Has Senator Moran entered a bunker?

Feb 2, 2017 by

Senator Moran’s voicemail has been full for days.  Now, emails are bouncing back to senders. Kansas public education advocates want to encourage Senator Moran to VOTE NO on Betsy Devos.  Will Senator Moran show the courage to listen to Kansans or bow to partisan p read more

read more

Share This

Licensure, Purchasing, DUE PROCESS, and DeVos

Feb 1, 2017 by

Post Highlights

  • SB 76 seeks to create fee caps and require reciprocity with other states.
  • Of greatest concern for KNEA is blanket reciprocity with other states where requirements and standards for obtaining a teaching license are far lower than in Kansas.
  • KNEA believes that the agency best equipped for ensuring licensing requirements is the State Board of Education.
  • HB 2148 seeks to centralize procurement through the State Department of Administration.
  • Bi-Partisan support growing for bill (HB 2179) to restore due process rights for teachers.

Betsy DeVos

CALL SENATORS MORAN AND ROBERTS AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO STAND WITH KANSAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

1-855-882-6229

Senate Committee Considers Changes to All State Licenses

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee today held a hearing on Senate Bill 76 which would cap fees collected for all occupational licenses, waive those fees for certain people, and require automatic reciprocity of licenses with other states and units of government.

Supporters of the bill generally expressed their support for the provisions waiving licensure fees for low-income and military persons without addressing the other aspects of the bill.

KNEA joined a long list of opponents including the State Board of Education, the College of Education at Emporia State University, USA/Kansas, the Kansas School Superintendents Association, the Board of Healing Arts, The Pharmacy Board, and the Board of Cosmetology.

All the opponents expressed concern about the fee caps and fee waivers. Fee waivers had some support but only if there was funding provided by the state to ensure that licensing agencies can efficiently do the work necessary to make sure candidates qualify for licensure. Fee caps were opposed often because in some professions higher fees are used to fund continuing education programs.

Of greatest concern was the requirement that licensing agencies would have to accept a license from another state or municipality without regard to the actual standards applied by the other state. In education, state standards for a teaching license vary widely around the country. Kansas has held license applicants to very high standards and would not be well-served if forced to license anyone who held a license regardless of where that license was issued.

Further, this legislation usurps the authority of the State Board of Education to manage the licensure of the education profession.

Committee member Sen. Rob Olson (R-Olathe) suggested that the bill be sent to a subcommittee so that it could be more thoroughly examined. Chairman Jacob LaTurner seemed to agree and announced that the committee would not rush this issue and instead take their time for fully examine all the ramifications.


Hearing on Procurement Consolidation

The House K-12 Education Budget Committee held a hearing today on HB 2148, a bill that would require all school districts to handle procurement of goods through a centralized service in the State Department of Administration. Generally, the Department looks at what items are to be purchased and then negotiates agreements with vendors to provide those items.

The Alvarez and Marsal Efficiency study suggested that this had the potential to save money on school expenditures, however, the study also suggested that a number of changes would need to be made in the Department to handle the additional work that would come from such consolidation.

There are other considerations to take into account. For example, local school districts seek to be good partners with the local community and often buy locally. Local businesses will often try to beat the price available through the state system. Central procurement could have the unintended consequence of harming local businesses.


Bipartisan Bill to Restore Teacher Due Process!

House Bill 2179 is not a committee bill. It is a sponsored bill meaning legislators sign on as co-sponsors and their names are listed on the bill.

House Bill 2179, which would restore the teacher due process law that was repealed at 4:00 am without ever having a hearing in 2014, has been introduced and co-sponsored by 45 Representatives: Crum, Stogsdill, Alcala, Arnberger, Ballard, Bishop, Burroughs, Carlin, Carmichael, Curtis, Deere, Elliott, Ellis, Finney, Frownfelter, Gartner, Good, Henderson, Highberger, Hodge, Holscher, Kessinger, Koesten, Kuether, Lusk, Lusker, Murnan, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Ousley, Parker, Phelps, Pittman, Ruiz, Sawyer, A. Smith, Tarwater, Terrell, Trimmer, Victors, Ward, Weigel, Whipple, Winn and Wolfe Moore.

Is your Representative on the list of co-sponsors? If yes, please take the time to send a message of thanks.

Now we wait for a hearing in the House Education Committee.


DeVos Nomination on the Razor’s Edge: Where’s Jerry Moran?

While Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education has been moved out of committee on a 12-11 vote, she is now subject to a vote of the full Senate for confirmation. Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have announced that they will not support the DeVos nomination. Along with 48 Democrats, that puts the numbers at 50-50; breaking ties goes to the Vice President, Mike Pence.

That means we need more Republicans to put schools ahead of Trump’s agenda. We wonder where Jerry Moran will be when that vote takes place.

And that’s your job right now! Jerry Moran needs to know that DeVos is bad for Kansas schools. Call Moran’s office and tell him to put Kansas ahead of partisanship and vote NO on Betsy DeVos. Let Jerry Moran know that Betsy DeVos is bad for rural communities and wrong for special education!

CALL SENATORS MORAN AND ROBERTS AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO STAND WITH KANSAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

1-855-882-6229

read more

Guns Win; DeVos Moves Ahead Thanks to Pat Roberts

Jan 31, 2017 by

Post Highlights

  • Gun bill SB 53 allowing colleges to prohibit firearms on campus FAILS to move out of Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs despite hearing from hundreds of proponents including parent groups, students, educators, law enforcement, and others.
  • HB 2074 (identical bill) hearing in House Committee on Federal and State Affairs tomorrow morning, KNEA and dozens of proponents expected to testify in favor.
  • If House bill advances, Senate will have opportunity to reconsider and side with citizen majority rather than NRA lobbyists.
  • U.S. Senator Pat Roberts votes in lock-step with party to move anti-public education zealot on to full Senate vote for confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • DeVos’s fitness for the post continues to be questioned as new allegations surface that she plagiarized responses on her committee questionnaire.
  • Call Senator Jerry Moran and encourage him to vote against Betsy Devos confirmation:  Moran’s office numbers are: (202) 224-6521 (Washington); (785) 628-6401 (Hays); (785) 539-8973 (Manhattan); (620) 232-2286 (Pittsburg); (316) 631-1410 (Wichita); and (913) 393-0711 (Olathe).

Senate Committee Backs NRA, Turn Backs on Students & Faculty

This morning the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs voted to reject Senate Bill 53 which would have allowed colleges to decide for themselves whether or not to allow guns on campus.

Testimony before the committee had been overwhelmingly in favor of the bill with students and faculty joined by parent groups and other education groups but still a majority of committee members bowed to the NRA.

A House Bill with the same content, HB 2074, will get a hearing in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee tomorrow. Should that bill go through the House, the Senate will have a chance to reconsider.

In the meantime, you can communicate your frustration with the continued dominance of the NRA despite public support for the bill. If the bill does not pass, then come July 1, 2017, colleges will no longer be able to prohibit the carrying of firearms on campus unless they can provide metal detectors and security staff at every building entrance on campus. As a side note, the legislature will provide no funds at all to pay for the installation of metal detectors or the ongoing cost of security staff.

Members of the Senate Federal and State Committee are: Republicans Jacob LaTurner, Bud Estes, Bruce Givens, Jeff Longbine, Ty Masterson, Rob Olson, and Caryn Tyson and Democrats Oletha Faust-Goudeau and Lynn Rogers. You can find their email addresses and phone numbers by clicking here.

The vote was a voice vote so we cannot tell you exactly how each Senator voted. As best we could tell there were three votes in favor of the bill. Senator Jeff Longbine was not at the committee meeting having been called to a Senate leadership meeting on tax policy.


US Senator Pat Roberts Votes to Approve Anti-Public Education Zealot Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

Washington Post

In the United States Senate today, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 12 to 11 to advance Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to the full Senate for Consideration. All 12 Republicans – including Kansas Senator Pat Roberts – voted YES on DeVos while all 11 Democrats voted NO.

The DeVos nomination now goes before the full Senate where Kansas Senator Jerry Moran will have his chance to vote.

It’s time to let Moran know what you think. Call his offices and urge him to vote NO on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. She is unqualified – in her hearing she was unable to identify IDEA as special education and suggested that schools needed guns to fight off grizzly bear attacks – and she has a long history of working to destroy public education in Michigan.  Just today, new questions about Devos’s fitness for service have arisen as some of her responses given during her confirmation proceedings appear to be plagiarized. 

Moran’s office numbers are: (202) 224-6521 (Washington); (785) 628-6401 (Hays); (785) 539-8973 (Manhattan); (620) 232-2286 (Pittsburg); (316) 631-1410 (Wichita); and (913) 393-0711 (Olathe).

 

 

read more