Author - Andrea Hartzell

Being counted in the upcoming 2020 Census makes dollars and sense for communities

By Rob Gilligan, rgilligan@kasb.org The 2020 Census is now less than three months away, and efforts to make sure we have an accurate and complete count are beginning to ramp up. One of the ways education leaders can help is to be champions for this important work and share how critical it is to schools and communities that we work together for a good count on April 1. Here are some great talking points and opportunities to highlight as we move toward spring. Community opportunities Beyond the constitutional requirement for appropriation of seats for the House of Representatives, the Census has become...

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KASB President’s Perspective: KASB completes year in a strong position

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 Welcome to a new year! And welcome to the 2020 legislative session. This month, I want to give you a short update on the work of your KASB board of directors and staff in 2019 and to note a couple of issues to keep an eye on as the legislative session gets underway. If you have visited the KASB website recently, you have seen this header: Leading Success! The Kansas Association of School Boards is proud to support you in your role as a local leader. So what has KASB accomplished in 2019 toward providing that...

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Gayle Smith joins KASB Risk Management as new Agency Support Coordinator

As the KASB Risk Management Group continues to grow and expand in service to members, it has hired Gayle Smith as Agency Support Coordinator. Rod Spangler, Director of Risk Management, said Gayle “has a strong passion for service and a wealth of professional experience. Her role will touch all of our lines, provide direct client and member interactions and keep the wheel turning in our multi-line brokerage firm daily.” Gayle has long worked in the financial services field, first as an executive assistant at Security Benefit/se2 and then in similar roles at FHLBank Topeka and non-profits. Spangler said the Risk Management Group’s goal...

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Employee Benefits Solutions service reaches a new milestone for growth

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org The ranks of KASB’s Employee Benefit Solutions customers continue to grow, as three additional districts prepare to entrust their employee benefits with the organization. Andover USD 385, Concordia USD 333 and Lyndon USD 421 are the newest customers of EBS. Employee Benefit Solutions, which is offered by the KASB Risk Management Group, is a technology-based service that improves management of both employer sponsored benefits and voluntary benefits. EBS streamlines the annual job of selecting benefits. KASB for decades has offered districts workers’ compensation, property casualty and student accident insurance. With the recent addition of Employee Benefit Solutions, KASB Assistant...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Tax policy matters for public education

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 For many years, I have firmly believed that the high quality of public education in Kansas is one of the most important and compelling economic development, recruitment, and retention tools available. Our schools play an essential role in the quality-of-life metrics that attract families and businesses to come to or remain in our communities. Often, though, it has been my perception that the role of our schools in these discussions is at best overlooked, or at worst, undervalued or dismissed. So, it was with great excitement that I attended several days of meetings in September...

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Now may be a good time to invest in actual school buildings

By Rob Gilligan, rgilligan@kasb.org In March of 2016, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council released its report “State of Our Schools: America’s K-12 Facilities” in collaboration with the 21st Century School Fund and the National Council on School Facilities. In its analysis, the Center indicated that at that time, Kansas was underspending on facilities and there was a projected gap of about $356 million annually or approximately $731 per student. Coming out of the 2008 recession, and mired in a legal battle over state school finance that saw a decrease in the equalization aid the State...

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Lakin, Garden City show LFT class programs that lead to student success

By Leah Fliter, Lfliter@kasb.org “If you believe in it, it will happen” was the overarching theme of KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow trip to Lakin and Garden City. Although the school districts are markedly different in size and student demographics, their belief in the mission of serving students is the same. Leadership for Tomorrow offers school board members and school administrators the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Kansas public school system and increase their leadership skills. Over the course of five two-day visits, the LFT class travels across the state to observe and discuss issues and opportunities in...

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KASB President’s Perspective: School boards can learn from each other

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 Halloween has not arrived yet, but December is right around the corner, and that means it is almost KASB Annual Conference time! I am excited about the learning and networking opportunities available this year—our KASB staff and board of directors are working hard to ensure our conference will provide board members and district leaders with a wide range of opportunities to share what they are doing in their districts and to participate in learning so we can all return to our communities with new knowledge to benefit our students. Sessions at the Annual Conference will allow...

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SBR: Legislative Committee starts work on policies for 2020 Session

KASB’s Legislative Committee in August started work on policy proposals that will also be discussed at Fall Regional meetings in September and October. The committee will meet again in November to finalize recommendations to the Delegate Assembly at KASB’s annual convention in December in Wichita. The Delegate Assembly will vote on the policy positions that will guide KASB advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session, which starts in January. In discussions, committee members said reducing vaping, expanding Medicaid and special education funding were among the major concerns in their communities. The committee also said it will continue discussions for possible recommendations on...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Effective leadership: A matter of trust

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 Back-to-school greetings! Welcome to September. This is always my favorite time of year, both personally and as a parent. I relish the excitement of each of my children as they greet old friends, meet new friends, and take on new challenges and opportunities as the school year really begins to click along. I hope the past month has brought similar excitement, optimism, and success into your lives and your work as board members. In mid-August, members of your KASB leadership team attended the National School Boards Association Summer Leadership Seminar. This is an annual opportunity...

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