Local Boards

New era of school finance audits to start

The era of school district efficiency audits is over; a new era of school finance audits is beginning. Kansas Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank sat down with KASB to discuss changes in store for the Legislature's audit and policy research team as a result of the new school finance law passed in June and under review by the Kansas Supreme Court. The video conversation with Frank can be found here. (Other KASB videos can be found on the KASB YouTube page.) The Legislative Division of Post Audit, which is supervised by the joint Legislative Post Audit Committee, has been heavily involved in...

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Henderson urges federal issues action

KASB Past-President Frank Henderson urges Kansas school board members to make time this summer to hone their federal advocacy skills with help from the National School Boards Association and KASB. U.S. Senators and Representatives are set to work in their home districts beginning July 28 and won’t return to Washington, D.C. until September 5. Henderson says now is a perfect time for school leaders to strengthen relationships with elected officials and their staff and to talk about how federal policies effect Kansas students. Henderson, who serves as Vice President of the Seaman USD 345 school district in Shawnee County, is also...

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KASB will conduct live interview with Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank

KASB will conduct a live interview with Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank today at 1:30 p.m. Frank will discuss the new landscape for school audits under SB 19, the new school finance law. SB 19 eliminated the traditional annual efficiency audit of a sample of large, medium and small school districts in favor of a schedule of future performance audits of virtual school programs (in 2024); the cost of providing educational opportunities to every public school student in Kansas to achieve the performance outcome standards adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education (in 2019, 2022, 2025; at-risk education (in...

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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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