Newsroom

Take Action Now: Obamacare Repeal would hurt students with disabilities; NSBA urges ‘No’ vote

The National School Boards Association is urging education advocates to call their U.S. House members and urge them to vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act, a vote which may come up as early as Wednesday. The following news release was issued by NSBA: ACT NOW: OBAMACARE REPEAL CUTS MEDICAID FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS This Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives will be moving forward to consider legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." After a month of negotiations and changes to the original bill filed in March, House members plan to vote on the American Health Care...

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Governor’s budget includes funds for early childhood, reading, at risk

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday assembled its "omnibus" appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018. The measure includes funding for early childhood and reading programs and for certain at-risk programs. The committee met for the first time since the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CRE) April 20 prediction that state revenues will be up about $150 million over previous estimates for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Legislature reconvenes Monday after a three-week break to finish its budget and tax work, and craft a new school funding formula, in preparation for final adjournment of the 2017 legislative session. An omnibus...

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Trump signs executive order on federal education regulations

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order allowing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to propose getting rid of any federal regulations she determines intrude unlawfully on state and local control of public schools. National School Board Association President Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gentzel said NSBA was “encouraged” that the executive order was “reaffirming the state and local role in K-12 education decision making” and looked forward to working with the administration in reviewing the federal provisions and requirements. “Restoring governance to local decision-makers, including school boards which represent their community’s beliefs and values and know...

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2017 Westar Energy STEM Innovation Awards Submission Deadline July 14

Three $3,000 grants to support innovative project-based instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are available from Westar Energy.  This is the fourth year for the grant program, and funds can be used to increase student interest and academic achievement in the STEM disciplines as applied to electrical energy. A focus on increasing the diversity of students involved in STEM education is of special interest area. The awards are a partnership between Westar Energy, Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) and Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). A selection committee, composed of personnel from Westar Energy, KASB and KSDE...

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Proposed changes to E-Rate could negatively impact low-income and rural areas

Proposed changes to a program that provides federal subsidies for education technology to schools could result in less support for schools and libraries in low-income areas, according to the National School Board Association. The Federal Communications Commission is considering changes to the E-Rate program, which provides $3.9 billion in subsidies to schools, libraries and communities for broadband/internet access and internal connections. Policymakers are considering a new per pupil distribution formula which could affect students, especially in rural areas, in the following ways:  It would impact a cornerstone of the E-Rate program: equitable distribution of E-rate discounts that focuses funding on those...

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Budget committees to get to work in preparation for wrap up session

Legislative budget committees will start meeting Thursday in preparation for what promises to be a busy wrap up session focused on spending, taxes and school finance. The Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Appropriations Committee will meet together to review new state revenue estimates. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Thursday in 346-South in the Statehouse. Later Thursday, the committees will meet in separate rooms to continue discussions and take possible action on the budget. Ways and Means will meet in room 548-South and Appropriations in Room 582-North. All these rooms have audio stream capabilities that can be accessed by going...

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Special: Kansas schools could lose critical funding under Trump budget proposal

If President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint for the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is enacted, Kansas schools could lose $60 million in federal funding that supports smaller class sizes, after-school and summer school programs and the education of military-connected children. The proposal also adds $1.4 billion in increased funding for school choice programs. Federal funding comprises roughly 8 percent of the state’s education revenue stream. The Trump administration released its budget blueprint in mid-March. The preliminary document sets overall goals and key priorities for federal agencies, with detailed departmental budgets scheduled to be released next month. While Congress traditionally...

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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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