KASB Legislative Committee recommends priorities for school districts

The Kansas Association of School Boards Legislative Committee has proposed a set of state and local priorities for 2021. The proposals will be finalized by the KASB Delegate Assembly, which is scheduled to meet virtually on Jan. 21. 

School leaders are encouraged to review these proposals with their local boards of education. Each KASB member school board has a voting delegate at the assembly, which will discuss and consider any amendments before approving the documents. 

Local boards may also use these recommendations as a guide for determining their own priorities for the upcoming legislative session and input to state and federal officials. 

KASB’s Legislative Committee developed the positions to support state education goals for student success as individuals, as civically engaged community members and with the skills to earn at least a middle-class lifestyle. 

KASB’s recommendations fall into seven “pathways” to support these goals. 

  1. Increase support for student health and safety

Help schools operate onsite learning as safely as possible and provide alternatives when not possible. 

Increase support for student mental health issues. 

Improve educational outcomes for foster care and homeless students. 

Support positive approaches to school safety and discipline focused on keeping students in school and out of the juvenile system, if possible. 

Continue to address issues such as bullying and vaping. 

Ensure students have adequate access to health care. 

  1. Strengthen Civic and Community Engagement

Strengthen civic education through community-based activities as part of the school redesign process, rather than state mandates. 

Prepare students to live in strong, diverse, and inclusive communities. 

  1. Give all students the opportunity to succeed

Fully fund services to students with disabilities. 

Ensure all students and families have access to broadband service and internet technology. 

Limit public funding to schools that serve all students on the same basis as public schools. 

Expand early childhood programs to better prepare disadvantaged children for school and help parents work to support their families.  

Provide funding to address educational inequities among “at-risk” students.  

Provide for the education of immigrant students. 

  1. Prepare students for postsecondary education and careers

Assist students affected by COVID-related disruptions in learning. 

Support school redesign principles and programs to improve college and career readiness. 

  1. Attract and retain qualified, effective educators and support staff

Explore ways to address staff shortages and management challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Support increased professional development. 

  1. Support effective school operations

Continue to implement the constitutionally suitable school funding approved by the Legislature and the Kansas Supreme Court. 

Examine whether school finance and other laws and regulations should be modified as districts face unprecedented disruptions while trying to look at new ways to operate. 

Ensure equitable and adequate funding for school district capital costs. 

  1. Exceptional boards and leadership teams

Support local decision-making by school leaders. 

At the federal level, the KASB Legislative Committee developed positions with input from policies adopted by the national school boards association. Most of these recommendations address federal education law and programs, such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, school nutrition and student data privacy laws, federal technology aid (E-RATE), disaster aid and federal impact aid. 

Here are links to the proposed resolutions on State Policy Issues and Federal Policy Issues. 

For more information, contact the KASB advocacy staff. 

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