Instruction & Services

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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Education bills being heard this week

Bills being heard this week:  Tuesday, Jan. 28 Concerning the Kansas act against discrimination The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee will consider SB 250, which would  amend the Kansas act against discrimination to add that “race” includes traits associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks and twists. There have been news accounts from other states that allege school districts have disciplined or adopted policies that discriminated against African American students based on hair styles. Wednesday, Jan. 29 Enacting the public litigation coordination act to restrict contracts by public entities for legal services on a contingent fee...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. Jan. 27

Legislators and Kansas State Department of Education officials on Monday had a lengthy discussion on the best way to report student achievement on KSDE’s website while several education bills are lined up for hearings this week. Before House K-12 Education Budget Committee, KSDE officials went over how to access school Performance Accountability Reports and building report cards. Several committee members said the reports were hard to access and understand while KSDE officials said it is difficult to condense the vast amount of information that goes into providing a snapshot of student achievement. On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on State and Federal...

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January School Board Review previews legislative session and more

The January edition of School Board Review offers a preview of top education issues for the 2020 legislative session and information on how education leaders can stay on top of developments under the Statehouse dome. The issue is now available online here and is in the mail to members. In addition to news about the session that starts Monday (Jan. 13), SBR covers the election of new KASB officers, an update from KASB President Shannon Kimball about the association’s work and thoughts from KASB Executive Director Dr. John Heim on mixing education and politics. The edition also provides more information on...

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The year in review in Kansas public school education

By Leah Fliter KASB Advocacy and Outreach Specialist 2019 saw a lot of changes in Kansas education. The resolution of the Gannon school finance lawsuit was the biggest education policy story of the year but concerns about student health and well-being prompted new recommendations against vaping and bullying.   The State Board of Education’s focus on the continual improvement of Kansas public schools saw the launch of the “Apollo” phase of the school “redesign” initiative. Gov. Laura Kelly reinvigorated the Council on Education, and the state ramped up its focus on early childhood. The year ended with a controversial audit report on K-12...

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KASB conference concludes with officers elected, legislative report approved

Delegates at the 102nd annual KASB Conference on Sunday elected officers and approved a legislative report that will guide KASB advocacy efforts for 2020.  The actions, along with inspiring words from Chad Foster, who overcame blindness as a young man, concluded the conference in which more than 500 education leaders from across Kansas, met, learned, shared and discussed major education issues facing Kansas during more than 40 breakout sessions, workshops, school visits and a vendor show.  In addition, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson; Tim Hodges, director of research at Gallup polling; KASB President Shannon Kimball, Lawrence USD 497, and KASB Executive...

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State Board approves wide-ranging policies on dyslexia

The State Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved policies aimed at improving the identification of students with dyslexia, providing them with better services and increasing teacher training. The wide-ranging measures follow more than 18 months of discussion by educators, advocates, psychologists and other stakeholders and will require more funding, although a specific amount wasn’t cited. Board member Jim Porter, who had led a task force on dyslexia, said the policies are needed and represent compromises. “This is a nationwide movement and we are slow to come to the table,” Porter said. Cynthia Hadicke, an education program consultant for the Kansas State...

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Awards for 2019 KASB / KanSPRA Publications Contest Announced

The annual KanSPRA/KASB Publications Contest wraps up with 54 awards in ten categories for communications projects submitted by participating districts. “This is our 28th year for the awards, and the level of competition really increased this year with more submissions and higher quality work across each category,” said Carol Pitts, KASB assistant executive director for marketing and public relations. “We also changed the timing of the awards to more closely align with the school year, and presented the awards during the KanSPRA Annual Conference last week. That gave us a chance to celebrate those who do the important work, day...

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