Local Boards

KASB interviews KAC’s Annie McKay

The leader of a prominent children’s advocacy group sat down with KASB recently to talk about the intersection of early childhood issues and tax reform and to highlight how policy choices impact the lives of the young Kansans who attend our state’s public schools. Annie McKay is the CEO and President of Kansas Action for Children (KAC), a nearly 40-year old non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to shape health, education and economic policy that will improve the lives of Kansas children and their families. McKay, who was previously director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG), joined KAC in...

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Education department launches new postsecondary completion reports

A new reporting system made public this month will show the percentage of each high school class that both graduates on time and completes an industry recognized certification or a postsecondary degree or has been enrolled in postsecondary program in the first two years following higher school graduation. The system is part of the Kansas State Board of Education's Kansans Can Vision and will help measure two of the five Kansans Can outcomes: increasing high school graduation rates and increasing the percentage of Kansans with postsecondary education, including both technical certificates and academic degrees. The system will likely draw increasing attention...

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KASB releases guidance on changes to executive session law

The 2017 Kansas Legislature made some changes to the Kansas Open Meetings Act in H.B. 2301 affecting the procedures school boards need to use when they recess into executive session. KASB legal staff has reviewed the new law in consultation with League of Kansas Municipalities and prepared a one-page chart to assist boards in making appropriate motions for executive session. As of July 1, 2017, K.S.A. 75-4319 requires the following: “Any motion to recess for a closed or executive meeting shall include: (l) A statement describing the subjects to be discussed during the closed or executive meeting; (2) the justification listed...

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State Board receives new math standards, postsecondary success metric

The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday accepted on first review proposed new public school math standards and reviewed the state’s new measure of postsecondary success for K-12 public schools. The 2017 math standards will replace the 2010 standards, which were adopted with little attention but drew significant criticism later because they were aligned with the Common Core standards developed by associations of governors and chief state school officers. KSDE staff said the 2017 math standards were written for Kansans by Kansans and set a rigorous example for the rest of the country. Several board members had questions about various...

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Watson urges schools apply for redesign project

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson on Tuesday reiterated his call for school districts to apply for a pilot project to redesign schools in line with the Kansans Can vision. Watson said four districts have completed their application process for the “Mercury 7” project, which is named after the pioneering U.S. astronaut program. Seven districts for the project will be announced next month, he said. Under the program, an elementary and secondary school in each of the seven districts will be redesigned in conjunction with the State Board of Education’s Kansans Can mission of leading the world in the success of each...

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Deadline to register to vote in school board primaries is Tuesday

The big change in school board elections will be felt this week. If you are not registered to vote, Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in the August primary for school board and other local elected offices. In 2015, the Kansas Legislature moved the election dates for school boards from the spring of odd-numbered years to the fall of odd-numbered years. Supporters of the move said turnout would increase if local elections were held during a more recognizable election period. So, the registration deadline to vote in primaries for this year’s school board elections is Tuesday. Primary elections will be held...

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State Board to review new success metric

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Topeka for its regular monthly meeting. The board’s agenda for Wednesday calls for information and discussion on the Kansans Can vision outcome of postsecondary completion/attendance. By the time the incoming class of high school sophomores graduates high school, more than 70 percent of jobs in Kansas will require some kind of postsecondary completion. KSDE will release a new postsecondary success metric that demonstrates how Kansas school districts are preparing their students to succeed in the two years after high school graduation. The department calculated that progress using National...

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KASB invites you to join us for a conversation

Each summer, members of the KASB staff tour the state as a way to continue conversations from the spring legislative session with our members and partners. This year KASB is ready to change things up a bit by hosting more informal gatherings where we can continue the dialogue on current issues as well as the opportunity in front of us all as we see a "New Day in Kansas Education." You are invited to join us for our first event at 3:30 p.m. Wed. July 12 at the Kanza Café, 2701 SW East Circle Drive South in Topeka. The first KASB Conversation...

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Plaintiffs, State argue school finance in briefs filed with Kansas Supreme Court

In briefs filed Friday, the State of Kansas says the new school finance act is "a dramatic, positive step for Kansas, its students, and its schools," correcting the constitutional flaws in funding adequacy found by the Supreme Court; and asks the court to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs say the act "significantly underfunds K-12 public education – by all measures;" and ask the court to require almost $900 million for funding over the next two years. The plaintiff school districts also say the new law introduces unconstitutional funding inequities, and ask the court to set a new deadline of Sept....

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KASB: New day in Kansas education

KASB leaders Monday touted progress on several fronts that will start a new day in Kansas education and thanked Kansans and elected leaders for setting this new path forward. “After years of uncertainty, several initiatives are coming together that will help Kansas students achieve their dreams,” Amy Martin, KASB president and  school board member from Olathe USD 233, said at a news conference attended by media and legislators at the Statehouse. Here is a link to Martin’s statement. The state’s new school finance formula and funding increase go into effect next week. The investment — $200 million in the first year...

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