Slow session heats up as school funding, tax cuts advance

After a fairly slow first half of the 2019 session, legislators returned for the second half last week and advanced several major bills while teeing up some more education-related measures to advance this week. For an in-depth review of last week and a preview of this week, go to KASB Live video or podcast. A powerpoint presentation on legislative developments is also available on the KASB Key Resources page. And please follow KASB on social media for the latest developments. Last week, the House approved its version of tax cuts and the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance recommended approval of [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. March 6

A committee Wednesday advanced to the full Senate a school finance bill that implements an “inflation adjustment” proposed by the State Board of Education and endorsed by Gov. Laura Kelly as legislators returned to Topeka for the second half of the 2019 session.   Meanwhile, House leaders say the House on Thursday will consider SB 22, which would cut taxes by approximately $200 million in the next fiscal year and could affect the ability of the state to adequately fund education and other needs.  SB 22 would give corporations a significant tax break and allow taxpayers to itemize deductions for state income [...]

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Lots of legislative action slated for this week

Many bills may be voted on in committees today as the Turnaround deadline approaches for the 2019 legislative session.  It is important for education advocates to stay up to date on bills in committee and any education bill on the floor of the House and Senate since they could be amended. KASB will provide updates on social media throughout the week.  The flurry of activity is because of the Legislature’s Thursday Turnaround, which is the deadline when all bills from non-exempt committees must be forwarded by their chamber of origin to survive.   Today is the final day for committee meetings and [...]

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KASB’s Daily Education Roundup, Thur. Feb. 21

A bill aimed at establishing financial literacy classes in high school failed to get out of the House Education Committee on Thursday. The committee also held a hearing on HB 2288, creating the Kansas student and educator freedom of religious act and the full House advanced SB 9, which is a $115 million payment to the school group of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. Numerous bills were moving as key deadlines neared. Monday is the last day for committees to meet in each chamber prior to Turnaround. The House and Senate will conduct floor action Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is [...]

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KASB’s Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Feb. 19

The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday recommended approval of legislation that would require schools conduct at least nine safety drills. SB 128 would require four fire drills, three crisis drills and two tornado drills. Last year a proviso had been placed in the budget requiring 16 safety drills, including nine crisis or shooter drills. Some schools said that was too many. KASB supported the bill. The committee also approved SB 16, which adds Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas and the Boys and Girls Club to a list of groups that can be funded by school districts with at-risk dollars. KASB testified as [...]

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Numerous education bills to be heard, voted on this week

It is important for school leaders to try to stay up to date on happenings in the Legislature this week as House and Senate committees will be busy voting on and hearing numerous education bills and schedules could change on a moment’s notice.  On Monday, the Senate Education Committee will consider SB 47, which would create the student opportunity scholarship program. This would grant students who graduate a year early a scholarship equal to 95 percent of base aid that would be paid to the postsecondary institution the student attends. The committee has scheduled final action on the measure Wednesday. [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. Feb. 14

Vouchers, health care and KPERS dominated education-related news on Thursday and a Senate committee advanced a measure that would allow school boards to elect officers earlier.  SB 7, approved by the Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee, would allow school boards to elect their leaders in January instead of July. A detailed story on the measure, which is headed to the full Senate, can be read here.  On the issue of vouchers, the House K-12 Education Budget Committee held a hearing on HB 2150, which would allow witnesses or victims of bullying to transfer with a voucher to a private [...]

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KASB’s Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Feb. 13

Responses are pouring in from school districts that are explaining how additional funding has been used to drive student success.  Legislators are considering SB 44, which would add the inflationary adjustment to K-12 funding sought by Gov. Laura Kelly, the State Board of Education and the plaintiff school districts in the Gannon lawsuit who say the bill will settle what the Kansas Supreme Court has said is needed to make Kansas’ school finance system constitutional.  In consideration of the bill, Sen. Molly Baumgardner, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance, asked what schools have done with the funding increases [...]

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Education bills with hearings Week of Feb. 11

Here is a list of bills coming up, beginning Feb. 11. School leaders and advocates are urged to provide oral or written testimony on issues where they have concerns or information for the committee. Follow KASB communications as more hearings may be added at any time. School safety drills. Senate Education Committee hearing Monday, Feb. 11, 1:30 p.m. on SB 128 - Requiring at least nine safety drills

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KASB’s Daily Education Roundup for Tue. Feb. 5

Tuesday was a busy day for public schools and education-related issues both in Topeka and Manhattan. Legislators worked on the state pension system, K-12 and child welfare while the KASB and USA-Kansas first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit wrapped up with inspiring sessions in Manhattan. KASB President-Elect Shannon Kimball, who serves on the USD 497 Lawrence board of education, kicked off the morning at the Leadership Summit by recounting her journey from Kansas farm girl to young attorney to stay-at-home mom to school board member and local politician. Liberal USD 480 Superintendent Renae Hickert gave a session on managing conflict and its aftermath and [...]

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