Newsroom

NSBA issues call to action to avoid government shutdown

The National School Board Association is encouraging education advocates to contact their members of Congress and urge them to avoid a government shutdown and approve appropriations for education and other federal programs. Congress has until midnight Friday to make a deal on spending before government funding expires. NSBA would like Congress to pass a funding measure that will maximize preK-12 education investments; prioritize funding for special education and sustain Title I grants. Please click here to contact your congressional representative and tell them to support investments in public education.

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KSSA supports $893 million school funding increase

The Kansas School Superintendents Association says the state should increase school funding by $893 million over two to three years. In a statement, KSSA said House Bill 2410, which would increase school funding by $752 million over five years, “should only be considered as a solid start to a possible school finance formula that meets the diverse needs of our students.” KSSA said an $893 million increase, which had been recommended last year by the State Board of Education, “is more indicative of the funding needs, knowing the current expectations being placed on school districts in the coming years.” Legislators return for...

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Feds release new ESSA guidelines

On April 10, the U.S. Department of Education released the first substantive guidance regarding implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) since the accountability and state plan regulations finalized under the Obama Administration were repealed on March 27. The  Dear Colleague Letter addresses specific issues relating to the identification of schools for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement for the 2017-18 school year and "meaningful consultation" requirements in ESSA. For the 2017-2018 school year, and with the absence of federal regulations, the Department clarifies that states without an approved ESSA state plan must continue to provide supports and interventions...

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KASB Workers Comp board approves six percent rate reduction for members

The board of trustees of the KASB Workers Compensation Fund Inc. has approved the second consecutive annual decrease in the fund’s rating structure. This year, the decrease will be six percent, while last year’s was eight percent. “The fiscal health of the Workers Compensation Fund is strong,” Rod Spangler, KASB’s Assistant Executive Director of Risk Management, said. The board met Saturday to approve the new rates, which will take effect July 1. The Workers Compensation Fund was established by KASB in 1987 and currently serves 110 KASB member organizations. “As we approach our 30-year anniversary, it should be evident from two rate reductions...

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Republican party officials to select replacement for southeast Kansas state senator

A state senate position will be filled this week by probably fewer than 100 voters. Given the delicate political balance in the Legislature, the new senator could have a big impact on school finance, the budget and taxes. Republican precinct committeemen and committeewomen of the 13th Kansas Senate District, which covers the southeast corner of the state, will meet in Pittsburg on Sunday to select a new state senator to replace Jake LaTurner, R-Pittsburg. Gov. Sam Brownback appointed LaTurner state treasurer to replace Ron Estes, who was elected to Congress to fill the position that had been held by Mike Pompeo,...

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Moran meets with SBOE on Federal Issues

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran told the Kansas State Board of Education Saturday that President Donald Trump's budget proposal for education has little support in Congress. Trump's 2018 budget blueprint for the U.S. Department of Education eliminates $17 million to $18 million that Kansas schools have used to pay for teacher professional development, hiring additional staff to reduce class sizes, improving classroom technology and promoting STEM initiatives. Moran said federal funding for education will likely continue at a relatively flat level. Trump's budget also proposes diverting $20 billion in education funds to a voucher program. The Senator said such a move would...

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State Board to hold special Saturday meeting on federal issues

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran at 9 a.m. on Saturday to discuss federal education issues. Education Commissioner Randy Watson will kick off the meeting with a presentation on the State Board's Kansans Can vision for the success of each Kansas student. The remainder of the hour-long meeting will focus on the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, Title program funding, the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government until April 28, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The meeting will wrap up with Moran...

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New revenue estimates forecast limited growth

General state tax revenues are expected to grow more than  predicted last November over the rest of the current year and the next two years, but the increase will do little to close the projected state budget deficit. A new consensus revenue estimate released Thursday increased expected tax revenues by $62.5 million for the current fiscal year ending June 30, by $42.9 million for FY 2018 and $51 million for FY 2019. Even with these increases, state general fund tax collections in the current year are expected to be 0.2 percent lower than actual revenues last year, and increase just 1.1...

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KASB Webinar at 12:30 p.m. today on new revenue estimate

KASB will conduct a webinar at 12:30 p.m. today on the state revenue picture. A new consensus revenue estimate released Thursday increased expected tax revenues by $62.5 million for the current fiscal year ending June 30, by $42.9 million for FY 2018 and $51 million for FY 2019. Legislators will use the new estimates when they return for the wrap-up session on May 1. To join the webinar please go to https://kasb.adobeconnect.com/e5arj2i4ypi/event/registration.html. If you have participated before, look for the blue text stating “If you have registered with us before, please click here.” You will be taken to a new page. For...

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Revenue estimate webinar tomorrow

After a one-week break, the KASB webinar schedule resumes with a presentation this Friday, April 21, on the state revenue picture for FY 2018. On April 28, your KASB advocacy staff will review the status of pending legislation as Kansas lawmakers prepare to return to Topeka for what the wrap-up of its 2017 session. The Governor's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) will meet this Thursday to review revenue developments since its  November projections that estimated $5.536 billion in revenue for Fiscal Year 2018 and $5.575 billion for FY 2019. Current expectations, based on the November numbers, are that legislators will have...

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