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Safety Workshops Rescheduled

KASB’s School Safety workshops planned for this week and early August have been rescheduled to September.   “What Every Board Member Should Know About Safe and Secure Schools” will take place in McPherson on September 10; on September 11 in Colby; and in Olathe on September 12.   Click here for information on these and other KASB workshops. 

Broadband Task Force Sub-Committee on Deployment discusses barriers

The Statewide Broadband Task Force that was formed by the 2018 Legislature continues to work on developing recommendations to help expand access throughout the state.  The subcommittee on “Deployment” met Friday for review and discussions around a few key charges.  Andy Huckaba, City Council of Lenexa presented information about the work that is being done at the federal level to promote support for expansion including model legislation that came out of a working group established by the Federal Communications Commission called the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).  Discussion then focused on getting a better picture of the many different federal programs that can support the expansion...

Vaping Task Force gears up for school year

The state Task Force on Vaping/E-Cigarettes in Schools met in Topeka on Monday to continue its work to help schools respond to what many educators say is an “explosive” increase in the use of the addictive devices.  The Task Force was established at the direction of the Kansas State Board of Education following a May presentation by public health officials that shocked the state board members. They directed the immediate formation of a Work Group to develop recommendations by June. The work group has now evolved into a permanent Task Force that will make monthly progress presentations to the State Board; KASB Assistant Executive Director of Legal Services Angie Stallbaumer represents the association on the task force.    The...

LFT in Manhattan for school safety and communications training

The Leadership for Tomorrow Class of 2019 was in Manhattan Thursday and Friday for sessions on school safety and media training. The class, which is comprised of school board members, superintendents and administrators from across the state, spent Thursday afternoon observing USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden’s annual active violence scenario drill at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary school. The drill, held each summer at a different district school, involves intensive cooperation between the school district, police, fire and emergency medical first responders. Manhattan-Ogden Communications and Safety Director Michele Jones told LFT that the summertime drills have been nearly ten years in the making, beginning with...

KASB building undergoing renovations

Like many Kansas school buildings, KASB headquarters in Topeka had aged into needing major renovations. So, starting at the end of May, workers invaded the building to turn back 32 years of deferred maintenance. “It’s a complete retrofit,” said Randy Weseman, KASB’s assistant executive director for operations and leadership services. In addition to home base for KASB staff, the nearly 39,000-square foot facility houses several other tenants and is frequently used by school officials and organizations from across the state for meetings and events. “Our building is extensively used by our member districts and we want to make sure that at our trainings...

KASB board of directors hears progress on strategic planning, approves budget

The KASB Board of Directors met June 8 in Topeka for its regular business meeting. The board is comprised of 15 regional vice presidents, elected by their board of education peers, and the executive committee comprised of the president, immediate past president and president-elect. Two non-voting members of the board are the president-elect designee and the NSBA Western Region Vice-President. Dr. Brian Jordan, deputy director, reviewed staff progress on the KASB 2019-2024 Strategic Plan. Following a retreat by the association’s executive staff in March, a number of modifications are under way regarding service and support of members. One highlight will...

Still a lot to learn of broader implications from Board of Tax Appeals ruling in Johnson County case

A state tax decision is expected to lower property tax revenue in Johnson County, but its statewide implications are not yet clear.  The Kansas Board of Tax Appeals ruled in favor of the “Big Box Retailers” at the end of June in one of many appeals currently in process from Johnson County.  This is the second ruling that would effectively lower the valuations on “Big Box Retail” stores in Johnson County following a sharp increase in valuations between 2015 and 2016.  Although the board has not yet published the rationale for its ruling, it appears to focus on a change in the method of...

School finance workshops focus on new funding

It’s school finance workshop season in Kansas, and state leaders are urging district budget officials to take advantage of the additional funding provided by the state legislature and approved by the Kansas Supreme Court.  Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis and School Finance Director Craig Neuenswander were in Salina on Wednesday to brief about 200 superintendents clerks and school business officers on the impact of the 2019 Legislature’s work and to walk them through the budget software released this week. School district budgets for Fiscal Year 2020 must be finalized by mid-August.  Dennis told the crowd that school boards are in a “unique and unusual position” as they prepare their Fiscal Year 2020...

State Board awards safe school grants; KASB safety workshops begin next week

The Kansas State Board of Education awarded $5 million in grants for school safety improvements to 169 school districts at its monthly meeting this week, and KASB will begin three workshops on school safety and security next week.  KASB is conducting the workshops on “What Every Board Member Should Know About Safe and Secure Schools” in McPherson July 17; Colby July 18 and Olathe August 7. Click here for registration information on these and other KASB workshops.  It was the second year in a row the Kansas Legislature provided $5 million for physical safety enhancements. Districts requested over $19 million. The...

State Board limits budget request for 2020-21 school year

After what officials called the largest four-year increase in school funding in state history passed the Kansas Legislature and was approved by the Kansas Supreme Court this year, the State Board of Education decided not to ask for more money next year, with one exception and a note to the Legislature.  The board will request an additional $1.55 million in 2020-21 to fully fund transportation aid for high school students attending post-secondary technical education programs. Current funding of $650,000 covers only 30 percent of costs. The board will also add a statement to the Legislature that if additional funding is available for...

Applications now open for KASB Advanced Advocacy Training Institute

Applications are now available online to become part of a select group of 18 education advocates from across Kansas who will be invited to take part in the inaugural KASB Advanced Advocacy Training Institute or AATI.    The KASB Advanced Advocacy Training Institute is a deep-dive, limited-group program focused on public education advocacy. Advocacy for education doesn’t just happen at the Statehouse in Topeka. It is a local issue, and each community needs champions - both within the public education system and outside of the system – who can effectively communicate the positive work that is being done and the need...

Highlights from 2018-19 KASB BOLD Final Session

[Read Related Story Here] Derby USD 260 hosted the final session for this year’s BOLD (Business Operations Leadership Development) Class on June 13 and 14. The class spent the first afternoon learning from KASB Risk Management Group’s Rod Spangler and Jeremy Woydziak. A panel discussing health insurance benefits included Kati Wolfgang, Wamego USD 320 director of human resources, Russ Miller, Andover USD 385 assistant superintendent for human resources, Matt Morford Newton USD 373 director of business services, and Larry Lyder, Lakin USD 215 superintendent of schools. A second panel joined the group to discuss district risk management profiles with a focus...