Author - Scott Rothschild

NSBA federal update: Vaping hearing on Wednesday

Senate Education Committee to Hold Youth Vaping Hearing The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing “Examining the Response to Lung Illnesses and Rising Youth Electronic Cigarette Use” on November 13 at 10:00 AM. Live video of the hearing will be available on the committee’s website. The committee has not invited education witnesses to testify at the hearing, but given this issue’s importance to school districts, students, and students’ families, we are closely monitoring Congress’s work in this area. Congress Faces Fiscal Year 2020 Spending Deadline Both the Senate and House will be in session next week,...

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KASB BOLD meets this week, focusing on risk management, food service

The KASB BOLD class will conduct its second session Thursday and Friday, focusing on school insurance and food service issues. The session, to be held at the Basehor-Linwood USD 458 district office, will include discussions with KASB and industry experts on property casualty and risk management services, health insurance, employer paid benefits and self-operated and outsourced food service. Twenty school administrators from across Kansas have been selected to participate in the Business Operations Leadership Development (BOLD) program. In its third year, the program focuses on the day-to-day operating and long-range planning that is needed to run a school district. It helps administrators...

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Vaping, dyslexia, legislative agenda on tap for State Board of Education meeting

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive recommendations on curbing e-cigarette use and improving ways to help students with dyslexia. Here is a link to the State Board’s agenda and background materials. The E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force will provide a final draft on keeping tobacco and vaping products out of schools. The task force will also update the board on the Tobacco 21 initiative, which would increase the minimum age in Kansas to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The dyslexia recommendations are aimed at improving pre-service teacher programs, professional learning of teachers already in the classroom, screening...

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Threat assessment key to preventing school violence, new report says

A team approach — including the work of local school boards — is needed to help students in distress and prevent school violence, according to an in-depth analysis by the U.S. Secret Service released Thursday. “While communities can advance many school safety measures on their own, our experience tells us that keeping schools safe requires a team effort and the combined resources of the federal, state, and local governments; school boards; law enforcement; and the public,” U.S. Secret Service Director James M. Murray said. The study, which analyzed 41 incidents of targeted school violence from 2008-17, promotes increased mental health awareness,...

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State revenue estimates increased $525 million over two years. What does that mean for schools?

State budget and tax experts said Thursday the Kansas state general fund should take in $220 million more than earlier expectations in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, and $305 million more next year. Here is the update.  Consensus Revenue Estimates are updated by Legislative Research staff, the Budget Division and Department of Revenue, and university economists in April and November. The Governor uses the November estimate to develop budget recommendations to the Legislative session beginning in January. The Legislature uses the April estimate to adopt a budget.  The new estimate dramatically changes the state general fund (SGF) outlook...

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School bond elections succeeded in some districts; failed in others

School officials celebrated bond issue victories in some districts, but bond proposals were defeated in several other districts as voters produced mixed results during Tuesday’s election. At least six districts succeeded in approving bonds to improve their districts while seven rejected them, according to unofficial results. Those approved and their amounts were Emporia USD 253 ($78 million); Eureka USD 389 ($4.8 million); Flinthills USD 492 ($3.9 million); Little River-Windom USD 444 ($18.17 million); Riley County USD 378 ($15 million) and Spearville USD 381 ($5.8 million). Those voted down were Barber County USD 254 (two propositions, $16.9 million and $6.7 million); Bluestem USD...

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KASB Legislative Committee finalizes draft report

The KASB Legislative Committee has approved its draft recommendations on legislative policy provisions.  The proposals will now go to the Delegate Assembly for a vote on Sunday, Dec. 8 during the KASB Annual Conference in Wichita. Once approved by the Delegate Assembly, the report will guide KASB on issues that arise before the Kansas Legislature and on the federal level.   Here is a link to the draft document. Proposed changes from last year’s resolutions are shown in red.  The draft report includes additional statements on the education of immigrant students, vaping, bullying, Medicaid, federal special education funding and teacher recruitment and...

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Bullying task force hears from students, counselors

High school students on Wednesday said a good way to reduce bullying in schools is for educators to make students feel worthwhile. The seven students from Lawrence High School and Free State High School told the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying Prevention that they frequently see bullying behavior at their schools and that it often goes unaddressed by teachers and administrators. And they said the bullying behavior is probably less physical than in past generations, but more socially-oriented with bullies manipulating and insulting students, especially on social media. When asked what educators can do to help stop bullying, the students said...

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Kansas Energy Program offers workshop

The Kansas Energy Program is offering a free workshop on Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting (GESPC) and the Kansas Facility Conservation Improvement Program (FCIP).   The workshop is intended for anyone with responsibility for government-owned buildings eligible for the FCIP, including public schools.   The Kansas Facility Conservation Improvement Program is based on energy performance contracting - a method of financing, designing and installing comprehensive energy efficiency improvements with little to no upfront capital. The costs of energy retrofits are paid for over time by future guaranteed savings from utility and maintenance budgets.  Attendees will hear from national experts on GESPCs and learn...

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Volunteers needed to help conduct poverty simulation at KASB Annual Conference

Several volunteers from KASB member entities are needed to help conduct a poverty simulation workshop at the KASB Annual Conference in Wichita. The Poverty Paradigm Experience is an intensive simulated journey through the tangle of housing, utilities, food, transportation, school, mental health, social services and work the children or parents in poverty experience every day. Several volunteers are needed as assistants during the Fri. Dec. 6 session, which will be moderated by Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz, director of ESSDACK Learning Centers. who has been working to engage educators, community members and families into conversations that lift students out of poverty. For those interested in...

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