KASB dues and lobbying

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) recently sent all local units of government, including school districts, a survey requesting information about the amount of money spent on membership dues to associations that lobby, or for paying lobbyists.  KASB does engage in lobbying, so members should report the amount they paid to KASB in annual membership dues. We have received questions about how much of KASB dues goes to lobbying activities.  First, lobbying is defined in Kansas state law as promoting or opposing in any manner action or nonaction by (1) the legislature on any legislative matter, (2) any executive...

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on pandemic and school closings

This month’s School Board Review focuses on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Kansas public schools. Because of the pandemic, the issue will only be available online at this time and can be accessed here. The issue reviews developments over the past few weeks that have led to the unprecedented closure of schools and the rollout of stay-at-home continuous learning. The April edition also includes details about federal and state responses to the health crisis that continues to worsen. In addition, SBR covers the numerous tasks and policy and legal changes facing local school boards associated with COVID-19, including paying...

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Committee hears KPERS WAR bill

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday heard SB 274, which eliminates the employer penalty for the first-time hire of a KPERS retiree aged 65 and over. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the bill advanced. KASB will continue to monitor the legislation.   The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bruce Givens, a former special education administrator, in consultation with KPERS Executive Director Alan Conroy. Givens said the bill would give employers the option to employ late-career retirees who could fill key public education vacancies, particularly in rural areas. The League of Kansas Municipalities also supported the bill, noting it could help cities fill interim...

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Tax reform council begins work with sobering budget projections

Gov. Laura Kelly’s Tax Reform Council convened its first meeting Tuesday with deep background briefings on state sales and income tax policies, budget projections, and economic updates. One highlight: current budget trends and modest forecasts in state revenue growth show a $482.5 million state general fund deficit in FY 2022-23, a shortfall of 5.8 percent.  The council will continue meeting Wednesday, and October, November and December before submitting an interim report to the 2020 Kansas Legislature. It is expected to pick up work next summer to prepare a final report to the 2021 Legislature. That work will take place during...

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Wealth of public school data in new KASB Annual Surveys

The KASB Surveys 2018-19 Annual Report, which covers a wide range of data gathered from public school districts, is now available.  Here are links to a new summary report and a KASB Live video on the surveys with KASB Chief Data Officer Ted Carter.  The survey results are available to school districts and other education advocates while district level data is available to KASB members under the member portal. For more information or to ask questions about the data, contact Carter at tcarter@kasb.org.  KASB is one of the only school board associations in the nation that conducts annual data collection from its members and...

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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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Have briefs, will travel. KASB Legal/Policy Services department coming to a town near you

KASB’s Legal/Policy Services department will be on the road over the next few weeks and will be happy to visit member districts to offer training or legal updates.  The Summer Regional Roundtables for Boards take place July 30-August 8 across Kansas; the schedule is available here. In addition, KASB attorneys are scheduled to present staff inservices in the first week of August, and Donna Whiteman will represent KASB at the August 5 State Blue Ribbon Task Force in Salina. Members should take advantage of the legal road trip to gain valuable insights for your board and staff.  The KASB Legal Department...

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Legislature overrides Kelly budget vetoes, sustains tax cut veto

The Kansas Legislature on Wednesday overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s line-item budget vetoes, which included several education expenditures, but failed to override her veto of a $245 million tax cut.  The votes occurred during a busy final day of the 2019 legislative session. Nine people were removed from the Senate gallery after demonstrating for Medicaid expansion and the Senate approved a motion to bypass the committee process to consider, probably next year, a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Senate consent of justices appointed by the governor to the Kansas Supreme Court. The 28-10 vote on SCR 1610 was fueled by...

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Gov. Kelly signs budget that includes increased school funding; line-item vetoes several education-related programs

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed into law the state budget, which includes a $90 million increase for K-12 to address the school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court, and made several education-related line-item vetoes. “There is a lot to celebrate in this state budget,” Kelly said. “We can accomplish so much good for the people of Kansas when reckless tax policy does not leave our state embroiled in a perpetual budget crisis. I appreciate the bipartisan work of lawmakers to pass a budget that takes meaningful strides to rebuild Kansas – including investments in public education, public safety,...

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Education bills approved this session

While school finance dominated much of the first part of the 2019 legislative session, legislators turned their attention to other education issues as well.   Here is a list of bills approved and signed into law that will affect schools:   SB 9 - Authorizing the transfer of $115 million from the state general fund to the Kansas public employee's retirement fund during fiscal year 2019.     SB 16 - Amendments to the Kansas school equity and enhancement act and other statutes related to education (Gannon lawsuit response).     Increases BASE for school years 2019-23;     Changes schedule of school finance audits;     Requires KSDE to prepare state accountability reports and school district funding reports;    State...

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