KASB’s Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Feb. 13

Responses are pouring in from school districts that are explaining how additional funding has been used to drive student success. 

Legislators are considering SB 44, which would add the inflationary adjustment to K-12 funding sought by Gov. Laura Kelly, the State Board of Education and the plaintiff school districts in the Gannon lawsuit who say the bill will settle what the Kansas Supreme Court has said is needed to make Kansas’ school finance system constitutional. 

In consideration of the bill, Sen. Molly Baumgardner, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance, asked what schools have done with the funding increases that they have received over the past two years. 

Districts have sent answers to that question to KASB and United School Administrators of Kansas, which are collecting the data and will soon release it and share with the legislative education committees. In the meantime, districts are urged to get the information out to the public through social media and other means, especially on Twitter, using the hashtag #FundingHelpsStudents. 

If you have already prepared a report for your board or community, you can send that. If not, just a paragraph, few sentences or bullet points is all we need. You can respond by sending an email to mtallman@kasb.org or gabuie@usakansas.org 

Thus far, districts have said the funds have been used to reduce class size, increase at-risk programs, hire counselors and social workers, give teachers pay raises, expand pre-school, improve educational technology, replace outdated textbooks and dozens of other uses. 

It is important for school leaders across Kansas to talk with their legislators about school finance and other issues as looming legislative deadlines means many education-related bills are being introduced and set for hearings. 

On Wednesday, the House Financial Institutions and Pensions Committee sent to the full House, without recommendation, HB 2197, which re-amortizes the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The proposal was made by Gov. Kelly while Republican leaders have opposed it. KASB testified as neutral. The bill is set for full House consideration Thursday.  

The education committees also heard the report from Task Force on Dyslexia. The State Board of Education accepted the report earlier. 

On Thursday, KASB will be testifying against HB 2150, which would give any student who witnesses bullying or says they were bullied a private school voucher. 

Next week, hearings have been scheduled for SB 47, which would set up the student opportunity scholarship program; HB 2233, requiring school districts to provide a stipend for teachers for classroom supplies; SB 148, amendment requirements for school board requests for proposal for construction and repair projects; HB 2257, requirements for school district bullying policies and HB 2183, requiring a computer science course for high school graduation. 

A discussion of the day’s events and tomorrow’s lineup can be seen here on Facebook.

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