December 7, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Astroturf Alert: KASB Urges School Boards to Submit Letters to Editor

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The Kansas Association of School Boards is encouraging school boards across the state to submit letters to the editor lauding a “new day in Kansas public education.”

The sample letter says the Kansas State Board of Education adopted a vision that will lead to the success of each student. The vision will reach fruition due to the Kansas Legislature’s recent adoption of a school funding formula, a new accreditation system that focuses on a broad view of achievement based on student success after high school, and the upcoming selection of 14 schools that will redesign schools for success.

“After years of neutral or declining funding, Kansas [or insert your USD name here] schools can finally begin to restore cut programs and positions and pay teachers a salary that exceeds inflation,” the sample letter reads.

The KASB has been on a defensive tour since Kansas legislators adopted the largest tax hike in state history.

The KASB has been on a defensive tour since Kansas legislators adopted the largest tax hike in state history. In a June blog on the KASB website, lobbyist Mark Tallman lists ways school board members can keep their jobs and mitigate the tax increase damage.

He tells school board members to say thank you to taxpayers who are now paying more, create formal thank-you events for their communities, use additional funding in ways that will be evident immediately, and spending down school cash reserves.

“But after this legislature took steps to finally provide stability for the next two years, districts should consider ways to reasonably invest money in one-time investments, like professional development to improve the educational outcomes,” Tallman wrote.

He also suggested that board members strengthen their communications.

“The members of the [insert USD name and number] embrace this new day with optimism and ask for your support as we work to improve our students’ education and support their continued success,” the recent KASB sample letter-to-the-editor reads.



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