As everyone is hopefully settling into this new normal, I thought it would be a good time to send out an update. Although the Kansas legislature is currently not in session, there are still some important things to address. Below you will find information on the 2020 Census, the Presidential Primary, and a Legislative Issues Follow-up.
2020 CENSUS – 10 minutes of your time impacts 10 years of funding
If just 1% of the Kansas population goes uncounted, the state could miss out on receiving $603,990,400 in federal funding. Every uncounted person costs the state approximately $2082. To date, only 50% of the households within the SMSD district have filled out their census.
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY – being done by mail-in ballot only
There is no republican primary this year and due to COVID-19, the Kansas Democratic Party has made a big change to their May 2 primary. All voting will be done via mail-in ballot; there will be no in-person voting. If you plan to vote in the primary, below are important dates and helpful information:
LEGISLATIVE ISSUES FOLLOW-UP
This year we’ve been following bills opposed by the Shawnee Mission School District, KS PTA, and education advocates, such as the voucher type bills that divert public tax dollars to private schools, and bills they supported, such as at-risk high density funding and Medicaid Expansion. Due to COVID-19, these bills were set aside as the legislature focused on passing the budget.
There was good news within the budget, as it includes a 2 year extension on the at-risk high density sunset. Had this not been included, SMSD would have lost $1 million in funding. Ideally, at-risk high density funding would be a permanent piece of the school funding formula. There will likely be legislators that re-introduce a bill to remove the sunset in two years.
The legislature is currently scheduled to return on April 27, so it’s possible some of these bills could come to the forefront again, but it is currently up in the air if the legislature will actually return on that date or not.
One last reminder…fill out your census! And take a moment to check in with 5 friends to encourage them to fill it out too.
SMAC PTA Legislative Coordinator