Instruction & Services

SBR: 2018 session in the books, work continues on school finance

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org The 2018 Kansas Legislative Session saw legislators repairing the state budget and adding more funds to public schools after adverse court rulings. KASB commended legislators for their work in a statement: After restoring a more balanced tax system last year, state revenues and economic growth have been much stronger than expected. Over the past two years, the Legislature has begun to make investments in public education to stop falling behind inflation and other states and to reverse the decline in measures of student success. CLICK HERE to download the full issue. “The Legislature also began restoring funding for higher education, [...]

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Gemini II districts selected in Kansans Can School Redesign Project

Before an enthusiastic crowd on Tuesday, state education officials announced 19 school districts that will take part in the next round of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project. Those districts will redesign at least one elementary school and one secondary school around the State Board of Education outcomes of kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, improvement in graduation and post-secondary rates and social and emotional growth. The selection represents the third round of districts joining the redesign efforts. The original seven districts -- dubbed Mercury 7 after the United States' first team of astronauts -- will launch their redesign programs at [...]

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SBR: Rural schools left ‘Out of the Loop’

Center for Public Education report finds significant student population overlooked Click to read the story from the Center for Public Education Nearly 20 percent of the country’s students are enrolled in rural schools, yet are not provided the same focus in national policy or research as students in urban and suburban school districts. “Out of the Loop,” a new report from the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA), Center for Public Education (CPE), finds that poverty, isolation and inequities are exacerbated for rural students by the lack of attention to the unique needs of this considerable student population. While not equally distributed across [...]

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Dyslexia task force bill passes Senate Committee; Inspector General bill doesn’t

A bill establishing a statewide task force on dyslexia advanced to the Kansas Senate Wednesday. A second bill, which would have created the office of Education Inspector General in the State Treasurer’s office, failed a committee vote but may yet see action this legislative session. An amended Substitute for HB 2602 passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously. The bill establishes a legislative task force on dyslexia that will examine evidence-based practices for students with dyslexia. KASB was neutral on the bill, joining USA-Kansas and the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators (KASEA) in requesting the addition of education professionals to [...]

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SBR: KASB leaders explore school equity

Click here to read the full KASB Magazine By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org Four Kansas school board members recently attended the National School Boards Association’s third annual Equity Symposium in Washington, D.C. The board members represent rural and suburban school districts with student enrollments of 350 to 30,000; some have served on their boards for more than 10 years, while one took office in January. Though their board tenure and school district demographics differ, Dayna Miller, Frank Henderson, Rod Stewart and Brian Geary said the Equity Symposium is an important opportunity for school leaders to learn more about how to support the success of [...]

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Senate committee to continue working on Education Inspector, dyslexia task force bills

The Senate Education Committee on Thursday discussed but did not act on SB 424, which establishes the post of Education Inspector General in the State Treasurer’s office and HB 2602, establishing a dyslexia task force. Both measures will see committee action next week. SB 424 sponsors Senators Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee and Ty Masterson, R-Andover, said the independent Inspector General position is necessary in light of a December 2017 Legislative Post Audit study which found the Kansas State Department of Education had for several years distributed, without a guiding statute, additional transportation funding to a few densely-populated school districts. The LPA said [...]

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Bill fails that would have required schools to provide assistive services in non-public schools

The House Education Committee on Thursday defeated a bill that would require public schools to provide assistive services such as Braille in a non-public school.  The committee debated HB2613, which was spurred by a pending lawsuit in which parents of a child who formerly attended public school say Braille services should be provided to their daughter in her current parochial school.   Kansas public schools often provide special education services to private school students but generally deliver those services in the public school.  Committee members were torn between sympathy for the student, who testified a few weeks ago, and concerns over interfering with [...]

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House sends teacher due process and anti-bullying bills to Senate

A bill restoring teacher due process protections was approved by the House on Thursday but faces an uncertain future in the Senate.  House members approved HB 2757 on a 73-48 vote.  "It's going to a drawer in the Senate," said state Rep. Clay Aurand, R-Belleville, who is chairman of the House Education Committee and had unsuccessfully pushed for an amendment that would have restored due process to teachers who had it prior to 2014.  The House-approved legislation would give Kansas teachers who work three-plus years in the same school district the right to a due process hearing before an independent hearing officer.   That [...]

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Early childhood education emphasized during K-12 hearings

Education leaders told legislators that their early childhood learning programs improve student outcomes and that they could do even more if provided additional funding.  Advocates provided information to the House K-12 Education Budget Committee during two days of hearings that concluded Wednesday.  The committee, along with the Senate Select Education Committee on School Finance, will soon begin work on a new school funding bill in response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s Gannon ruling. The court in that ruling said last year’s funding law does not adequately address Kansas student needs, especially for the 25 percent of Kansas children who consistently do [...]

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House plans debate on education bills

The Kansas House plans to debate a series of bills concerning K-12 education today – but not teacher due process. Please follow KASB on social media and the News Briefs for the latest developments. Today is the “turnaround” deadline for the 2018 session: non-exempt bills must be passed by the house of origin or may not be considered for the remainder of the session. However, there are number of ways bills may be exempt, including referral to or reintroduction by exempt committees. KASB will provide a full report on which bills are exempt next week.  Here are the education-related bills scheduled [...]

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