Federal Issues

U.S. Department of Education announces new grant applications for school climate program

Kansas schools working on improving school climate, please take note: the U.S. Department of Education has invited applications for the School Climate Transformation Grant Program. School districts may seek funding for implementing a multi-tiered system of support for improving school climate. The department will prioritize support for certain communities that will benefit from implementation of this system, including rural communities, Tribal communities, and Local Education Agencies that are in Qualified Opportunity Zones. This discretionary grant program has a total of $40 million in estimated available funds, contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications. Applications are due by July...

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Gov. Kelly calls for early childhood improvements as community listening tours continue

Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday kicked off a community meeting in Hays with a call to strengthen programs serving preschool-aged children and their families as a key factor in workforce development and economic growth.  The Hays event was one of a series of engagement meetings being held across the state, beginning in May and continuing into July. This week, additional events are in Liberal today and Dodge City tomorrow. Here is a link to information on additional meetings in June. School leaders, as well as early childhood providers, parents and community leaders are encouraged to attend the one-hour events, which...

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Report says better use of federal dollars would help Kansas children and families

Kansas is missing out on billions of dollars in federal funds that could help children and families, according to a new report by Kansas Action for Children.  The report says Kansas ranks 48th among states in the federal share of the state budget and the lost federal funding impacts a wide range of programs that affects thousands of Kansans.  “Furthering Federal Funding to Bolster Outcomes for Kansas Kids” concludes that federal funding used in Kansas “can be strengthened and employed more efficiently to provide greater assistance to children and families.”  Kansas could help low income Kansans with more health care, child care,...

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Rural Education Summit set for June 13 at Kansas State University

A conference focused on helping rural school districts thrive is scheduled for June. The Rural Education Summit conducted by Kansas State University College of Education will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13 in the Staley School of Leadership Studies Building on the K-State campus. The conference will provide school administrators, faculty, board members and concerned community members opportunities to learn more about addressing the challenges facing rural education and creating education innovations in rural communities. The summit will offer sessions on grant writing, student emotional wellness, professional development and getting students engaged with project-based learning. Three nationally...

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New edition of KASB School Board Review is available

The new issue of School Board Review is available and features stories on the emphasis on early childhood services, a call for school board service as the candidate filing deadline nears, a wrap up of the legislative session and a look at what’s on the horizon for educators. The June issue is available here online and will be mailed out early next week. The edition also contains advice for school boards to reflect on what they did the past year to drive student success, a preview of the new task force that will recommend ways to address bullying, analyses of trends...

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Numerous issues to be covered at KASB School Law Workshop and KSAA Meeting

Bullying, gender identity, suicide and many more issues that school leaders deal with will be covered during the KASB School Law Workshop and KSAA Meeting in Wichita later this month. The May 29-30 event also coincides with 2019 USA-Kansas Conference.  On May 29, the School Law Workshop includes a session led by Donna Whiteman, KASB’s assistant executive director of legal services, on Kansas’ anti-bullying law, what schools must do to investigate alleged incidents, how to hand complaints from students and parents and ensuring that bullying behaviors stop.  The first day also includes a session on accommodating transgender and gender non-conforming students and...

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May issue of School Board Review is available with cover stories on major education issues from Topeka to D.C.

As the end of another school year approaches, the May issue of KASB’s School Board Review looks into major education issues that remain unresolved. Specifically, these include the long running Gannon school finance litigation that is before the Kansas Supreme Court and efforts in Washington D.C. to reauthorize of IDEA and the importance of getting an accurate population count during upcoming federal census. The May issue of SBR also includes thanks from KASB President C. Patrick Woods to legislators who supported SB 16 and advice from KASB Executive Director John Heim on the benefits of listening instead of talking. The issue also...

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on upcoming school board elections, safety drill

This year is an election year for school board members and the April issue of School Board Review includes a four-page, pull-out section dedicated to people who want to run for their local board. The section includes information on what school board members do, why the positions are so important for the success of Kansas students and how to file to run for office. Also in the April issue is a special report on a recent crisis drill conducted by Auburn-Washburn USD 437. We hope the story, which illustrates the collaboration between school and emergency responders, helps districts that are contemplating...

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Roberts to co-sponsor measure fully funding IDEA

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is a co-sponsor of a federal bill to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) over 10 years. Bipartisan bills are scheduled to be introduced today in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.  Roberts, R-Kansas, who announced he will retire from the Senate when his current term ends in 2020, remarked recently that he would like to see IDEA fully funded before he leaves office.  The IDEA governs special education services nationwide and in Kansas by seeking to ensure that disabled students have the same educational opportunities as their non-disabled peers. The...

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Equity must be embedded in schools

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org Kansas school board members joined 500 leaders from across the nation at the fourth annual NSBA Equity Symposium on January 26 in Washington, DC. President-Elect Shannon Kimball (USD 497 Lawrence), was a first-time attendee. Past President/Legislative Committee Chair Dayna Miller (Basehor-Linwood USD 458), former President Rod Stewart (Washington County USD 108) and NSBA Western Region Vice President Frank Henderson (Seaman USD 345) have each attended three of the annual symposia. “The face of our schools is changing,” NSBA CEO Tom Gentzel said in his opening remarks. “There’s much work to be done, but the one thing we can...

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