KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Jan. 14

State education officials said Tuesday the Legislature must repeal a provision that would do away with the at-risk high-density weighting or Kansas will face more legal action on school finance.

The funding stream — about $50 million annually that helps schools with the highest proportion of low-income students — will expire on July 1 unless the provision is removed.

Officials have previously said the expiration date was put into the law by mistake but on Tuesday Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis said it was inserted by a legislator who is no longer serving.

“That one proviso has got to go,” Dennis told the State Board of Education. Dennis said a bill will be drawn up soon to repeal the expiration date and added he hoped legislators approve it quickly so that districts will know the funding is coming when they enter salary negotiations with teachers.

If the provision is not repealed, that would trigger another challenge to the school finance law over equity, he said. Dennis said Gov. Laura Kelly’s budget, which will be released Thursday, includes funding for the at-risk high density weighting.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Senate Education held the first of two briefings on “Kansas schools by the numbers.” Mark Tallman, KASB associate executive director for advocacy, provided the committee information on administrative salaries. Here is a link to the committee’s agenda.

On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly will deliver her State of the State address. The Advocacy in Action Conference, sponsored by KASB and USA-Kansas, starts Wednesday with presentations from Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab and will include an evening reception for legislators and State of the State watch party.

On Thursday, the Advocacy in Action conference will include sessions with education and budget experts, including an analysis of  Kelly’s budget proposal. To register for the Advocacy conference, go here 

For more information on the second day of the legislative session and what is ahead for the week, go to this short video on KASB’s Facebook page.


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