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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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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