Safety and Security

KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. March 14

Two vastly different school finance approaches were debated Thursday and Republican leaders sent Gov. Laura Kelly a tax cut bill that she will likely veto. SB 22 would cut taxes by approximately $209 million in the next fiscal year, with about two-thirds of the cut going to corporations. The bill would also benefit some individuals who itemize and reduce the state sales tax on food from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent. Kelly, a Democrat, issued a statement saying the bill would “undo all the progress we’ve made.” Kelly has said she wants to hold off on tax cuts for a year [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. March 13

House Republican leaders on Wednesday fast-tracked a newly revealed school finance plan that KASB and other education groups will oppose. KASB has provided a review and summary of the bill. Here is a KASB Live you tube video on the measure. “We think it would actually move us farther away from resolving the Gannon lawsuit,” said KASB Associate Executive Director Mark Tallman. House K-12 Education Budget Committee Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, made HB 2395 public on Tuesday, held an informational hearing on the 81-page bill Wednesday and scheduled a public hearing for Thursday with testimony from opponents due by 10 a.m. Thursday. Williams [...]

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Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying announced by commissioner

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson on Tuesday announced the formation of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying. Watson said bullying is one of the main issues he hears from parents and educators as he travels around the state visiting schools. “Everywhere I go, parents want to discuss this. There are no easy answers,” Watson said. Twenty-eight percent of students in grades six through 12 say they experience bullying, he said. Watson said bullying now also follows students home because of social media. The task force will be co-chaired by Rick Ginsberg, dean of the University of Kansas School of Education, and James [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. March 11

The House Education Committee on Monday considered SB 128, which requires schools to conduct nine safety drills each year. The committee may take action on the bill Tuesday. SB 128 came about after the Legislature added a proviso in this year’s budget that required 16 safety drills, including 9 crisis, or shooter-type, drills. With 16 required drills, schools have been conducting an exercise nearly every 10 days, which takes away from instruction time and has caused some students to experience trauma, according to school officials. Education leaders and the Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office agreed that nine drills — four fire, three [...]

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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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New administration tries to reverse increases in neglect, abuse, foster care

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Systems charged with keeping Kansas children safe from neglect and abuse have essentially been neglected and abused at the state level, according to incoming state officials. In hearings before various committees, officials are unpacking failures over the past several years that have led to what is being described as multiple crises in foster care, child welfare and mental health, especially among young Kansans. Gov. Laura Kelly’s new administration says the problems have arisen because of imprudent policies and revenue shortfalls and they touch every community and school district in Kansas. Laura Howard, the new secretary of the Kansas Department [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. March 7

The Kansas House on Thursday advanced an approximately $200 million tax cut proposal on a mostly partisan 80-42 vote. SB 22, opposed by Gov. Laura Kelly, KASB and numerous education groups, will be up for final action Friday in the House. The votes in both the House and Senate (26-14) fall short of the two-thirds margins that would be needed to overturn a veto should the measure make it to Kelly’s desk and she veto it. The bill has received only support from Republicans. All Democrats and a handful of Republicans have voted against the legislation. KASB opposes the bill, saying the [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Feb. 27

The Kansas Legislature wrapped up the first half of the session Wednesday with votes on a number of education-related bills that will likely be considered further during the second half of the session. The Senate approved SB 7, which allows school boards to move their officer elections to January; SB 16, which allows school districts to spend at-risk funds on evidence-based learning program; SB 128, which requires that schools conduct at least nine safety drills per year and SB 199, which would create the AO-K program and allow certain adults to earn high school equivalency credentials by participating in career [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Feb. 26

A version of Gov. Laura Kelly’s school finance proposal was defeated Tuesday along partisan lines but Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, promised a $90 million increase for public schools next year that he said the Legislature would approve in plenty of time to meet the Kansas Supreme Court’s deadline.   Meanwhile, education advocates should take note because on Wednesday the House and Senate may debate a couple of bills affecting school boards. The Senate is scheduled to take up SB 7 and the House is scheduled to take up HB 2346.  SB 7 was introduced by Sen. Tom Hawk, [...]

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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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