President's Perspective

KASB President’s Perspective: Your service on local school board will change the future

By C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 When most people think of elected officials, they think of the Governor, their member of Congress, or their state legislators. These high-profile elected offices are no doubt important; they make the policy that governs our state’s institutions, like our systems for public safety, health and human services, and public finance, just to name a few. However, there are many other critical elected offices at the local level of government which, as your high school government teacher always taught, actually have a more direct effect on your life as an individual.  As a...

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New edition of KASB School Board Review is available

The new issue of School Board Review is available and features stories on the emphasis on early childhood services, a call for school board service as the candidate filing deadline nears, a wrap up of the legislative session and a look at what’s on the horizon for educators. The June issue is available here online and will be mailed out early next week. The edition also contains advice for school boards to reflect on what they did the past year to drive student success, a preview of the new task force that will recommend ways to address bullying, analyses of trends...

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President’s Perspective: Thanks to those who supported SB 16

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow board members.  I write you today having witnessed the signing into law of SB 16, the 2019 School Finance package.  The bill commits an additional $90 million per year for Kansas schools over the next five years to account for inflation, which was not provided for in the five-year school finance package that was passed in the previous legislative session. When I wrote in January, I argued it was entirely possible for the state to promptly resolve the school finance question because of actions the Legislature had taken the previous year to...

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President’s Perspective: Some of the most important things in schools cannot be measured

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow board members. I trust that you are all enjoying a well-deserved Spring respite from what has been a bruising winter. Spring flowers are in bloom and Kansas school kids can again enjoy outside recess. As I write to you today, our districts are in the midst of testing season. This is no doubt a time of great importance for schools and the institution of public education in general. Though its prominence in our decision-making processes is often maligned in the public discourse, we all acknowledge that testing has its place. In order to...

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on upcoming school board elections, safety drill

This year is an election year for school board members and the April issue of School Board Review includes a four-page, pull-out section dedicated to people who want to run for their local board. The section includes information on what school board members do, why the positions are so important for the success of Kansas students and how to file to run for office. Also in the April issue is a special report on a recent crisis drill conducted by Auburn-Washburn USD 437. We hope the story, which illustrates the collaboration between school and emergency responders, helps districts that are contemplating...

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President’s Perspective: Early resolution needed to school finance

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow board members. It’s that time again – the Legislature has returned; the inauguration of the new governor has occurred; and the 2019 legislative session has begun. This year, as in every year past, education is atop the list of hot topics the Legislature and the new governor must address. You’ll recall there is a current case at the Kansas Supreme Court concerning school finance, Gannon v. State of Kansas, which called into question the state’s adherence to the constitutional requirement for adequate and equitable school finance. You’ll also recall that last session the...

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President’s Perspective: ‘Keep it simple’ is a winning equation

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 As we head into the holidays, my mind drifts back to the music that I associate with the season. During Christmas, my family would often play music by artists from the Motown Record Label, such as The Temptations, The Jackson 5, etc. We were not alone in our love of Motown. Throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Motown was a virtual hit factory, discovering talent in every corner of the country. Many record labels tried to emulate the Motown success. Legendary music executive and Motown founder, Berry Gordy, had a maxim to which he...

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President’s Perspective: KASB annual conference will be exciting

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow school board members. I hope the first nine weeks of the fall semester wrapped up well and you’re enjoying the fall weather. In addition to many fall concerts, football and volleyball games and countless other activities that take place this time of year, the KASB Fall Regional Summits have wrapped up. During these meetings, KASB staff members hit the road and met with board members, educators and community members in each region of the state. They discussed the issues and trends shaping the context in which we work as public school officials....

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President’s Perspective: Board members must rebut false claims

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow school board members. It’s that time again; election season! If you’re like me, you probably get a kick out of reading political ads from candidates across the state. I find it fascinating to observe the various rhetorical tools employed by candidates to make their arguments to the voters – their choice of language to describe policies they support as opposed to those they oppose, the way they choose certain statistics to support their arguments and how they define the context that frames the issue. Let’s take the issue each of us spends...

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President’s Perspective: School employees’ work matters for all

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Last month, I had the pleasure of heading back to my hometown of Oklahoma City for my 20th high school reunion. While there I did the usual that everyone does: check up on old friends and acquaintances, learn about each other’s families and careers and hear about the progress of the high school. I did have one unexpected pleasure while there – our old history teacher and one of our former administrators showed up at the Saturday evening event. This surprise inspired a standing ovation and sustained applause from my classmates and I, and it...

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