Legislative Statements for 2022-23
Message from Superintendent Yeager: K-12 Education Budget
Dear Olathe Delegation Members:
Thank you for your service to the Olathe community this legislative session. The Olathe Board of Education appreciates your willingness to engage with us as we strive to provide students and families with high-quality and meaningful educational experiences. As you prepare to return to Topeka next week, the K-12 education budget remains unresolved and split among conference committee reports for SB 83 and SB 113. We thought it would be helpful to reiterate the district’s positions on several budget and policy issues that still need to be resolved.
K-12 education funding
The K-12 education budget remains unresolved and is currently divided among conference committee reports for SB 83 and SB 113. Our district opposes these bills in their current form and urges you to pass a budget that:
- extends the 20-mill levy,
- increases special education funding to the statutory level of 92% of excess cost,
- increases the COLA weighting cap, and
- retains the current statutory language for the base state aid calculation and the inflationary index (this piece is especially important for budget certainty and planning purposes).
Priority policy issues impacting our district
- Efforts to establish education savings accounts and expand the tax credit scholarship program were chief among our opposition to the conference committee reports for SB 83 and SB 113. The Olathe Board of Education continues to oppose public funding for private schools that are not required to meet the same academic and fiscal accountability standards as public schools.
- Our district continues to support amendments to the open enrollment legislation passed last year that would exempt district employees’ children from being subject to the open lottery. This non-momentary benefit is critical to recruiting and retaining teachers and staff in the district.
We appreciate your service and remain committed to working with you to support Olathe students and families.
Dr. Brent Yeager
Setting High Expectations for Olathe Students
- We support robust educational programs and services to ensure all students acquire the intellectual, vocational, and interpersonal skills to be college and/or career ready upon graduation.
- We support investing in early childhood and school readiness programs and services to meet the cognitive and social needs of young children.
- We believe schools receiving public funding should meet state accreditation requirements, and accept ALL students on an equal, non-selective basis.
Providing the Resources Necessary to Provide All Students the Opportunity to Succeed
- We support increasing special education funding to attain the statutory goal of funding 92 percent of statewide excess cost. We further support leveraging all available federal funding for special education to support programs and services for students with special needs.
- We support funding at-risk programs and services that support students in poverty and/or those struggling academically.
- We support amending the capital improvement state aid calculation to allow for investments in technology to create high-quality learning environments that support students participating in experiential learning and workforce programs.
- We support amending the virtual education funding formula to provide support for expanded student learning opportunities made available through both full-time and integrated virtual education programs/courses offered by local school districts.
- We support efforts to recruit and retain high-quality professionals into the education workforce, including flexibility of licensure reciprocity with other states and programs that incent and recognize education professionals.
Supporting the Well-being of Olathe Students
- We strive to ensure the safety and well-being of all students in our schools. We celebrate our community’s diversity and work to create an inclusive environment that treats students equitably, respectfully, and with dignity.
- We support increasing access to mental health and behavioral health services for students and families.