KASB Legislative Committee meets on federal, state issues

KASB’s Legislative Committee met Saturday to review the organization’s federal and state legislative policy positions in preparation for the 2018 legislative season. KASB’s Delegate Assembly will vote on any proposed changes at the Annual Convention in December. 

The group discussed how feedback from the summer advocacy tour and priorities expressed with the KASB Board of Directors might affect the organization’s permanent state legislative policies and whether some items should be included in an annual legislative resolution. Committee members noted widespread opposition to legislative attempts to limit school bond indebtedness; continuing concerns over funding at-risk programs and special education; difficulty in recruiting and retaining teachers and support staff; concern over abatement of school taxes in economic development districts and support for moving school board elections back to the spring and maintaining their nonpartisan status.  

KASB Associate Director Mark Tallman updated the legislative committee on the status of continuing discussions with the KNEA on the issue of teacher due process. While KASB supports teacher due process, the two organizations disagree on whether the local school board or a third party should have the final say in a teacher dismissal proceeding. The committee asked staff to share a similar report with KASB membership during Fall regional meetings with feedback directed to the Legislative Committee.  

Committee Chair and past president Amy Martin noted that KASB’s federal legislative positions have not been updated for several years, primarily because of the organization’s recent focus on critical state issues. The group reviewed KASB’s relatively brief federal policy positions and the National School Board Association’s lengthy document and asked the advocacy staff to prepare a succinct summary of the NSBA platform. The committee discussed the possibility of presenting to the delegate body an annual federal resolution addressing time-sensitive topics that are not covered in permanent policy. Staff will also research how Kansas schools could access additional federal funding. 

The committee’s next meeting will be Saturday, Nov. 4. 

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