Local Boards

Enthusiastic discussion on early childhood services

An enthusiastic crowd of about 80 people participated in a discussion in Overland Park on the future of early childhood services in Kansas. The meeting was part of a statewide tour by officials to gather public input on the availability of programs and gaps in assistance for young Kansans and their families. Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, said the purpose of the effort was to put together a plan that “gives each Kansas child the best possible start.” She said Kansas should focus on the healthy development of children in the early stages of their...

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Gov. Kelly signs budget that includes increased school funding; line-item vetoes several education-related programs

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed into law the state budget, which includes a $90 million increase for K-12 to address the school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court, and made several education-related line-item vetoes. “There is a lot to celebrate in this state budget,” Kelly said. “We can accomplish so much good for the people of Kansas when reckless tax policy does not leave our state embroiled in a perpetual budget crisis. I appreciate the bipartisan work of lawmakers to pass a budget that takes meaningful strides to rebuild Kansas – including investments in public education, public safety,...

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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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Former school board members emphasize importance of service

With the June 3 deadline approaching to file to run for school board, an enthusiastic group of potential candidates met in Lawrence on Thursday to talk about board service with KASB Deputy Executive Director Doug Moeckel and Lawrence USD 497 Superintendent Anthony Lewis.  Former Lawrence board members Rich Minder and Cindy Yulich also emphasized the importance of board service.  Minder said school boards govern an organization that shapes the minds of children. “I couldn’t think of anything more noble than that,” he said. He said school boards synthesize the values of the community into the public school system.  Of her time on...

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State auditors start work on at-risk funding audit

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit has started work on an audit evaluating K-12 at-risk funding. The audit was ordered under the recently approved school finance law, SB 16, and is expected to be finished in December for legislators to consider during the 2020 session. School districts must use at-risk funding to provide additional educational services to students who are at risk of academic failure. In the 2017-18 school year, the state provided $415 million in total at-risk funding to school districts. The audit will look into the method used to count the number of at-risk students; how districts spend at-risk...

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KASB conducting meetings tonight in Lawrence, Gardner for potential school board candidates

With the June 3 deadline approaching to file to run for school board, KASB will hold two meetings tonight for those interested in serving on their local board. KASB Deputy Executive Director Doug Moeckel will conduct a meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Lawrence at the USD 497 Education Support Center, 110 McDonald Dr. And KASB Assistant Executive Director for Leadership Services Brian Jordan will conduct a meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Gardner at the Gardner-Edgerton USD 231 board office, 231 E. Madison St. The meetings will provide information to those who are wanting to run for school board. Moeckel and Jordan...

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Farm to School program provides healthy meals, ag education

Fruit is sweeter close to home. That’s what school officials hear from students when they buy watermelon and other fruit from nearby farms. Officials and students from several districts praised the “Farm to School” initiative in a presentation Tuesday to the State Board of Education. The program connects schools with local farms in order to serve nutritious meals and give students hands-on opportunities to grow gardens, raise farm animals and learn how to cook. “These are truly living, breathing classrooms,” said Jenny Lazarus, outdoor education coordinator of Lawrence USD 497. Students are learning where their food comes from and to eat healthy, she...

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State Board of Education seeks policies to address increase in students using e-cigarettes

Concerned by the explosive increase in the number of young people using e-cigarettes, the State Board of Education on Tuesday said it will work to help districts enact enhanced policies to make schools tobacco- and vape-free and help students who have become addicted. “I had no idea how serious this problem is,” Board Member Jim McNiece said after a presentation by school and health officials. McNiece and other board members expressed alarm over the increased use by students of the battery-powered e-cigarettes that can deliver high quantities of nicotine and other harmful chemicals through a liquid. Board members also decried the...

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New videos explain running for school board

The June 3 filing deadline to run for school boards is quickly approaching, and KASB offers a wealth of resources for prospective candidates.  Assistant Executive Director for Leadership Services Brian Jordan and Advocacy and Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter, who serves on the Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 Board of Education, have recorded a new video that delves into the rights and responsibilities of school boards, tips for being an effective and astute board member, and how KASB supports Kansas school boards. Fliter also gives prospective candidates advice on how and where to file and getting your name out.  KASB’s School Board Elections Guide...

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ReConnect can help rural schools with broadband access

The State Director of USDA Rural Development sat down with KASB recently to talk about a new federal program that could help Kansas schools connect their communities to broadband internet access. The video interview is available at this link.  Lynne Hinrichsen said the $600 million federal ReConnect Infrastructure Program will enable “critical community facilities” like schools, hospitals and community centers to work with rural telecommunications and electric utilities on partnerships to provide broadband service to some of the most rural areas in the state. The application window opened in late April.  USDA is making available up to $200 million in grants,...

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