Safety and Security

Hearings scheduled on teacher due process and busing for safety

The House Education Committee has scheduled hearings on a bill to restore teacher due process procedures for teachers who had "tenure" when the law was repealed in 2015, and a bill requiring districts to provide busing to students living within 2.5 miles from schools in certain circumstances.  On Wednesday, the committee will hear HB 2483, which would restore the former due process system, allowing a hearing before an independent officer, to any teacher who holds a certificate and been continuously employed as a teacher by the same school district since July 1, 2014 and who would have already obtained tenure [...]

Read more...

KASB Live at 12:30 p.m. today to talk about Week 2 of legislative session

Education was front-and-center during the second week of the legislative session and KASB will conduct a live update at 12:30 p.m. today to review those developments.  To join the KASB Live discussion go to this link.  During the week, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson briefed legislative committees and there was more discussion of Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget, including his K-12 funding increase, and the possible fiscal impact of those proposals.  Legislators also discussed KPERS issues and the need to increase mental health and childcare services.  KASB Live will also provide a look at what is expected in the coming week.   

Read more...

Advocates tell legislators investments in childhood, family programs pay big dividends

The heads of the Kansas Children’s Service League and Kansas Action for Children told legislators Thursday that investing resources in families and early childhood education will pay large dividends in the future. “Starting early has great returns,” Annie McKay, who is president of Kansas Action for Children, told the House Children and Seniors Committee. McKay said children who are at risk and not ready for kindergarten are 25 percent more likely to drop out of school, 40 percent more likely to be a teen parent, 50 percent more likely to receive special education, 60 percent more likely to not attend college [...]

Read more...

Blue Valley USD 229 partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospital lauded on School Mental Health Day

A Kansas-City area school district’s partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospital was lauded Wednesday during School Mental Health day at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.  Blue Valley USD 229 has a new partnership this school year with the hospital to furnish 19 additional social workers to help address increasing numbers of students who need emotional and social support. The initiative came in the wake of a school district study showing that anxiety and depression were the primary reason Blue Valley students and parents were requesting home-bound services. During the 2016-17 school year, 275 USD 229 students were participating in the suicide prevention [...]

Read more...

Mental health advisory council reports progress to legislative committee

Several legislators on Wednesday applauded the work of an advisory panel that is working on a wide range of issues addressing mental health in schools. The Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council was formed after an effort last year to adopt legislation called Erin’s Law, which would have mandated education officials undergo training on detecting child sexual abuse. The legislation was approved by the House but stalled in the Senate. The advisory council has worked on developing an online training module to recognize and report child sexual abuse. It has also set a longterm goal of providing a comprehensive system of [...]

Read more...

Legislator says proposal to increase school counselors, psychologists would have big impact

State Rep. Russ Jennings, R-Lakin, said Friday a portion of Gov. Sam Brownback’s school proposal that has received little attention would have a huge positive impact if implemented. Jennings pointed to Brownback’s call that the state increase the number of school counselors and school psychologists by 150 positions each year for the next five years, for a total of 750 more positions. Brownback made the statement during the State of the State address in which he also called for a $600 million school funding increase over five years. Jennings, chairman of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, said having more [...]

Read more...

Awards announced for 2017 KanSPRA/KASB Publications Contest

The results of the 2017 KanSPRA/KASB Publications Contest are in with close to 90 certificates earned by the participating school districts. This year marks the 26th year for the contest. It began in 1992 as a joint venture between KASB and KanSPRA. Top award winners include Western Plains USD 106, Prairie Hills USD 113, Andover USD 385 and Derby USD 260. Recognition is earned in ten categories based on points for (a) Research and Assessment of Need, (b) Analysis and Planning, (c) Evaluation and Results, (d) Overall Appearance, and (e) Content and Readability. A “sweepstakes winner” is also named for each enrollment category based on the [...]

Read more...

`Undercover High,’ filmed in Topeka high school, shows challenges facing students, teachers

A screening Monday of the first episode of the television show “Undercover High,” which was filmed at a Topeka high school, and panel discussion that followed showed some of the serious challenges that students and teachers face in public education. Seven young adults, ages 21 to 26, attended Highland Park High School and posed as students for a semester last year in the A&E Network docuseries of 12 episodes that starts airing at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Although just a few years out of high school themselves, the undercover students said they were amazed at how much had changed since they had [...]

Read more...

Mental health advisory council continues its work

The Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council met at KASB on Thursday to continue its work. The 29-member council was established by the State Board of Education to advise on unmet needs in school mental health and coordinate with legislators and stakeholders in efforts to benefit students in social and emotional growth. State Board Vice Chair Kathy Busch serves as chair. The council has been receiving briefings on how existing requirements related to mental health are carried out in schools and Erin’s Law. During the last legislative session, the House approved HB 2048 — a version of Erin’s Law — that [...]

Read more...

Kansas schools hiring counselors, social workers, psychologists

Kansas schools have hired approximately 150-200 more counselors, social workers and school psychologists after the Legislature approved an increase in K-12 funding, State Education Commissioner Randy Watson said. In his report earlier this week to the State Board of Education, Watson also said 800 more at-risk students are being served in pre-school, a 10 percent increase over the last year. Watson said the initiatives by schools coincide with the State Board’s vision of meeting the needs of each student by increasing kindergarten readiness, high school graduation rates and helping students grow emotionally and socially. During the 2017 legislative session, legislators approved an [...]

Read more...