Kansas Legislature

KASB School Board Member Profile: Sharon Mitchell, Spring Hill USD 230

Sharon Mitchell Spring Hill USD 230 How long have you been a school board member? Five and one-half years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I first decided to run for the Board of Education because there were no "moms" on the board. I wanted to lend the perspective of the involved parent, navigating the logistics of having kids in several schools within the district. I ran for re-election to continue to serve my community and represent their voice in shaping the future. What do you do outside of being a board member? I work for the local Chamber of...

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More mental health services needed, school officials say at KASB/USA-Kansas Fall Regional Tour

School leaders say more mental health services are needed for their students, but they also say each district needs to put together its own plan. More than 30 school board members and administrators met Tuesday in Garden City as part of the KASB/USA-Kansas Fall Regional Tour. The focus of the meetings has been on school safety. When asked what advocates should seek when the Legislature convenes the 2019 session in January, school officials said they need increased funding to hire more counselors and therapists and early childhood programs. The meetings have provided opportunities for school officials to share information and ideas. When the tour...

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SBR: Candidates square off in contested State Board races

By Scott Rothschild srothschild@kasb.org Most voters who live in the eastern half of Kansas will select candidates for State Board of Education during the Nov. 6 election. And while the State Board has in the not-so-distant-past been the focal point of controversy over science standards and other issues, the board in recent years has coalesced around the Kansans Can mission of focusing on the success of all students. Given this period of stability, the 10-member board will receive at least three new members after the election. Every two years, half of the State Board seats are on the ballot with this year being the...

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Audit samples spending on local governments on lobbying

The Kansas Division of Legislative Post Audit last week released a report on lobbying expenditures and reporting by six large school districts, cities and counties that could lead to changes in what and how public bodies are required to report.  Post Audit staff reviewed expenditures, by Wichita USD 259, Olathe USD 233, Shawnee Mission USD 512; Shawnee, Sedgwick and Johnson Counties; and the cities of Overland Park, Kansas City and Wichita in three areas: direct payments to lobbyists, whether employed or contracted; payments to associations with known lobbyists, such as KASB; and payments to associations with no lobbyists or the...

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Senate passes education funding bill

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a Fiscal Year 2019 funding bill that adds a little over $500 million to federal funding on K-12 public schools. The $71.6 billion measure must be reconciled this fall with a similar bill in the House of Representatives, which authorizes about $2 billion less than the Senate. The National School Boards Association is urging school boards to ask their Members of Congress to maximize funding for Title I, special education and related federal education programs. Controversy erupted Thursday when it was reported Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was considering allowing schools to use Title IV...

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KCP&L and Westar Energy, Evergy Companies award three innovative curriculum grants

KCP&L and Westar Energy, Evergy Companies, in partnership with the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) and the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), announce recipients of the fourth annual KCP&L and Westar Energy, Evergy Companies STEM Innovative Curriculum grants. Each project receives a $3,000 grant aimed at increasing student interest and academic achievement in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines as applied to electrical energy. A focus on expanding the diversity of students involved in STEM education and on projects that include community service were of special interest to this year’s grant selection committee. Terry Bassham, President and...

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KASB School Board Member Profile: Olliea Jarrett, Bonner Springs/Edwardsville USD 204

Olliea Jarrett Bonner Springs/Edwardsville USD 204 How long have you been a school board member? Since 2007. Why did you decide to become a board member? I wanted to make a difference in my own community. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My parents. Both are very driven individuals with strong work ethics that believe in prayer. Who was your favorite teacher and why? My third-grade teacher,  Mrs. Townsend. Always pushed me to do my very best! What do you do outside of being a board member? I also work with the youth at my Church...

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KASB School Board Member Profile: Steve Richards, Newton USD 373

Steve Richards Newton USD 373 How long have you been a school board member?  Three years, since July 2015 Why did you decide to become a board member? I was surrounded by a family that placed a high value on learning and education. I’ve been very fortunate with teachers, mentors, and opportunities. Every child deserves support and encouragement to reach their fullest potential. Now, I want caring, competent people to serve the needs and future of my family and communities. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My father, George W. Richards, was a life-long...

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Kansas State Board of Education member McNiece wins prestigious national education award

State Board of Education member Jim McNiece, of Wichita, has received the National Association of State Boards of Education 2018 Distinguished Service Award. McNiece, who has served on the State Board since 2013 including a stint as chairman, has approximately 40 years of education experience as a teacher, coach and principal in both public and private schools. NASBE, the only national organization representing the nation’s school boards, also named Jane Goff, a member of the Colorado State Board of Education, and Patricia Timm, of the Nebraska State Board of Education, recipients of the annual award, which is given to outstanding leaders...

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Subcommittee on dyslexia task force starts work

A subcommittee of the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia held its first meeting Friday and started work on its charge to research and recommend high quality pre-service and in-service development activities to address reading difficulties. Subcommittee members said colleges of education should be encouraged or required to teach information contained within the science of reading so teachers will better identify students who are struggling readers and provide better interventions. The task force was established by the Legislature and told to make recommendations by mid-January 2019. In addition to recommending professional development activities to address reading difficulties, the task force is directed to: --...

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