KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. April 30Scott Rothschild
Budget writers received state financial updates, Gov. Laura Kelly’s budget amendments and had numerous conversations on spending proposals on Tuesday — one day before the start of the wrap-up of the 2019 legislative session.
While the new school finance plan has already been approved and is before the Kansas Supreme Court for review, numerous smaller education programs remain before legislators.
In the House Appropriations Committee, on a motion from state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichtia, and seconded by House K-12 Education Budget Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, the appropriators removed a proposal to add $130,000 ($86,726 from the State General Fund) for three half-time IT positions to support the “accountability reports” provisions in SB 16, the school finance law. Williams said the data required for the reports is already housed deep on the Kansas State Department of Education’s website, so the department should not need the additional staffers proposed in that budget item to make the data more prominent on school district websites.
The Appropriations committee also reviewed KSDE’s request for a continuation of $5 million in school safety and security matching grants, a Senate proposal to include $2.1 million for the Kansas Reading Success program (including the requirement of a 25 percent match from school districts), and revised KPERS-school employer contributions in FY 2019-21
Legislators also discussed appropriating funds for an anti-bullying app, similar to one that is used in Utah and the House-Senate Legislative Post-Audit Committee affirmed audits this year of at-risk funding and state and local government spending on association dues, fees and lobbying.
In another development, state officials overestimated the amount needed to cover KPERS payments by $76 million over the remainder of the current fiscal year and the next two fiscal years. This will undoubtedly lead to discussions on how to use these funds.
For a video review of the day’s developments, go to KASB’s Facebook page.