Local Boards

State approves certificates of indebtedness; no school finance cuts in Gov. Kelly’s draft allotment plan; budget fights loom

Kansas’ elected leaders Friday approved a $900 million inter-governmental loan after a fiery discussion that portends deep divisions on solving the state’s budget problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Laura Kelly sought approval of the certificates of indebtedness to manage cash flow as the state enters a new fiscal year Wednesday. In a meeting of the State Finance Council, Kelly also unveiled a draft allotment plan to bridge a dramatic revenue decline. That plan focused on some cuts and budget maneuvers but did not touch school finance. On Thursday, Republican legislative leaders on the Finance Council sought to delay approval...

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Continue the conversation in the Kansas Equity Series

More than 500 people viewed the first installment of the Kansas Equity Series. If you were unable to attend, we encourage you to watch and listen to the conversation that is ongoing. The second program scheduled for July 7 will feature Dr. Alicia Thompson, superintendent of Wichita USD 259, and Blake Vargas, superintendent of Caney Valley USD 436. More guests are expected to be announced soon. The series is a collaboration between USA-Kansas, Topeka USD 501 and KASB. Video Recording https://www.usakansas.org/videos Resources shared by Topeka USD 501 Supt. Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Misbehavior or Misinterpretation http://eflawrence.weebly.com/uploads/5/2/3/1/5231977/monroe._misbehavior_or_misinterpretation.pdf The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers  http://ftp.iza.org/dp10630.pdf Link to NSBA statement...

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No school finance cuts in Gov. Kelly’s draft allotment plan; arguments erupt over certificates of indebtedness

K-12 finance has been spared cuts under preliminary budget reductions unveiled Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration. Meanwhile, a battle erupted between Kelly, a Democrat, and some Republican legislative leaders, who thwarted her effort on the State Finance Council to approve $900 million in certificates of indebtedness for cash flow purposes as the fiscal year neared an end. Kelly said the rejection of the certificates could jeopardize critical state services, including paying teachers. "The same Republicans on the State Finance Council who voted against the certificates of indebtedness rubber-stamped every action Sam Brownback took as he drove our state's finances into...

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On-site and online, KASB schedules summer Regional Roundtable meetings

In July, KASB will offer on-site and online summer regional roundtables that will focus on student success amid the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening of schools after a five-month hiatus.  The sessions will offer education leaders the opportunity to discuss with KASB leaders and each other in small groups ideas to meet the challenges ahead. The discussions will focus on strategies, health and safety issues, funding and district goals.  Leaders will also be able to provide input on legislative topics in the runup to the 2021 legislative session.  To find out more information and to register go to the KASB website here.   Virtual sessions...

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Kelly establishes commission to work on racial equity and justice

Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday established a commission that will make recommendations aimed at increasing racial equity and justice. “As Governor, I am committed to ensuring this latest tragedy does not fade into the next news cycle. Communities of color do not have the luxury of time for leaders to address these issues,” Kelly said. Kelly issued an executive order setting up the Governor’s Commission on Racial Equality and Justice. She said the commission will first focus on law enforcement and community relations. The commission will hold listening sessions throughout Kansas and bring recommendations to Kelly, the Legislature and local governments. Two...

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Kansas Equity Series speakers say time is ripe for change

Kansas education leaders Tuesday said the current national conversation about race and equality provides an opportunity for public schools to increase efforts to ensure that minority children have the same access to a quality education as white students.  “The future of this country depends on what happens in our schools,” Dr. Anthony Lewis, superintendent of Lawrence USD 497, said during the first installment of the Kansas Equity Series: A Dialogue on Race and Equality.  Lewis was joined by Dr. Tiffany Anderson, superintendent of Topeka USD 501; Dr. Reginald Eggleston, superintendent of Geary County USD 475; Dr. Charles Foust, superintendent of Kansas...

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Kimball urges U.S. representatives to reject DeVos move on federal funding

KASB President Shannon Kimball is urging the Kansas members of the U.S House of Representatives to sign on to an effort to reject U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ attempt to boost funding to private schools in the allocation of emergency federal dollars.  The federal CARES Act states that funds must be allocated to K-12 schools based on the number of low-income students enrolled in a school.   In late April, DeVos released a “non-binding guidance” document that instructed school districts to allocate federal CARES Act funding to their local private schools based on the total number of students enrolled in...

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Kansas education officials brief school board members about work on re-opening schools guidance document

Top Kansas education officials Friday reviewed for local school board members work on the state level to re-open schools in August, accommodate students and staff who may not return because of health concerns, and prepare for possible future closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a video address, Education Commissioner Randy Watson explained that approximately 1,000 Kansans, including teachers, board members, parents, health officials and others, are working on a guidance document for districts. Here is a link to that video. The “Navigating Change 2020” guidance, which will be submitted to the State Board of Education on July 14, will provide...

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Election season under way; important dates fast-approaching

The Aug.4 primary election is fast-approaching, so please make sure your voice and the voice of public school education is heard at the ballot box.  KASB encourages education leaders to seek out candidates for office and ask them their positions on K-12 issues.   There are also other important election dates on the horizon: July 14 is the last day to register for the primaries and July 28 is the deadline for voters to apply for advance ballots by mail.   There is probably no larger voting bloc in Kansas with a common interest than public school educators and staff.  More than 72,400 school...

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants. In a 5-4 decision, the court rejected President Trump's efforts to upend the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, commonly referred to as DACA. The court didn’t rule on DACA itself, but faulted the Trump administration on the way it went about trying to rescind the policy. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency (the Department of Homeland Security) complied with the procedural requirement that...

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