Author - Scott Rothschild

Moeckel provides KELI mentoring

KASB Leadership Services Field Specialist Dr. Doug Moeckel is traveling the state this week to offer professional mentoring through the Kansas Educational Leadership Institute (KELI).   KELI, based at Kansas State University in Manhattan, was established in 2011 to support the professional growth of educational leaders Kansas schools need for the 21st Century. KELI inducts and mentors new superintendents and principals and facilitates professional learning opportunities for district and school leaders and leadership teams. KELI regional meetings are this week in Topeka (Wednesday), Thursday (Goddard) and Friday (Scott City).  Moeckel will work with the regional leaders on “Building Leadership for Change.”  Moeckel has...

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Federal flexibility for food service hires

As KASB staff traveled across Kansas for spring and summer meetings, they heard concerns that federal requirements for the education and experience level of school nutrition program directors were hampering school district efforts to hire food service staff.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees school nutrition programs, has amended its regulations to offer smaller school districts some hiring flexibility.   First, the USDA now requires relevant food service experience rather than school nutrition program experience for new school nutrition program directors in school districts with less than 2,500 students. USDA has also given state agencies (KSDE in Kansas) the option...

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Board members encourage fellow board members to attend Poverty Simulation workshop Dec. 6 in Wichita

A unique opportunity to gain insight into the social and economic challenges faced by today’s students is coming up Dec. 6.   The Poverty Paradigm Experience is a half-day afternoon workshop during the KASB Annual Conference pre-conference sessions at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Wichita. The workshop is included in the KASB Season Pass, which means registration is unlimited for board members and district leaders of season pass holders. Participants can also register just for the workshop or register for the full day and attend other pre-conference sessions in the morning. The Poverty Simulation runs from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.  Three Kansas...

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Updated school funding estimates cut costs to state

The school finance formula adopted in response to the Gannon lawsuit will cost the state less than expected over the next several years, according to new estimates from the Kansas Department of Education, Division of Budget and Legislative Research Department.  In a memo presented Tuesday to the Legislative Budget Committee, KLRD staff say they now believe the major K-12 state aid programs will need $32.9 million less in the current year than projected last Spring, and $32.6 million less next year.  The State Board of Education has recommended that any savings in formula be used to increase special education state aid,...

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Neodesha Promise Program to offer scholarships for postsecondary education

Qualifying graduates of Neodesha High School in southeastern Kansas will receive up to 100 percent of their postsecondary education paid through a charitable endowment, it was announced today. The Neodesha Promise scholarship program “will cover tuition and mandatory fees for up to 120 credit hours of study for a bachelor’s degree and up to 60 credit hours of study for an associate’s degree or technical certification,” said Neodesha USD 461 Superintendent Juanita Erickson. The program is funded through the Marilyn Cram Cutler Charitable Foundation and Neodesha represents the first Kansas community to adopt a PromiseNet college scholarship program, which was started...

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NSBA: Federal advocacy and policy update

House and Senate Leaders Inching Toward Temporary Funding Deal This week, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced that congressional leaders plan to pass a second stopgap spending bill that would fund government operations through December 20. This step would provide Senate and House negotiators needed additional time to complete the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process, including finalizing the U.S. Department of Education’s budget. The current temporary funding law expires on November 21, so Congress must act next week to provide additional short-term funding to avoid a government shutdown. Even if Congress is able to extend temporary funding until...

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New report focuses on rural schools

Rural students in Kansas public schools measure pretty well against their counterparts in other states, but adjusted teacher salaries in rural parts of Kansas are the lowest in the nation, according to a new study. The study was done by The Rural School and Community Trust in partnership with the College Board and the School Superintendents Association. One of the co-authors of the report is Kansas State University Professor Jerry Johnson. “Why Rural Matters 2018-19” covers a wide range of issues affecting the nation’s 7.5 million public school students enrolled in rural school districts. “While some rural schools and places thrive, others...

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Celebrating “American Education Week”

This week is “American Education Week,” and gives all Americans the opportunity to celebrate public education and honor those who help every child succeed. Events and activities are scheduled all week. For more information on American Education Week, go to www.nea.org. Kickoff day on Monday encourages all students, staff and parents to celebrate great public schools. Tuesday is dedicated to inviting parents and family members to schools and Wednesday celebrates education support professionals. On Thursday, elected leaders and community officials are encouraged to serve as “educators for a day” and Friday honors substitute teachers. American Education Week started in 1921 when representatives...

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Short-term student achievement levels show mixed results

Although Kansas long-term educational attainment (adult high school completion, postsecondary participation and four-year college degrees) has continued to increase, shorter term measures like grade-level assessments have been distinctly mixed.  Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson has been briefing the State Board of Education on these results, and with Board Chair Kathy Bush, recorded this video on performance results for KASB.  In brief: state reading and math assessments are basically flat for the past two years after several years of decline, but national tests of a sample of Kansas students are down. ACT college readiness scores are down, but more students are taking...

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Tax Reform Council leaders tell KASB workshop they are seeking budget stability

The leaders of the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform said Friday their recommendations will seek to help stabilize the state’s finances after years of upheaval that followed Gov. Sam Brownback’s drastic income tax cuts. Those tax cuts were overturned in part in 2017 after years of budget shortfalls, but problems remain in the state budget to fund education, social services public safety and roads. “We are still not out of the woods,” said Steve Morris, who is co-chair of the tax reform council and is a former state Senate president. Co-Chair Janis Lee, also a former state senator, said she would...

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