Author - Austin Harris

KASB President’s Perspective: Addressing a different kind of emergency

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 I have so many thoughts about “what now,” but for the moment I want to acknowledge the loss and sadness that many of us feel about the decision to close school facilities in Kansas. As the mother of three children, I am concerned about their health and future. As a local board member, I am part of our district leadership team working our way through these challenging times. And as president of KASB, I understand the need to provide leadership and vision while taking care of local and personal concerns. First, our top concern is the...

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KASB workshops, meetings and COVID-19

As of Thursday, March 12, 2020, all KASB scheduled events will continue as planned. We will follow guidance from the local health department in which the meeting is located and statewide guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding upcoming workshops and meetings. Notification of any changes will be sent to all registered attendees, shared on KASB social media channels and posted on the KASB website at https://kasb.org/training-events/  

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Secrets to a successful school closure

By G. Kent Stewart School closure is a very sad event for everyone involved. At worst, a closure decision is divisive, leaving wounds that take years to heal. Carefully orchestrated, it can be accomplished with the blessings of the community. There are three secrets to a successful school closure decision: First, a fact book is assembled that contains a lot of information about the school in question; Second, the fact book is presented without comment or recommendation to the community; and Third, the school board practices good boardsmanship throughout the whole process. Needed information More information is needed than some board members believe...

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Committee hears KPERS WAR bill

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday heard SB 274, which eliminates the employer penalty for the first-time hire of a KPERS retiree aged 65 and over. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the bill advanced. KASB will continue to monitor the legislation.   The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bruce Givens, a former special education administrator, in consultation with KPERS Executive Director Alan Conroy. Givens said the bill would give employers the option to employ late-career retirees who could fill key public education vacancies, particularly in rural areas. The League of Kansas Municipalities also supported the bill, noting it could help cities fill interim...

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KASB opposes linking vouchers and school aid

School leaders should contact their Kansas House members to urge a “no” vote on any attempt to link vouchers with state aid for school bond projects.  The House K12 Education Budget Committee recently sent to the House floor HB 2465, a bill that  expands the state’s existing tuition tax credit scholarship program to all students. Current law states only students attending the 100 lowest-performing elementary schools are eligible to apply for private school scholarships, funded by tuition tax credits to donors. KASB’s member-adopted legislative policy opposes vouchers, tuition tax credits and other programs that divert state revenue from public schools to private schools that are not...

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School help needed in 2020 Census count

The 2020 Census invitations soon will begin hitting mailboxes across our country and online response will open. Ensuring each Kansan counts holds significance for everyone in Kansas—but especially Kansas schools as the 2020 Census counts affect federal funding for many education programs, like school breakfast and lunch programs. These counts affect federal funding for the next 10 years for Kansas schools, communities, and our state. Let’s ensure that #EachKansanCounts. Early childhood Ensuring that our youngest Kansans, those aged 0 to 5, are counted with their families is essential when it comes to federal early childhood program funding. An estimated 10 percent of...

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Survey feedback & 2020-21 gameplan

This document provides a summary of the responses received from a survey of superintendents, board clerks, deputy clerks, data stewards, and data steward assistants regarding KASB’s annual research surveys, along with a discussion of KASB’s plan for these surveys starting in 2020-21. We received 212 individual responses on a survey sent to approximately 600 KASB member district staff. These included superintendents, assistant superintendents, board clerks, board treasurers, and other district staff involved in submitting and using KASB’s annual survey data. Providing information Respondents were asked how they preferred to provide information to KASB. One hundred seventy-three, or 81.6 percent indicated they preferred...

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Kansas NSBA attendees lobby against vouchers

The National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C. focused on reminding Congress of widespread national support for America’s public schools. The KASB delegation included more than a dozen school board members, superintendents and public school advocates. Entitled “Champion Our Children,” the Institute featured the release of a major national poll of 1,000 likely 2020 voters on attitudes toward public schools. The poll was commissioned by the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), which is presided over by former KASB President Frank Henderson, who also serves as a NSBA Western Region Director and is a long-time member of...

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Profile: Laura Guy new Region 12 vice president

Laura Guy Shawnee Mission USD 512 How long have you served on your local school board and why did you decide to become a board member? I have served for two years. I decided to run because I’ve always been a big supporter of public education. My mom was a teacher and I taught third-grade for several years myself. My kids received outstanding educations in the Shawnee Mission School District and now that they’re grown, I wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to us. What do you do outside of being a board member? I am...

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