Teacher Issues

Education leaders urge school districts to increase teacher pay

Education leaders Tuesday urged school districts to use the new five-year $500 million school finance law to give their teachers pay raises. “If you don’t do that, your neighbors are going to borrow them and not return them,” said Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis. Average teacher pay in Kansas ranks 42nd in the nation. Dennis and Education Commissioner Randy Watson told the State Board of Education that most districts are granting teacher pay raises in the three percent to six percent range. Last session, the Legislature approved increasing K-12 funding by $500 million over five years and the Kansas Supreme Court ruled inflation [...]

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New national report shows decline in people who want to become teachers

A new national report shows that enrollment has decreased at colleges for teacher education, which has caused many school districts to struggle to fill certain positions. The report echoes what KASB heard in the field during the recent summer advocacy tour of 24 school districts. At those meetings, many school officials said Kansas needs more teachers, especially in areas such as special education, math and science. The reasons given for the decline in interest in teaching was lack of public respect and professional autonomy and low pay. In Kansas, teacher salaries had the third largest decline in the region between 2010 [...]

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Dyslexia Task Force subcommittees meeting next week

A pair of subcommittees of the Dyslexia Task Force created by the 2018 Legislature will meet next week.  At 2 p.m. Monday, the Subcommittee on Pre-Service and In-Service Professional Development will meet at the Statehouse in room 142-S.   At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Current State and Federal Law will meet at the Washburn University Law School, 1700 SW College Ave., room 327 to discuss current law in other states concerning dyslexia.  Advocates and service providers for students with dyslexia are pushing for new state requirements for screening, treatment and training, which they say will improve student reading performance. Those [...]

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SBR: Kansas v Florida: Achievement, funding, economic success

By Mark Tallman, mtallman@kasb.org Since the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress test results were released, the state of Florida has received a lot of attention, especially for high results among certain student groups. Because Florida spends less per pupil than Kansas, some are asking if this shows educational results can be improved without spending more money. Florida does spend less per pupil than Kansas. However, since 2012 when Kansas passed major tax cuts that reduced state revenue, Florida has actually increased educational funding more than Kansas, with total revenue per pupil in Florida rising from $9,077 to $9,828 in 2015 [...]

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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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KASB releases four surveys today on Kansas school operations

More women are serving on school boards and last year saw the lowest reported total of school bond amounts since 2009-10, according to new KASB research reports being released today.  The four KASB 2017-18 reports include the School Board Elections Survey, Questions Submitted Elections Survey, Teacher Salary Schedules, and Retirement Survey.  In 2017-18, 65.5 percent of school board members reported were men and 34.5 percent were women, according to the School Board Election Survey. The percent of women has been increasing since 2004-05 when 29.6 percent of board members were women.  And reported bond amounts in 2017-18 were at the lowest level [...]

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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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SBR: Review, update school security procedures

Click to read the full magazine. The Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland, Florida has led parents, administrators and school officials across the country to question what can be done to prevent such an event. In July 2004, the U.S. Department of Education and the United States Secret Service issued a joint report: “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States.” The authors listed the following key findings that may aid in addressing school violence: Incidents of targeted violence at school rarely are sudden, impulsive acts. Prior to most incidents, [...]

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Action Alert: Bill to arm teachers has Tuesday morning hearing

HB 2789, which would hold school districts negligent if they do not authorize teachers to carry concealed guns to school, has been scheduled for an 8 a.m. Tuesday hearing in the House Insurance Committee. School board members who wish to offer testimony on the bill should submit it to committee assistant Michelle Engelby at Michelle.Engelby@house.ks.gov by 8 a.m. Monday.   HB 2789 says a school district could be found negligent if it "did not authorize any employee of such school district, other than school security officers, to carry concealed handguns in buildings operated by such district pursuant to [the state concealed carry law]."   The bill also would:  Require the Kansas State Board of Education to adopt statewide standards to make all schools [...]

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