Instruction & Services

President signs $2 trillion stimulus. Here is what it will do for education.

President Trump has signed into law an historic, $2 trillion economic stimulus package intended to address the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law contains several billion dollars in education funding to assist state governments and local K-12 public schools respond to students’ needs.   The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act legislation contains $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund to assist states, school districts, and higher education institutions for costs related to the coronavirus pandemic. K-12 public schools will receive $13.5 billion.  The CARES Act follows previous Congressional action on two previous COVID-19-related bills. One provided...

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Key tasks for school boards right now

In two online video forums for school board leaders Thursday night and Friday morning, KASB executive, leadership services and legal staff presented information on critical tasks for local school boards as they confront the COVID pandemic. Approximately 400 school leaders attended. Participation was limited to board presidents, board vice-presidents, superintendents and board clerks to comply with open meetings requirements.  First, boards must determine how to conduct school board meetings that comply with both health directives like social distancing and the Kansas Open Meetings Act.  The Kansas Attorney General has proposed new regulations for conducting open meetings that have received temporary approval...

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COVID and Kansas public education

KASB has prepared a summary of what has transpired during this unprecedented disruption of public education and this historic response by educators, policymakers and everyday citizens across Kansas. We hope this handy guide to documents and policies will help as we go forward and continue teaching the next generation of Kansans. School closure for health and safety  Commission of Education Randy Watson “strongly recommends” public schools close for two weeks. (March 16)  Statewide organizations representing school boards, teachers and administrators offer support and guidance for dealing with school closure. Joint statement by Education Organizations, March 16. (KASB COVID-Resources page)  Governor Laura Kelly orders...

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K12itc provides hotline to assist educators during school closures

K12itc, a leader in providing technology solutions for school districts, has set up a hotline to assist schools with technical questions and challenges as schools increase virtual learning during closures caused by the coronavirus.  The special hotline number is 1-844-841-3506 (toll free) or educators can email covid19help@k12itc.com. The hotline will be staffed and available from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Based in Kansas City, Mo., K12itc is a member of KASB’s Prestigious Partner program, providing schools across Kansas and Missouri with cost-effective, customized IT solutions.   K12itc has also provided a list of services that may be of use during the...

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Local boards will be enlisted soon to review new learning programs during COVID-19 crisis

Local school boards will soon be called upon to make important decisions to ensure that Kansas students are receiving education despite district closings caused by the coronavirus outbreak. During a video, Angie Stallbaumer, assistant executive director for legal services for KASB, and Brian Jordan, deputy director of KASB, reviewed the just released "Continuous Learning Task Force Guidance," which provides a framework for schools to re-start delivery of instruction to students. The video can be accessed here. Stallbaumer and Jordan said districts may be able to start teaching students again as early as Monday, March 30. But boards will need to work with...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. March 16

A bill that would allow the State Board of Education to waive the minimum required length of the school term was recommended Monday as schools face being closed for an indefinite period of time because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The measure was placed in SB 142, an unused school finance bill from last year, and may be considered by the full House as early as Tuesday as legislators race to finish their business and adjourn as the coronavirus crisis worsens. Current law allows the State Board to grant schools waivers of the length of term law — 1,116 hours of instruction...

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March issue of School Board Review available now

The March issue of School Board Review is full of news about what is happening in education from Washington, D.C. to Topeka and throughout Kansas. Here is a link to the publication and a hard copy should be arriving for school board members and administrators in the mail soon. Federal K-12 issues are previewed with insights from NSBA Executive Director Thomas Gentzel and new polling information about the public’s view of public schools. Meanwhile, KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter provides coverage of KASB attendees recent trip to the NSBA Advocacy Institute in D.C. in which Kansas board members met with Kansas’ congressional...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. Feb. 4

Public school advocates must stay on alert as Tuesday brought another voucher bill and more calls from legislators for increased accountability. The political tone indicates that many legislators will seek changes in the way schools operate despite last year’s settlement in the Gannon school finance lawsuit and the Kansas Supreme Court’s continued supervision in the case. School leaders should continue to provide information to their legislators, especially on how their schools are using increases in school funding, including at-risk funds, to help students. The Senate Education Committee considered legislation that would remove a July 1 expiration date on high density, at-risk funding,...

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February issue of School Board Review is available

Programs for struggling students and funding those programs is the focus of the February issue of School Board Review, which is now available online and will be mailed shortly to school board members and school officials throughout Kansas. Here’s a link to the February issue. At-risk funding has come under scrutiny in the Legislature this session after release of an audit that questioned how funds were being used. State education officials have said the audit failed to grasp the many ways teachers use different strategies to help at-risk students. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about this complicated issue in his column...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. Jan. 30

Private religious schools on Thursday sought expansion of a tax credit program that grants scholarships to students to attend their schools, while KASB and other public school advocates said the proposal was unfair and would hurt the public school system. House K-12 Education Budget Committee Chairwoman Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, voiced support of HB 2465 but at the conclusion of the hearing didn’t indicate what would happen next with the bill. Meanwhile, a date has been set for hearing an important bill for public schools. SB 271 would remove the expiration this year of high density at-risk weighting, which provides about $50...

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