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Topeka - On Sunday evening, the Kansas Legislature passed legislation that, in addition to providing funding for K-12 education, eliminated due process rights for our teachers and provided tax credits for private education. Educators and parents across the state remained hopeful that the Legislature would pass a clean school finance bill in a statement of support for public education.
Perhaps now, more than any time in the history of education, our students and schools are in need of strong leaders and advocates.

As administrators prepare for students to return, USA|Kansas wants to thank you for your leadership and work on behalf of public education. As I've talked with many of you, It has been great to hear about what your schools are doing to prepare for students. It is hard to believe that summer is coming to a close and in just a few weeks, the hallways will be filled with the familiar chatter of students and classrooms will come alive with students eager to learn. And, at the same time, it is a good reminder of all the work that happens in the shadows -- the work that parents, legislators and the media never see. You do it quietly and with a clear sense of purpose.
The Kansas State Department of Education and CETE have suspended testing across the state until Thursday, April 3, to respond to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the KITE system earlier this morning. DDoS attacks attempt to shut down computer servers by bombarding them with intense volumes of requests that servers cannot handle. CETE has identified the problem and is working to correct it by the re-opening of the window on April 3. At no time during the incident were student data compromised in any way.
Last year the group Game On for Kansas Schools made headlines when member and local mom, Heather Ousley, made the 60 plus mile trek from her house in Merriam to the capitol building in Topeka. With the motto of “Just one walk,” the group aimed to air their frustrations with state legislators over the budgetary cuts to public schools in the state and the emergence of a privatization agenda.

This year's walk comes on the heels of the Gannon equity decision. They will depart from 6800 Farley in Merriam at 9:30 AM on Friday, March 28th, and they will walk The Final Mile on Monday, March 31st leaving from the Supreme Court building at 1:30 and walking to the capitol building. They invite you to join them on Twitter (@GameOnKansas and/or #walk4KSschools) as they post live updates of their journey.
Today’s decision by the Kansas Supreme Court recognizes the importance of a providing a quality and equitable public education for each student. Investments made in today’s classrooms are investments in tomorrow’s workforce. Students enrolled in elementary schools today have not experienced the full benefit of programs and services available before the funding cuts began in 2009. Instead, these young students have experienced increased class sizes, fewer extra learning opportunities and fewer instructional supports. We must reverse this trend.
Earlier today, the Legislative Division of Post Audit released two K-12 Education Efficiency Audits, one for Ashland USD 220 and one for Parsons USD 503. An efficiency audit for Emporia USD 253 is underway and will be released at a later date. Auburn-Washburn USD 437 was initially selected as this year’s large district, but a panel of legislators agreed to postpone that audit after the district filed an appeal.


USA|Kansas members will receive Legislative Updates and Alerts via email throughout the session. Additional communications may be made available via Twitter and Facebook. To access past Legislative Updates and Alerts, click here.

To download a copy of the 2014 USA|Kansas Legislative Positions and Priorities, click here.

Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting Testimony

Are you thinking of testifying before a committee? Are you unsure of how to go about signing up and preparing for a hearing? Whether it is your first time or the tenth time, it's never a bad thing to brush up on the rules. This information is intended to provide guidance on signing up to testify, help you prepare your testimony and understand the committee rules. If you have additional questions, please contact the USA|Kansas office.

Kansas Legislators

Click here to access contact information for members of the Kansas Senate.

Click here to access contact information for members of the Kansas House of Representatives.

Legislative Committees

For a list of Legislative Committee information, including members, meetings times and locations, click here.

Here are some quick links to resources to help get the year started:

Don't forget to renew your membership. As you enroll students, welcome teachers and prepare for the first day of school, don't forget to take time to renew your USA|Kansas membership. You can renew online or download a PDF membership form.

USA|Kansas Administrator Directory, 2013-2014. Keep track of your colleagues and build your professional network. The Directory includes contact for administrators, service centers, postsecondary education and even your retired colleagues.

KSDE Timeline for Reports and Collections, 2013-2014. Have you updated your calendar with report deadlines? Download this report to keep track of when and how to submit reports to KSDE.

Kansas Statutes for School Administrators. This page includes a list of frequently accessed Kansas Statutes governing public schools, especially school finance.

KPERS Members: Your Benefits Are Changing.
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To help members and employers understand the benefit changes enacted this past legislative session, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) has developed a special section on their website for changes going into effect in January, 2014.
Recent reports indicate that some school district firewalls may be blocking communication from USA|Kansas and some of our member associations. Sometimes, systems will see multiple people at one USD, getting the same email at the same time, as suspicious activity. To ensure that you receive communication from USA|Kansas, please provide the following information list of IP addresses to your IT departments.

Click here to read more.

 
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