School Board Review

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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KASB offers`insurance with a purpose’

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org What if your school district could protect itself against risk AND give back to public education? KASB’s Risk Management Group products offer precisely that opportunity. “We like to call our work ‘insurance with a purpose,’” says Risk Management Group Director Rod Spangler. “Every dollar districts spend on our products goes back out to support student success. No one in this market is in service to education like we are.” KASB for decades has offered districts workers’ compensation, property casualty and student accident insurance. With the recent addition of Employee Benefit Solutions, Spangler says the organization has the capacity...

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Kelly wants review of state tax structure; Education leaders should be involved

By Scott Rothschild srothschild@kasb.org Gov. Laura Kelly says she wants to examine the state tax structure during the interim period before the 2020 legislative session with an eye toward producing a revenue collection system that provides long term stability. Since half of the state budget goes to K-12 funding, an examination of state taxes is something that school leaders should provide input on and follow closely. The stability in Kansas taxes that Kelly seeks has been missing from the Kansas tax system for the past decade. Like most states during the Great Recession, state tax collections in Kansas fell off a cliff in...

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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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May issue of School Board Review is available with cover stories on major education issues from Topeka to D.C.

As the end of another school year approaches, the May issue of KASB’s School Board Review looks into major education issues that remain unresolved. Specifically, these include the long running Gannon school finance litigation that is before the Kansas Supreme Court and efforts in Washington D.C. to reauthorize of IDEA and the importance of getting an accurate population count during upcoming federal census. The May issue of SBR also includes thanks from KASB President C. Patrick Woods to legislators who supported SB 16 and advice from KASB Executive Director John Heim on the benefits of listening instead of talking. The issue also...

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LFT class hears from two Gemini districts

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org & Carol Pitts, cpitts@kasb.org During the first session of KASB’s 2019 Leadership for Tomorrow class, class members learned about the diversity of Kansas school districts and ways to make informed, reasonable decisions that will affect student success. As part of a get-to-know-you exercise, the class of 27 board members and administrators from across Kansas lined up from smallest enrollment district to largest; then from smallest to largest district in area and from the district with the lowest poverty rate to the one with the highest rate. The exercise showed the variance in Kansas’ 286 districts. Members also noted...

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BOLD class learns ABCs of bond issues

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Bringing a school bond issue to a successful public vote and then carrying through with the construction projects requires years of planning and expert assistance. That was the message from education, financial, architecture and construction leaders to KASB’s BOLD class of school leaders recently. “There is a lot of time and energy that goes into a bond issue,” said Basehor-Linwood USD 458 Superintendent David Howard, whose rapidly growing district has had two approved bond issues since 2015. Howard said to win voter approval, school districts must enlist the help of community leaders to explain the needs of the district...

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KASB making several staffing changes

The KASB Board of Directors recently announced several staff changes that will take effect July 1. Brian Jordan, who is currently head of Leadership Services, will become Deputy Executive Director. Doug Moeckel, the current Deputy Executive Director, will continue as a Leadership Services Field Specialist. Two new staffers are joining KASB. They are Sue Givens, who is currently superintendent of El Dorado USD 490, and Britton Hart, who is the current principal of Emporia High School, Emporia USD 253. Givens will take over as a Field Service Specialist for Leadership Services, replacing Craig Wilford, who is retiring. Hart will join as Director...

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Preparing for the worst: Active shooter drill tests response to events we hope will never happen

by Andrea Hartzell, ahartzell@kasb.org 9:37 a.m. a person walked into the front office of Washburn Rural Middle School. Suddenly shots ring out. The shooter had incapacitated the office staff and moved out into the commons area. A blond woman in a gray hoodie - she shouted out a name - looking for someone. She started shooting again; running through the hallways as smoke filled the air and the smell of gunpowder permeated our noses. In one hallway two students were shot, injured and screaming for help. In another, four. Down another hall two, one fatally. Shots continued to ring out....

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