KASB’s Daily Education Roundup for Thur. Jan. 31

On Thursday, a Senate committee approved a tax cut that could reduce revenue by more than $420 million over three years and the House and Senate education committees heard from children and parent advocates.

Here is a link to a more detailed story about SB 22, which was approved by the Senate Select Committee on Federal Tax Code Implementation. KASB, in written testimony here, expressed serious concerns with the legislation because of the impact it could have on school funding. KASB urges education leaders to speak with their senators about the measure, which may be voted on next week in the full Senate.

Before the House and Senate education committees, Dona Booe, president of Kansas Children’s Service League, testified that reports of child abuse in Kansas, which have increased 45 percent since 2010, is a “new public health crisis.”

“We’re not going to grow strong and progress if we don’t address this,” she said.

The stresses of the economy are hurting families and leading to more children with adverse childhood experiences, which need to be treated, Booe said.

The committees also heard from officials with United Methodist Health Ministry, which supports an early childhood intervention project called Attachment Behavioral Catchup or ABC. The program works with parents of children from birth to two years old on nurturance, interactions, expressing positive emotions and avoiding frightening behavior. The program has been shown to help parents be more sensitive and responsive to their child’s needs.

Next week is shaping up to be an important week for school advocates. On Wednesday, the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance is scheduled to hear SB 44, which would implement Gov. Laura Kelly’s school funding plan. KASB supports this plan. And the Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee, will conduct a hearing on SB 7, which would allow school boards to move their officer elections from July to January. Also, the full Senate will debate the tax cut bill and SB 9, which makes a $115 million payment to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

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