in conjunction with the Recovery Office announced earlier this month. That office is led by Executive Director Cheryl Harrison-Lee, a member of the Kansas Board of Regents, and Chair Lyle Butler, retired Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce CEO.  The SPARK Taskforce membership will feature several state legislators, including retiring Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, House Minority Leader Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, Sen. Carolyn McGinn,...

Read more...

Legislators seek changes to continuous learning plans

Some legislators on Tuesday indicated they want to make changes to continuous learning plans if the online instruction practice is needed next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The House K-12 Education Budget Committee approved a proposal that would require that continuous learning plans include some “direct contact instruction.” The proposal also sets specific amounts of time that teachers must provide reading, math and English instruction and calls for accountability measures to gauge student progress. Here is a link to the proposal.   The plan, put together by Committee Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, will be sent as a recommendation to the...

Read more...

KASB Legislative Roundup, Tuesday, May 19

Senate Judiciary plans action on COVID related bills  After two days of hearings, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to debate on Wednesday a series of proposals including COVID-related liability issues; the governor’s disaster emergency declarations, orders and authority; and greater legislative control over spending federal COVID-related funding.  According to committee chair Sen. Rick Wilborn, R-McPherson, bills will be drafted for the committee’s consideration when it meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. If approved, these bills could go the full Senate for debate when the Legislature returns for a one-day wrap-up session Thursday. The concepts include:  First, extending legal liability protection for...

Read more...