Under the Dome - May 17, 2013
We apologize for an error we made in last night's Under the Dome.
We work with other organizations that hold similar views and sometimes when things happen quickly and demand action, we coordinate our efforts.
Late last night, as we were dealing with the anti-common core proviso, our friends at United School Administrators shared their language on an alert. With their permission, we simply sent USA's alert to our list. We were able to respond quickly to thousands of school teachers and administrators on a common concern.
Unfortunately, in our haste last night, we failed to give credit to United School Administrators for their excellent work on this issue.
So, belatedly, thank you USA/Kansas for letting us use your alert last night. It is good to know that we have friends we can count on in our efforts to ensure a quality education for every Kansas child.
And with that in mind...read on!
Common Core Standards not killed yet!
Take action this weekend!
The 9:00 am meeting of the Budget Conference Committee was abruptly cancelled this morning meaning that there has been no agreement on the proposal to put a proviso banning the common core standards into the budget bill. There will not be a meeting until at least Monday of next week.
In the meantime, you are encouraged to contact Senators and Representatives representing your school districts urging them to oppose any effort to de-fund the implementation of the Common Core Standards. (Contact information for the conference committee members is contained below.) Explain the investment your districts have already made in implementing the Standards and that they establish rigorous academic expectations in English language arts and mathematics. The Common Core Standards are part of the Kansas College and Career Readiness Standards and define the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade to be on track for success in college and career.
Use these talking points:
- A bill banning the common core standards was heard in the House Education Committee where it was defeated on a vote of 11 to 7.
- There was no such bill introduced or heard in the Senate.
- It is a clear violation of the spirit of representative democracy and the legislative process to take a bill that was voted down in committee and was never heard at all in one chamber and then to insert the provisions of that bill into a comprehensive budget bill for all state agencies.
- The bill has not passed either chamber and so it is wrong to even consider such a proposal in a conference committee. This action violates the legislative process.
- Since this is proviso in a conference committee report, it cannot be amended or even seriously debated on the floor of the legislature. A topic that was never even considered in a Senate Committee should not be subject to a simple yes or no vote without the opportunity to amend.
- The Common Core Standards are not an initiative of the federal government. They were created by state Governors and Chief State School Officers. They represent the best efforts of the states to align standards in order to prepare every student for a career or post-secondary education.
- The State Board of Education is responsible for ensuring the success of the public education system of Kansas. The members of the State Board approved participation in the Common Core Standards and it is they who work to ensure that Kansas schools will have the strongest standards for instruction. Adoption of this proviso strips another elected body of its constitution authority to oversee public education in Kansas.
- Our schools have already invested significant resources and time in preparing our staff to implement the new standards. WE support the Common Core Standards because they will improve instruction and help ensure that every Kansas child graduates from high school career or college ready.
- Please reject the budget proviso that would prohibit the common core standards.
Senate Ways & Means Conferees:
• Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover), chair - firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7388
• Sen. Jim Denning (R-Overland Park), vice-chair - email@example.com or 785.296.7394
• Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka), ranking minority member -firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7365
House Appropriations Conferees:
• Rep. Marc Rhoades (R-Newton), chair - email@example.com or 785.296.7682
• Rep. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita), vice-chair - firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7681
• Rep. Kyle Hoffman (R-Clearwater), currently sitting in for Rep. Suellentrop -email@example.com or 785.296.7643
• Rep. Jerry Henry (D-Cummings), ranking minority - firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7688
For more information on the Common Core Standards in Kansas, click here for a Fact Sheet from the Kansas State Department of Education.
Gone for the weekend
Looks like another week ahead
After brief meetings on the floor today, both the House and Senate adjourned until Monday, May 20. With no announcements about either tax or budget conference committees, looks like we're done until then. The conventional wisdom is that during a veto session, if they come in on Monday, they will be there all week!