Kansas Legislature

Early childhood advocates present preliminary report

Kansas families face numerous gaps and inequitable access to early childhood services, according to a needs assessment released Friday. “Where you live makes a difference for better or worse for a wide range of services for your family,” said Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. She said “geography” within the state and within local communities was often a major factor in early childhood services. She added, “We are seeing incredible stress placed on families because of the lack of child care.” Through a federal planning grant, the state conducted 53 public meetings across Kansas this spring and summer to...

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Tell your story at the 2019 Annual Conference Breakout Session Proposals

Today is the deadline for proposals to present at the 2019 KASB Annual Conference. The 60-minute presentations will be given on Saturday, December 7 in Wichita, Presenting at the KASB Annual Conference is a great way to tell your story. We know all districts are working on innovative ways to improve student success from pre-K to post graduation in addition to addressing the challenging social and emotional needs of young people. We encourage KASB member entities to take this opportunity to share best practices, effective strategies that lead to student success, and expand understanding of emerging issues in education. The best presentations honor...

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Upcoming workshops IDEA reauthorization, special education, school safety, student-related legal issues

KASB members have several opportunities coming up in the next few weeks to explore and discuss a number of key topics of interest to board members and district leaders. For registration details and details for each meeting CLICK HERE. IDEA Reauthorization and Special Education Basics August 27, 2019 - Topeka, KASB August 28, 2019 - Dodge City, Boot Hill Museum August 29, 2019 - Salina, Hilton Garden Inn Student Discipline Workshop September 4, 2019 – Garden City, Education Support Center September 5, 2019 - Salina, Hageman Education Center What Every Board Member Should Know About Safe and Secure Schools September 10, 2019 - McPherson, The Cedars September 11, 2019...

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Deadline extended to Monday Aug. 26 for contest entries

KASB and the Kansas School Public Relations Association have extended the deadline to submit entries for the co-sponsored annual contest recognizing top publications produced by Kansas school districts, cooperatives and vocational-technical schools. CLICK HERE for entry criteria and online submission form. Entries must be from KASB members and received by midnight Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Publications produced between July. 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible. Awards will presented during the KanSPRA Annual Conference Oct. 24-25, 2019 in Topeka, Kansas. For more information on the contest and submission details see kasb.org/awards. A National School Public Relations Association public relations association from...

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KASB Board, Legislative Committee, Workers Comp Board will conduct meetings on Saturday

KASB’s Board of Directors, Legislative Committee and Workers Compensation Board of Trustees will hold their quarterly meetings this weekend in Topeka.  The Board of Directors is comprised of four elected officers (president, past-president, president-elect and president-elect designee) and 15 regional vice presidents. Shannon Kimball of Lawrence USD 497 is this year’s President. Past-President C. Patrick Woods of Topeka USD 501 serves as the Legislative Committee Chair. Lori Blake, Southeast of Saline USD 306, is KASB President-Elect.  The regions include 10 geographic areas and five additional regions representing the five member school districts with the largest full-time equivalent enrollment at the time...

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State Board of Education approves mental health grants

More Kansas schools and students will be benefiting from state mental health grants. Earlier this week, the State Board of Education approved $3.8 million to school districts and $2 million to local community health centers for the Mental Health Intervention Team Program for the 2019-20 school year. The effort started last year as a pilot program to increase mental health services for students. Nine districts benefitted from the pilot program last year. Now funds will be going to 31 districts to hire school liaisons who will coordinate services for students between the staff, parents and mental health centers and will also provide...

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Officials raising awareness of school bus law; may seek changes to make it easier to enforce

Alarmed by the number of motorists who drive by stopped school buses that are displaying flashing red lights and have extended the mechanical stop arm, officials are trying to raise awareness of the law and are considering changes in the law to make it easier to enforce. “School bus safety should be a top priority year-round,” said Keith Dreiling, director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s School Bus Safety Unit. “It is the responsibility of everyone to make sure Kansas students remain safe. School buses remain very safe, but we know that student passengers are most vulnerable when they...

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Plan floated to replace 10th grade state test with ACT in 11th grade

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson is floating the idea of having all Kansas students take the ACT in 11th grade instead of the state assessments in math and English in 10th grade.  Watson briefed the State Board of Education about the proposal on Tuesday. Several board members had questions about the idea, which has been explored in a number of other states.   Board Chair Kathy Busch asked Watson to provide an update on the issue next month and then possibly bring it to the board in October for some kind of action.  Watson said he would reach out to school superintendents at...

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Kansas will consider raising age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes

Officials said Tuesday they will seek an increase in the minimum age in Kansas to purchase tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, from 18 to 21. Education and health officials say the change is needed because of the drastic increase in young people vaping, or using e-cigarettes. “It has exploded. It is an epidemic,” said Mark Thompson, a program consultant with the Kansas State Department of Education. Officials told the State Board of Education that a bill to raise the age is being prepared for the 2020 Kansas legislative session, which starts in January. The proposal coincides with increasing efforts by education and health...

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Inaugural Advanced Advocacy Training Institute class announced

Ten education leaders have been selected to take a deep dive into the world of public school advocacy in KASB’s inaugural class of the Advanced Advocacy Training Institute.   “We are excited to have such a diverse group of individuals that bring a wide range of knowledge and expertise to the first year of the program,” said Rob Gilligan, KASB’s Government Relations Specialist.  The AATI will focus on public education advocacy. Advocacy for education doesn’t just happen at the Statehouse in Topeka. It is a local issue, and each community needs champions - both within the public education system and outside of...

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