Newsroom

Interim work expected on school finance before January start of 2018 session

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, said Thursday that a joint committee will work on school finance before the start of the 2018 legislative session. Denning said the Legislative Coordinating Council will meet Monday and set the interim committee in motion to start work on addressing a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that found the school finance system inadequate and inequitable. His comments came during a panel discussion at the KASB School Finance Workshop Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, who was also a participant in the panel discussion said he was pleased to hear an interim committee would meet. Following the...

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Inaugural BOLD class gathers

The inaugural KASB BOLD (Business Operations Leadership Development) class gathered this week to launch the organization’s latest service for new and aspiring superintendents. The program is similar to KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow program, but focuses on the financial, facilities and planning side of leading a school district. Class members are drawn from 18 large and small school districts from around the state.   KASB Assistant Executive Director of Operations Randy Weseman said BOLD was developed in response to an increasing number of requests for assistance from Kansas school district administrators who must juggle not only their daily interactions with students, staff...

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Commissioner Watson to be interviewed live Today

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson will be interviewed live on https://www.youtube.com/user/KASBVideo/live about Kansas public schools at 3:30 p.m. today. Those watching live will have the opportunity to ask the commissioner questions. Recently, Watson and the Kansas State Department of Education released what it called a “mixed bag” of student achievement results. Watson also is championing the redesign of Kansas schools to emphasize student achievement marked by post-secondary success, improved pre-school readiness and high school graduation rates and student social and emotional growth.   

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Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council making progress

A state advisory panel appears headed toward recommending that teachers undergo training to discern the signs of sexual abuse of their students.  Kathy Busch, chair of the Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council, said the group will probably come up with specific recommendations on sex abuse training detection and prevention during its next meeting on Nov. 28 or the meeting after that on Dec. 14.  The recommendation would then go to the State Board of Education where Busch serves as vice chair. The advisory council was formed by the State Board after key legislators indicated they wanted to enact a law...

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KASB urges voters to vote in school board, local races

If it seems like an odd time to be voting for school board and city officials, it is. There is an election Tue. Nov. 7 and KASB encourages voters to vote. This is the first year, school board and city elections are being held in November. Before this year, they were held in the spring. In 2015, the Kansas Legislature moved the election dates for school boards from the spring of odd-numbered years to November of odd-numbered years. Supporters of the move said turnout would increase if school board elections were held during a more recognizable election period. Most school boards opposed the...

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SBR President’s Perspective: Choice abundant in public schools

by Dayna Miller KASB President Basehor-Linwood USD 458 “School choice” has become a buzzword for discussing private schools, charters and voucher programs that allow public dollars to follow students to private schools. Support for this “choice” centers around options for alternative/varied programs and resources. Yet, those of us who work, support or utilize public schools realize that choice is abundant in our local public schools. We only have to look at our own districts to see the choices offered from Pre-K-12. My home district, at the high school level, offers a Health Pathway (CNA), Family & Community Services, A/V Communications, Construction & Design, Engineering,...

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Allison selected by KSSA as superintendent of the year

The Kansas School Superintendents' Association has selected Olathe USD 233 Superintendent John Allison as the 2018 Kansas Superintendent of the Year.  Allison began his service as superintendent of Olathe schools in July. Prior to moving to Olathe, Allison had served as superintendent of Wichita USD 259 since 2009. During Allison’s tenure with Wichita public schools, systemic reform strategies were implemented and Wichita’s enrollment grew. Unlike many urban districts which have struggled with declines in student enrollment, Wichita’s student population increased by nearly 1,100 students since 2009 (up to 51,133 in 2015). As many urban school districts across the country struggled to...

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Legislative leaders to discuss K-12 issues at KASB School Finance Workshop on Thursday

Legislative and education leaders will gather Thursday during KASB’s School Finance Workshop to discuss the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in the Gannon lawsuit and how to respond to it.  The event starts at 9 a.m. at KASB headquarters, 1420 SW Arrowhead Road in Topeka. Here is a link to the agenda.  On Oct. 2, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the school finance law approved by the Legislature during the 2017 session failed to provide an adequate education for K-12 students and called on the Legislature to fix the system.  Since then, some legislative leaders have called for committee meetings to start...

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Budget resolution sets federal priorities

The U.S. Senate on Oct. 19 passed its Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution that sets out overall federal legislative priorities for education, health care and tax reform and would increase the federal budget deficit by $1.5 trillion over ten years.   The Senate’s $4 trillion bill keeps federal spending at FY 17 levels but cuts non-defense spending in the following years and calls for a $106 billion tax cut in 2027. The tax cut would be enabled in part by the $1.5 trillion addition to the federal deficit.   The U.S. House passed its $4 trillion spending bill earlier this month. While that...

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Beloit wants to be state leader

In the Beloit USD 273 school district, leaders say they want to lead the state in redesigning education around what’s best for student success. They’re going to continue to focus on what works, but want to expand their efforts beyond the school doors.  Superintendent Jeff Travis, elementary principal Brady Dean and junior/senior high principal Casey Seyfert say Beloit was working on improving kindergarten readiness, high school graduation rates and postsecondary success before those became State Board of Education outcomes. The administrators say the district’s close partnerships with the Beloit community will continue to be critical to the schools’ success.  Beloit has...

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