Author - Leah Fliter

State Board endorses Students Serve campaign

The Kansas State Board of Education has endorsed a new “Students Serve” initiative to recruit high school students as poll workers. The campaign dovetails with the State Board’s push for increased civic engagement among Kansas students.  Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab oversees election activities in the state; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Communications and Policy Katie Koupal is leading the Students Serve effort. KASB, KNEA, USA-Kansas and the Kansas State High School Activities Association are program partners.  Koupal said county clerks and election officers asked the Secretary for help recruiting student workers. High school students age 16 and above...

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State Board accepts vaping recommendations

The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday endorsed the recommendations of its Work Group on Vaping/E-Cigarettes in School. In addition to immediate prevention measures, the group proposed the Board support a formal Task Force to continue work on the issue. At its May meeting, the Board heard a report on an explosive increase in the number of young people using e-cigarettes, a practice commonly called “vaping,” which can deliver high quantities of nicotine and other harmful chemicals through a liquid. One popular device uses pods that contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. The pods...

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Secretary of State announces Students Serve campaign

The Kansas Secretary of State’s office announced Tuesday a new “Students Serve” campaign to encourage high school students to serve as poll workers in upcoming elections. KASB is a partner in the initiative. Deputy Secretary of State Katie Koupal rolled out the campaign at the Kansas State Board of Education’s June meeting. Koupal said county clerks and election officials have asked for more young people to supplement the current ranks of poll workers. ”This is exciting,” said State Board Chair Kathy Busch, who noted the campaign dovetails with the Board’s civic engagement outcome. “I’m looking forward to getting these materials out...

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Board of directors June meeting includes strategic planning report, budget approval

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. The board discussed and heard reports on the following: 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...

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Senate committee to begin work on school finance

The Kansas Legislature reconvenes after a short break Wednesday, when the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance holds its second hearing on a proposed inflation adjustment requested by the Kansas Supreme Court to resolve the Gannon school finance case.  Earlier this session, the committee received testimony on SB 44, containing Governor Laura Kelley’s proposed budget for the Department of Education for the next two years. The bill also included adjustments to the base state aid per pupil amount over the next four years (2020 to 2023) as recommended by the State Board of Education response to the court.  Since that hearing, Senate leaders...

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Legislative leaders may push rewind on funding formula

Multiple media reports on Monday indicated Kansas Republican legislative leaders may want to rewrite the 2018 K-12 funding formula that was conditionally accepted by the Kansas Supreme Court. The Court said the 2018 law was structurally sound and would fix inequities identified in the Gannon school funding lawsuit if inflationary adjustments were added in Fiscal Years 2019-2023. In recent days, lawyers for the plaintiffs indicated they would settle the case if lawmakers added the inflation adjustments, which are estimated at roughly $360 million. Speaker of the Kansas House Ron Ryckman and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning indicated Monday they didn’t...

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USDA approves more flexibility in school meals standards

The United States Department of Agriculture on December 6 released a “final rule on school meal flexibilities” that gives local school food programs some new menu options. The new regulations, which take effect July 1, 2019, roll back some Obama-era standards enacted under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which sought to reduce the amount of fat and sodium in school meals and increase the amount of whole grains served. Students, parents and some school nutrition directors almost immediately raised concerns about the standards. They said students didn’t like the new menu options and threw much of the food in...

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Renowned school finance expert Bruce Baker to speak at KASB School Finance workshop

Renowned school finance scholar Dr. Bruce D. Baker, EdD will remotely join KASB’s Wednesday School Finance workshop for a discussion on equity issues in school finance and the broader national picture. Regarded as one of the leading scholars in the field of school finance and equity, Dr. Baker brings a level of knowledge and understanding not often available at these workshops. His latest work, Educational Inequality and School Finance: Why Money Matters for America’s Students, is highlighted in great detail on the Amazon book site.  Read their description below: “In Educational Inequality and School Finance, Bruce D. Baker offers a comprehensive examination...

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Teachers in botched program may have loans forgiven

National Public Radio is reporting that the federal Department of Education may erase some loan debt incurred by teachers who’ve participated in the ten-year-old Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) program. TEACH grants were designed to encourage educators to teach certain high-need subjects in low-income schools for a four-year block of time within their first eight years after college graduation. The grants pay up to $4,000 per year for college or graduate school for the aspiring teachers. The high-need fields are: bilingual education and English language acquisition, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, and special education, as...

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State Board to consider Innovative Districts, school safety standards

The State Board of Education this week will consider releasing all districts from the Coalition of Innovative School Districts. The board meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Here is a link to the meeting agenda and backup documents. The innovative districts have stated that the State Board of Education’s Kansans Can vision focused on student success and school redesign project has addressed obstacles “impeding progress in education.” Six years ago, conservative Republicans pushed through the innovative coalition bill that allowed up to 10 percent of school districts to shed state laws and regulations in exchange for setting higher student achievement goals. One of the main...

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