Author - Scott Rothschild

KASB Delegate Assembly approves 2020 advocacy policies

From protecting students to retaining high quality educators, the policies and priorities of Kansas school boards were recently approved by the KASB Delegate Assembly.  The 10-page report will guide KASB advocacy efforts during the 2020 Kansas legislative session and on federal actions affecting education. Here is a link to the document.   The report supports increased efforts to attract and retain qualified educators, boost opportunities for students to succeed and ensure the health and safety of students. It includes language on several high-profile issues, such as educating immigrant students, fighting the vaping epidemic and reducing bullying.  On the issue of school finance,...

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2019 KASB Annual Conference evaluations; please provide feedback

Thank you to everyone who participated this weekend in the 2019 KASB Annual Conference in Wichita. It was great to see so many of our members from across the state showing such passion and commitment to education in Kansas. If you did not get a chance to fill out evaluations in the conference app, KASB staff would still very much like your feedback in order to help us plan for future events. Please take a few minutes to complete the Pre-Conference and Conference Evaluation Survey here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BPHWLS2 Thanks in advance for your response!

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More counselors, social workers in Kansas schools

In his monthly report to the State Board of Education, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said the high school graduation rate continues to rise and schools have made great strides in hiring more social workers and counselors. Over the past two years, schools have added 132 counselors, an 11 percent increase, and 133 social workers, a 26 percent increase. Meanwhile, since 2015, the high school graduation rate has increased to 87.5 percent from 85.7 percent, while subgroups have increased as well. English Language learners increased to 82.6 percent from 77.2 percent; students who receive free or reduced lunch increased to 80.2 percent,...

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State Board of Education praises bullying task force report

State Board of Education members Tuesday praised a task force report on bullying that recommends a wide range of strategies to reduce bullying in schools. Board Chair Kathy Busch said the report “lays out a lot of good recommendations.” Here is a link to the report. Board member Ben Jones said bullying, “affects every single kid and I’m looking forward to moving the needle on this.” The 35-member task force was appointed by Education Commissioner Randy Watson in April and held a series of public meetings across the state, hearing from students, teachers, social service leaders and others. Rick Ginsberg, dean of the...

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State Board of Education clamps down on e-cigs, vaping

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a policy aimed at prohibiting at school the use of e-cigarettes by students, school staff and visitors. The policy forwarded to Kansas school districts expands prohibitions on tobacco products to e-cigs, vape pens and any other electronic products that can deliver nicotine. Schools across the nation and Kansas have reported an explosive increase in vaping among students from elementary to high school. Deaths and serious health problems have been associated with vaping as has an increase in addiction problems. Nationwide, lung injuries associated with vaping have resulted in 48 deaths in 25 states and...

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Audit raises issues in at-risk funding; KSDE defends practices

The Kansas Legislative Post Audit Division released a report Monday criticizing the State Department of Education’s oversight and guidance of the state’s $413 million program to support academically at-risk students. KSDE strongly disagreed.  The audit is one of series of studies commissioned by the Kansas Legislature in response to the Gannon school finance case. At-risk funding is particularly important because a key part of the Gannon case was that too many Kansas students are failing to meet state academic standards.  In addition, the “high density” at-risk weighting factor, which accounts for about $50 million in at-risk aid targeted at districts with higher...

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State Board of Education taking up vaping regulations, anti-bullying recommendations

Two major challenges facing public schools will be worked on Tuesday by the State Board of Education. The State Board will act on recommendations from the E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force and receive recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying. Here is a link to the board’s agenda and backup documents. The board meeting will be streamed live at this link. The vaping discussion is expected to start around 11:25 a.m. and the bullying discussion at 2:10 p.m. After the board meeting, KASB will conduct a video interview with the bullying task force co-chairs — Dr. Rick Ginsberg, dean of the College...

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KASB conference concludes with officers elected, legislative report approved

Delegates at the 102nd annual KASB Conference on Sunday elected officers and approved a legislative report that will guide KASB advocacy efforts for 2020.  The actions, along with inspiring words from Chad Foster, who overcame blindness as a young man, concluded the conference in which more than 500 education leaders from across Kansas, met, learned, shared and discussed major education issues facing Kansas during more than 40 breakout sessions, workshops, school visits and a vendor show.  In addition, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson; Tim Hodges, director of research at Gallup polling; KASB President Shannon Kimball, Lawrence USD 497, and KASB Executive...

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Leadership For Tomorrow class finishes program year

KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow Class of 2019 completed its year on Thursday in Wichita with programming around self-reflection, school redesign and continuous improvement, and skillfully leading important work in their school districts.  Leadership for Tomorrow gives board members, superintendents and administrators time to explore change theories and strategies, participate in leadership skill training and expand understanding of education key issues. Through five two-day sessions, the class visited local schools in Beloit, North Ottawa, Coffeyville, Neodesha, Lakin, Garden City, and Manhattan and participated in class discussions on issues and challenges facing Kansas education.  The class was honored at a graduation lunch on...

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Early childhood leaders touring state, seeking input

State agency leaders for early childhood programs are holding public meetings on strategic planning work for early childhood in Kansas and its regions. The public, including school leaders, early childhood providers, parents and community members are invited (RSVP not required).   These one-hour meetings will feature members of the early childhood State Directors team and will offer an opportunity to ask questions about both the needs assessment and future direction and generate ideas to inform the strategic plan.  Meetings have been held in Colby and Garden City. Today’s meetings are in Beloit, City Hall (119 N. Hersey Avenue), 10 a.m. and...

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