School Board Review

Gayle Smith joins KASB Risk Management as new Agency Support Coordinator

As the KASB Risk Management Group continues to grow and expand in service to members, it has hired Gayle Smith as Agency Support Coordinator. Rod Spangler, Director of Risk Management, said Gayle “has a strong passion for service and a wealth of professional experience. Her role will touch all of our lines, provide direct client and member interactions and keep the wheel turning in our multi-line brokerage firm daily.” Gayle has long worked in the financial services field, first as an executive assistant at Security Benefit/se2 and then in similar roles at FHLBank Topeka and non-profits. Spangler said the Risk Management Group’s goal...

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Employee Benefits Solutions service reaches a new milestone for growth

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org The ranks of KASB’s Employee Benefit Solutions customers continue to grow, as three additional districts prepare to entrust their employee benefits with the organization. Andover USD 385, Concordia USD 333 and Lyndon USD 421 are the newest customers of EBS. Employee Benefit Solutions, which is offered by the KASB Risk Management Group, is a technology-based service that improves management of both employer sponsored benefits and voluntary benefits. EBS streamlines the annual job of selecting benefits. KASB for decades has offered districts workers’ compensation, property casualty and student accident insurance. With the recent addition of Employee Benefit Solutions, KASB Assistant...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Tax policy matters for public education

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 For many years, I have firmly believed that the high quality of public education in Kansas is one of the most important and compelling economic development, recruitment, and retention tools available. Our schools play an essential role in the quality-of-life metrics that attract families and businesses to come to or remain in our communities. Often, though, it has been my perception that the role of our schools in these discussions is at best overlooked, or at worst, undervalued or dismissed. So, it was with great excitement that I attended several days of meetings in September...

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November issue of School Board Review is available

The November issue of School Board Review takes a look at education improvements 50 years after the creation of the elected State Board of Education and the early days of the board. The issue is available here online and has been mailed to education leaders throughout the state. The edition also provides the latest updates prior to the KASB Annual Conference Dec. 6-8 in Wichita as well as an overview of pre-conference programs. In her President’s Perspective column, KASB President Shannon Kimball encourages education leaders to follow the work of Gov. Laura Kelly’s Council on Tax Reform. Kelly appointed Kimball to the...

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Now may be a good time to invest in actual school buildings

By Rob Gilligan, rgilligan@kasb.org In March of 2016, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council released its report “State of Our Schools: America’s K-12 Facilities” in collaboration with the 21st Century School Fund and the National Council on School Facilities. In its analysis, the Center indicated that at that time, Kansas was underspending on facilities and there was a projected gap of about $356 million annually or approximately $731 per student. Coming out of the 2008 recession, and mired in a legal battle over state school finance that saw a decrease in the equalization aid the State...

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Lakin, Garden City show LFT class programs that lead to student success

By Leah Fliter, Lfliter@kasb.org “If you believe in it, it will happen” was the overarching theme of KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow trip to Lakin and Garden City. Although the school districts are markedly different in size and student demographics, their belief in the mission of serving students is the same. Leadership for Tomorrow offers school board members and school administrators the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Kansas public school system and increase their leadership skills. Over the course of five two-day visits, the LFT class travels across the state to observe and discuss issues and opportunities in...

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KASB President’s Perspective: School boards can learn from each other

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 Halloween has not arrived yet, but December is right around the corner, and that means it is almost KASB Annual Conference time! I am excited about the learning and networking opportunities available this year—our KASB staff and board of directors are working hard to ensure our conference will provide board members and district leaders with a wide range of opportunities to share what they are doing in their districts and to participate in learning so we can all return to our communities with new knowledge to benefit our students. Sessions at the Annual Conference will allow...

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October issue of KASB School Board Review is available

Articles on education equity, the effect of social media on our students, the school bond environment, KASB’s upcoming annual conference and more are featured in the October issue of School Board Review, which is available online here. This month’s publication includes the final installment of KASB Associate Executive Director of Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s analysis of equity in student success. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about how young people today face challenges their parents didn’t — namely that their exploits are recorded forever in the digital world. KASB’s Rob Gilligan, government relations specialist, analyzes opportunities to reinvest in school...

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The Census is important for Kansas schools

By Rob Gilligan  rgilligan@kasb.org  Every 10 years, the federal government through the efforts of the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to accurately count everyone living in the United States. This massive undertaking has taken place every decade since the first count held in 1790 and led by Thomas Jefferson. The information collected through the decennial census provides a wealth of knowledge and information, much of which is used by KASB in developing reports and information for our members.  While there are certainly countless applications of Census data in both academic and commercial research, there are four key functions of the Census that affect...

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School Board Review: Vaping – Dangerous clouds on the horizon

By Scott Rothschild   srothschild@kasb.org  The stories aren’t pretty.  Lung damage, explosions, addiction, drug use and in recent cases in other states, even death.  The problem of young people puffing on e-cigarettes, often referred to as vaping, has hit the nation and Kansas schools like an earthquake.   “It has exploded. It is an epidemic,” said Mark Thompson, a program consultant with the Kansas State Department of Education.  From 2017 to 2018, the use of e-cigarettes by high school students in the United States increased 78 percent from 11.7 percent to 20.8 percent. In 2017, almost 35 percent of Kansas high school students reported they’d tried e-cigarettes...

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