Author - Scott Rothschild

Advanced Advocacy Training Institute will meet in Maize

KASB’s new Advanced Advocacy Training Institute will conduct its second session Thursday in Maize.  The meeting will include deep dives into bond elections, understanding local school finance efforts, working with advocates and the media.  The Advanced Advocacy Training Institute represents KASB’s newest initiative to develop a network of education advocates throughout Kansas who have a full understanding of issues on the local, state and federal levels.  The objectives of AATI are to establish a network of support for public education; explore initiatives to increase student success; improve advocacy effectiveness and expand the diversity of advocates to participate in legislative and community outreach....

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High-quality, affordable early childhood programs needed in Kansas

In a conference room full of childcare providers, parents, political leaders and state agency officials, a Wichita businessman had the clearest message.  “This is a crisis,” said business leader and philanthropist Barry Downing. “To compete in a global economy, we need more students to get more education and parents to be able to work. That means we need to increase quality and access of early learning, because we are way behind.”  Downing, a panelist at Gov. Laura Kelly’s Symposium on Early Childhood on Monday in Wichita, launched a highly regarded program called The Opportunity Project in 2003, providing funding for high...

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Upcoming KASB Leadership workshops

Upcoming KASB Leadership Services workshops this week focus on school redesign aimed at improving student success and supervisor skills. On Wed. Oct. 9 in Topeka, Drs. Brian Jordan and Doug Moeckel will conduct a workshop on redesigning schools to align with the state’s accreditation system. Jordan is deputy director of KASB and Moeckel is a leadership services field specialist. The Leading the Change Effort and Connecting to KESA workshop focuses on helping schools pursue continuous improvement. The Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) is the state’s K-12 accrediting model, and local boards of education play a critical role in KESA, from...

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Kansas Anti-Bullying Awareness Week

Kansans are being asked to “Choose Peace” as part of Anti-Bullying Awareness Week, which runs from Monday through Sunday. About one in five students report being bullied, according to a national report. In the latest Kansas Communities That Care survey, which is taken voluntarily, 28.6 percent of sixth-graders said they were bullied at school at least once; 27.4 percent of eighth-graders; 23.1 percent of 10th-graders and 19.6 percent of 12th-graders. A Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying is studying ways to reduce bullying and will provide a report to the State Board of Education in December. Kansas teens are being asked to share...

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Input received on KASB Fall Regional Roundtables

KASB has heard from education advocates across the state during its just-completed Fall Regional Roundtable meetings. The meetings were designed to increase interaction between school board members and staff and hear from KASB staff on top education issues. The results of the discussions will be forwarded to the KASB Legislative Committee, which will meet again in November to finalize recommendations to the Delegate Assembly at KASB’s annual convention in December in Wichita. The Delegate Assembly will vote on the policy positions that will guide KASB advocacy efforts during the 2020 session. The Regional Roundtable meetings were held in Stafford, Garden City, Topeka,...

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Official touts school mental health program

The school Mental Health Intervention Program approved by the Legislature in 2018 received high praise this week. Kathy Mosher, executive director of the Central Kansas Mental Health Center, said the program — linking schools and community mental health centers — has helped students and communities. “What an ingenious idea,” Mosher told the Legislative Budget Committee on Wednesday. “There is a lot of good coming out of that.” Because of the program, Mosher’s organization has been able to expand services to ensure students receive mental health help close to home, so they don’t miss school, she said. Of the students receiving assistance, the...

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Committee recommends constitutional amendment on abortion; more study of judicial selection system

After two days of public hearings, it is apparent the Kansas Supreme Court and some of its recent rulings will be under the legislative microscope during the 2020 session that starts in January. The Special Committee on Judiciary recommended the Legislature continue studying whether changes should be made in the way justices are selected to the Kansas Supreme Court. Changes to the judicial selection process could affect school finance. And the committee recommended Kansas voters should be given the opportunity to change the state constitutional right of abortion. Some legislators are angry over a ruling by the court in April, blocking a...

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Requests for school security funds far outstrip availability of funds

For the second year of the existence of a school security grant program, requests for funding have far exceeded the amount of money available. Requests from districts for Safe and Secure Schools State Aid Grants totaled $12.85 million. The Legislature this year approved $5 million in funding, the same amount it approved in 2018 when schools applied for more than $19 million. Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis told the Legislative Budget Committee on Wednesday that education officials worked quickly to get the grants to the schools. “We consider this very important that we don’t delay the process,” Dennis said. A total of 169...

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October issue of KASB School Board Review is available

Articles on education equity, the effect of social media on our students, the school bond environment, KASB’s upcoming annual conference and more are featured in the October issue of School Board Review, which is available online here. This month’s publication includes the final installment of KASB Associate Executive Director of Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s analysis of equity in student success. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about how young people today face challenges their parents didn’t — namely that their exploits are recorded forever in the digital world. KASB’s Rob Gilligan, government relations specialist, analyzes opportunities to reinvest in school...

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Committee hearing proposals to change the way Kansas Supreme Court justices are selected

A move in the Legislature that could affect school finance by changing the way Kansas Supreme Court justices are selected was aired out Tuesday before a special legislative committee. The 2019 Special Committee on Judiciary will continue meeting Wednesday for discussion and recommendations for the 2020 Legislature, which starts its session in January.  Kansas Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor from a list of three candidates submitted by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission. That non-partisan Nominating Commission includes nine members, five of whom are appointed by Kansas lawyers and four by the governor. Justices on the court are...

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