Newsroom

State Board moves forward with kindergarten readiness tool

The State Board of Education on Wednesday approved moving forward with a statewide measurement tool to collect data on students entering kindergarten. Under the proposal, school districts would ask parents or caregivers to fill out a brief questionnaire about their student as the student is about to enter kindergarten. The questionnaire will be used by teachers to see where the child is developmentally and determine if there are any additional supports that should be used. The questionnaire touches on communication, problem-solving and social and emotional skills. The board approved, 7-1, a recommendation from the Kansas State Department of Education’s Kindergarten Readiness Workgroup, which had...

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Proposed amendment would limit state revenue and spending

KASB and a number of other state and national groups testified Wednesday against a state constitutional amendment that would limit state tax and spending levels and create a "rainy day" fund for economic downturns. The chief proponent of SCR 1620 was Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, who said his primary interest was creating a budget stabilization fund. However, the amendment would also limit state revenue and spending growth to inflation and population growth, unless approved by public vote. It would also require a legislative super-majority to raise tax rates or create new taxes. A constitutional amendment requires a two-third majority of both the House and Senate and...

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I’m From Kansas: Some advice for the United States Secretary of Education

Kansas has long been recognized as a national leader in education. Compared with other states, Kansas public schools have high levels of student success for relatively low levels of spending. Of course, part of being a leader is pushing the envelope and sometimes the envelope pushes back when mistakes are made. We have had those moments as well. The Kansas Association of School Boards celebrates its 100th year of service this year, but one only has to go back about a decade to see that Kansas was ahead of its time with a decision that did not work out as...

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KASB Risk Management Division works to maximize funding

KASB’s Risk Management Division continues evolving to help school districts reduce their risks and maximize their dollars so they can provide more funding in the classroom. In 2016, KASB Risk Management re-branded, changing its name from Insurance Services, and also changed the way it marketed products. In addition, KASB Risk Management added a new service — health consulting to help members better manage health care costs. The division also offers workers compensation insurance, property and casualty insurance, student accident insurance, a natural gas consortium called KJUMP and Section 125 & voluntary insurances. Most recently, KASB Risk Management created the position of Customer...

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KASB testifies on income tax, statewide mill levy

KASB testified in support of raising the state income tax rates and continuing and possibly raising the statewide mill levy to help fund K-12 education before the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee Tuesday. SB 192 would increase individual income tax rates, add a third bracket and repeal future rate reductions. It is somewhat similar to HB 2178, which was vetoed by Governor Brownback, and estimated to raise $578.5 million in FY 2018 and $440.5 million in FY 2019. KASB testified in support of the bill, although it indicated that the revenue would not cover the entire budget problems of the state. The Kansas Center for Economic Growth testified as neutral because the...

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Rescission bill sent to full Senate does not include K-12 cut

A rescission bill that does not cut public education was approved Tuesday by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, sending it to the full Senate for possible floor action on Thursday. A rumored two percent cut to K-12 funding did not materialize in committee, but could be offered as an amendment before the full Senate. KASB urges school leaders to contact their state senators to tell them what impact a cut would have on students and teachers, in addition to the long-term plan for schools in the face of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision that the school finance system is constitutionally...

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No efficiency savings compounds budget challenge

The chairman of the House K-12 Education Budget Committee says the state will not realize $47.2 million in savings from consolidating school district procurement and health insurance next year, but the state should continue to seek efficiencies in those areas. However, the Governor's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 has already cut school district aid by that amount, and reduces school aid by $89 million in FY 2019. That means the Legislature will have to find a way to restore that funding or district aid will be reduced even with a plan to cut costs. K-12 Budget Committee Chair Larry Campbell, R-Olathe, reported to the full House Appropriations Committee Monday...

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Senate committee considers rescission bill, but not school cuts

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday considered amendments to a rescission bill for fiscal years 2017, 18 & 19 but did not take up the issue of a rumored two percent cut to K-12 public education. The rescission bill will likely be debated on the Senate floor on Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, who serves on the committee and manages the Senate’s floor action, said he would not bring any budget cut amendments to the committee or to the floor. KASB and others have heard that the Senate may consider the possible two percent cut in floor debate this week. Denning did introduce four amendments that were all...

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The School Board Review is out

The March issue of School Board Review looks at what Kansas public schools can expect from the new administration of President Donald Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The issue, which is online and in the mail, also provides valuable information to school districts about KASB’s Risk Management Division and features our second installment on Kansas’ National Blue Ribbon schools. In addition, the issue includes a question and answer segment with Kansas State Board of Education Chairman Jim Porter, catches up to what our new KASB Leadership for Tomorrow class is up to and takes a look into the future...

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KASB legislative webinar at 12:30 p.m. today

KASB will review what state legislators did this week during a webinar at 12:30 p.m. today. Discussions have continued school finance, taxes and numerous other topics of interest to school leaders. To join the webinar please go to https://kasb.adobeconnect.com/e4w8awp9izg/event/login.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 those who cannot participate in the live webinar, it will be archived at kasb.org/legiswebinars.

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