Newsroom

Vaping, dyslexia, legislative agenda on tap for State Board of Education meeting

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive recommendations on curbing e-cigarette use and improving ways to help students with dyslexia. Here is a link to the State Board’s agenda and background materials. The E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force will provide a final draft on keeping tobacco and vaping products out of schools. The task force will also update the board on the Tobacco 21 initiative, which would increase the minimum age in Kansas to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The dyslexia recommendations are aimed at improving pre-service teacher programs, professional learning of teachers already in the classroom, screening...

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Threat assessment key to preventing school violence, new report says

A team approach — including the work of local school boards — is needed to help students in distress and prevent school violence, according to an in-depth analysis by the U.S. Secret Service released Thursday. “While communities can advance many school safety measures on their own, our experience tells us that keeping schools safe requires a team effort and the combined resources of the federal, state, and local governments; school boards; law enforcement; and the public,” U.S. Secret Service Director James M. Murray said. The study, which analyzed 41 incidents of targeted school violence from 2008-17, promotes increased mental health awareness,...

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State revenue estimates increased $525 million over two years. What does that mean for schools?

State budget and tax experts said Thursday the Kansas state general fund should take in $220 million more than earlier expectations in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, and $305 million more next year. Here is the update.  Consensus Revenue Estimates are updated by Legislative Research staff, the Budget Division and Department of Revenue, and university economists in April and November. The Governor uses the November estimate to develop budget recommendations to the Legislative session beginning in January. The Legislature uses the April estimate to adopt a budget.  The new estimate dramatically changes the state general fund (SGF) outlook...

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School bond elections succeeded in some districts; failed in others

School officials celebrated bond issue victories in some districts, but bond proposals were defeated in several other districts as voters produced mixed results during Tuesday’s election. At least six districts succeeded in approving bonds to improve their districts while seven rejected them, according to unofficial results. Those approved and their amounts were Emporia USD 253 ($78 million); Eureka USD 389 ($4.8 million); Flinthills USD 492 ($3.9 million); Little River-Windom USD 444 ($18.17 million); Riley County USD 378 ($15 million) and Spearville USD 381 ($5.8 million). Those voted down were Barber County USD 254 (two propositions, $16.9 million and $6.7 million); Bluestem USD...

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KASB Legislative Committee finalizes draft report

The KASB Legislative Committee has approved its draft recommendations on legislative policy provisions.  The proposals will now go to the Delegate Assembly for a vote on Sunday, Dec. 8 during the KASB Annual Conference in Wichita. Once approved by the Delegate Assembly, the report will guide KASB on issues that arise before the Kansas Legislature and on the federal level.   Here is a link to the draft document. Proposed changes from last year’s resolutions are shown in red.  The draft report includes additional statements on the education of immigrant students, vaping, bullying, Medicaid, federal special education funding and teacher recruitment and...

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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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Bullying task force hears from students, counselors

High school students on Wednesday said a good way to reduce bullying in schools is for educators to make students feel worthwhile. The seven students from Lawrence High School and Free State High School told the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying Prevention that they frequently see bullying behavior at their schools and that it often goes unaddressed by teachers and administrators. And they said the bullying behavior is probably less physical than in past generations, but more socially-oriented with bullies manipulating and insulting students, especially on social media. When asked what educators can do to help stop bullying, the students said...

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Kansas Energy Program offers workshop

The Kansas Energy Program is offering a free workshop on Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting (GESPC) and the Kansas Facility Conservation Improvement Program (FCIP).   The workshop is intended for anyone with responsibility for government-owned buildings eligible for the FCIP, including public schools.   The Kansas Facility Conservation Improvement Program is based on energy performance contracting - a method of financing, designing and installing comprehensive energy efficiency improvements with little to no upfront capital. The costs of energy retrofits are paid for over time by future guaranteed savings from utility and maintenance budgets.  Attendees will hear from national experts on GESPCs and learn...

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Volunteers needed to help conduct poverty simulation at KASB Annual Conference

Several volunteers from KASB member entities are needed to help conduct a poverty simulation workshop at the KASB Annual Conference in Wichita. The Poverty Paradigm Experience is an intensive simulated journey through the tangle of housing, utilities, food, transportation, school, mental health, social services and work the children or parents in poverty experience every day. Several volunteers are needed as assistants during the Fri. Dec. 6 session, which will be moderated by Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz, director of ESSDACK Learning Centers. who has been working to engage educators, community members and families into conversations that lift students out of poverty. For those interested in...

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KASB Board reviews strategic plan, recognizes outgoing members

The KASB Board of Directors worked through a busy and diverse agenda during its meeting in Topeka on Saturday.  Awards were presented to Board of Director members completing their KASB terms of office in December. Recognized were Past President C. Patrick Woods, Topeka USD 501; Region 15 Vice-President Rick Schier, Olathe USD 233; Region 6 Vice-President Susan Walston, Haysville USD 261 and Region 4 Vice-President Curt Herman, Manhattan USD 383  The KASB Legislative Committee joined the board for the first part of the meeting, hearing a report from Leah Fliter, KASB advocacy and outreach specialist, on potential legislative and policy issues...

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