Author - Leah Fliter

Federal judge throws out early Census deadline

A federal judge has rejected a Trump Administration effort to end the 2020 Census a month early. The Administration announced in August it was moving the national count deadline up one month to September 30 to give the government time to deliver the 2020 data to the President by the end of December as required by law. The Census has been plagued by delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes, and political conflict. Judge Lucy H. Koh said late Thursday the scheduled completion date of October 31 should stand. She also directed the final count be delivered by April...

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Foster Care Committee continues work

In a wide-ranging discussion after two days of testimony, members of the Special Committee on Foster Care spoke about either changes that they would like the committee to recommend to the Legislature or issues they would like to study further. No votes on any specific recommendations were made. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 20-21. State Sen. Ed Berger, R-Hutchinson, said the state needs to address reoccurring issues, such as complaints that foster children are moved too often and their school records often don’t follow them when they enroll in a new school. State Rep. Jarrod Ousley, D-Merriam, said he...

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KASB opposes DeVos rule on CARES funding for private schools

KASB has filed comments opposing the U.S. Department of Education’s “Interim Final Rule on Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools,” which changes how CARES Act funding is distributed to K-12 private schools. The CARES Act became law in late March. It directs funding for K-12 schools be distributed based on the Title I formula which serves disadvantaged students. Under that formula, if a public-school district provides “equitable services” to a local private school (such as tutoring or access to technology licenses), those services would only be provided to low-income, private school students. The Interim Final Rule, however, may force public...

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Rural Opportunity Tour seeks input on education and broadband

Kansas Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers has announced the dates for the state Office of Rural Opportunity virtual tour beginning in August. Rogers and state agency staff will virtually travel the state to gather rural input on education, broadband, and other issues. KASB members should plan to attend one of the meetings or the statewide virtual meeting on August 22. The virtual meetings will last 90 minutes; you may register for the meetings at this link.

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NSBA urges Senate to beef up K-12 funding in HEALS Act

The National School Boards Association and other leading education advocacy groups on July 30 wrote to U.S. Senate leadership asking the lawmakers to beef up the K-12 funding in that chamber’s newest pandemic response bill. The letter from NSBA, the superintendents’ association and other groups also strongly opposes basing relief funding on whether schools will reopen in-person for the 2020-21 school year. The Senate HEALS (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools) Act appropriates $69.2 billion for K-12 schools, based on a state’s proportion of Title I students. A third of that money would be required to be released to local school districts within two...

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KASB update for Tuesday, July 14

This is the KASB Update for Tuesday, July 14, 2020. The Kansas State Board of Education met today to begin discussion of the state department of education’s "Navigating Change 2020" guidance document. Board members are scheduled to vote on the guidance document tomorrow. Education Commissioner Randy Watson acknowledged a wide variance of public opinion existed on how schools should re-start, along with much anxiety as the start of school approaches in mid-August as COVID-19 cases have been on the rise. Watson urged calm, patience and collaboration. He pleaded with Kansans to stay off of social media and instead volunteer to help districts...

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Kelly issues Executive Order on foster children and education

Governor Laura Kelly today issued an executive order directing the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Education to prepare an annual report on educational outcomes for children and families.  Here is a link to the executive order, and to the Governor's media release.  The information to be provided is similar to requirements in a bill passed by the 2020 Legislature but vetoed by the Governor. Governor Kelly said she vetoed the bill over concerns about the cost of another provision in the bill that would have a created a new state scholarship program for postsecondary education.  State and local data indicate that children in foster care have...

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Second Equity Series event draws 900 viewers

The Kansas Equity Series on race and equity sponsored by KASB, USA-Kansas and Topeka USD 501 continued Tuesday morning with a focus on how school boards, districts and their communities must intentionally commit to equity training and awareness. Almost 900 people viewed Tuesday’s conversation, which was live streamed on KASB’s Facebook page and is archived there. Participants included Wichita USD 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson, Caney Valley USD 436 Superintendent Blake Vargas; Kansas African American Affairs Commission Board Member and Topeka USD 501 Director of Certified Personnel and Equity Dr. Beryl New; Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 Board Member Jurdene Coleman; and...

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KASB online Regional Meetings will review KSDE reopening guidance

KASB will hold a series of on-line meetings for school leaders planning reopening schools this fall, following release of the Kansas State Department of Education guidance.  The guidance and options will be presented to the State Board of Education for action next Wednesday, July 15.   On Friday, July 17, at 12 noon KASB will present a 90-minute on-line interactive Zoom meeting called “Roadmap to Reopening: Framework Overview” on the major issues school boards will face in planning for school this fall. The event will be repeated the following Wednesday, July 22, also at noon. There is no charge for these sessions, but members will have to register to attend the Zoom conference.  On...

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Kansas Equity Series on race continues Tuesday

The Kansas Equity Series on race and equity sponsored by KASB, USA-Kansas and Topeka USD 501 continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. Tuesday’s discussion will feature Wichita USD 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson; Caney Valley USD 436 Superintendent Blake Vargas; Kansas African American Affairs Commission Board Member and Topeka USD 501 Director of Certified Personnel and Equity Dr. Beryl New; and Emporia USD 253 Board of Education President Art Gutierrez. The dialog on race and equity will be facilitated by USA-Kansas Executive Director G.A. Buie and former KASB President and former Topeka Public Schools Board President Patrick Woods. You can register for...

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