• April 5, 2019 Update

    Posted by Webmaster on 4/5/2019

    Kansas legislators sent Gov. Laura Kelly a bipartisan school funding plan that is believed to satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court direction to add an inflation adjustment to earlier funding increases.

    Kelly has indicated that she will sign SB 16 into law and send it to the court for inspection.

    The measure passed easily in the Senate 31-8, hours after the House of Representatives approved the bill 76-47.

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  • March 28, 2019 Update

    Posted by Webmaster on 3/28/2019

    The Kansas Legislature has been busy working through numerous bills related to public education and its funding. The Kansas Senate passed SB 142, its school finance plan which also similar to the governor’s budget recommendation. This plan funds schools as the state promised in a four-year phase-in and includes funding for inflation, as the Kansas Supreme Court required.

    On the Kansas House side, a school funding bill has not yet been passed. A bill (SB 16) has been introduced that contains numerous education policy pieces that the district opposes. Stay tuned for more information as the session progresses.

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  • March 7, 2019 Update

    Posted by Webmaster on 3/7/2019

    The Kansas Legislature adjourned for a short break on Feb. 28 and returned on Wednesday, March 6.

    Leaders in both the Senate and the House are signaling a focus on school finance and they are working on finding some consensus with members on how a final bill will look. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning (R-Overland Park) indicated the Senate’s interest in adding $90 million to K-12 and, rather than adding it as an inflationary factor to the BASE, will likely specifically target new funding to at-risk students — including expanding school mental health grant funding.

    While the governor introduced bills that including overall Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) appropriations and the Gannon VI fix, it seems likely the House and Senate will consider those separately — especially as the Senate has already moved that direction.

    On Wednesday, March 6, the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance held a hearing on SB 142. (view the PDF of SB 142) This school funding bill would add $94 million to KSDE in both FY 2020 and FY 2021, corresponding to the amount requested by the State Board of Education and the Governor, in response to the most recent Gannon Court decision.

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  • Feb. 12, 2019 Update

    Posted by Webmaster on 2/12/2019 1:35:00 PM

    District staff are watching closely as activity in the Kansas Legislature ramps up.

    • On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance opened hearings on SB 44, the governor’s education funding proposal. Read online about SB 44. Superintendents, board members, and parent advocacy groups provided testimony in support of the $92 million included in the bill to respond to the Supreme Court ruling. They all spoke to wanting budget certainty and ending litigation. The hearing will continue on Tuesday, Feb. 12 and include testimony from organizations including the Kansas Association of School Boards, the Kansas National Education Association, and the Kansas Policy Institute. As mentioned previously, the majority of members on this committee believe the state has spent enough on K-12 education, and they are not likely to support the bill in its current form. Read more online about the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance.
    • On Feb. 6, nearly 20 members of the Johnson County legislative delegation participated in a luncheon where superintendents and board members spoke to the joint legislative platform that calls for (1) adding the inflation factor to the BASE, (2) eliminating the bond cap, (3) funding behavioral and mental health services, and (4) opposing any efforts to change the education provisions of the Kansas Constitution. Superintendents emphasized their desire to bring this litigation cycle to a close and to have budget certainty.
    • Superintendent John Allison continues to meet individually with Johnson County delegation members to further discuss the district’s needs and priorities.
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  • Feb. 11, 2019 Update

    Posted by Webmaster on 2/11/2019 1:30:00 PM

    Olathe Public Schools Legislative Priorities 2019

    The Olathe Public School District is situated in the densely-populated metropolitan area of Johnson County. Our county continues to experience rapid growth and the six school districts in this region provide instruction and educational support to more than 100,000 students.

    The Olathe Public School District is the second largest school district in the state and the largest school district in Johnson County, with a student population of more than 30,000 students.

    33% of our students in high school did not attend our elementary schools. Where do our students come from?

    • 38.9% come from within the United States, excluding Kansas
    • 20.7% come from within Kansas, excluding Johnson County
    • 25% come from other Johnson County public schools
    • 6.8% come from Johnson County private schools
    • 6.4% from outside the United States
    • 2.1% from a virtual or a home school

    Olathe Public Schools are not about adequacy, we are about excellence and preparing our students for their future. Our community expects excellence. Our businesses expect excellence. And, not unlike other school districts in Johnson County, we believe that investing in students has positive impacts for our community and the state’s economy.

    The Olathe Public Schools legislative platform reflects priorities that benefit the students and families in our district and in the broader Johnson County community.

    The Olathe Public Schools Board of Education:

    • Supports existing provisions within the Kansas Constitution that provide for the equitable and adequate finance of public education.
    • Supports the development and implementation of a system to ensure all students acquire the intellectual, vocational and interpersonal skills to be college and career ready upon graduation.
    • Supports a response to the Kansas Supreme Court decision of 2018 that addresses the court’s concern that adequacy will require additional resources to address inflationary increases from prior year funding.
    • Supports increased investments in early childhood and school readiness programs and services to meet the academic and social needs of young children.
    • Supports increased funding and increased access to mental health and behavioral health services for students and families.
    • Supports repealing the statutory limit on school district bond issuances.
    • Support maintaining non-partisan school board elections and seek resolution to the challenges created by the fall election cycles.
    • Believes that schools receiving public funding benefits should meet state accreditation requirements, provide information about students and financing on the same basis as public schools, and accept all students on an equal, non-selective basis.
    • Opposes scholarship tax credit programs and tuition voucher programs.
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  • Jan. 17, 2019 Update

    Posted by Webmaster on 1/17/2019

    The 2019 Kansas legislative session has officially opened. Check back for updates on legislative action this session and how it potentially impacts Olathe Public Schools.

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