Safety and Security

Senate releases new pandemic response bill with K-12 funding

U.S. Senate Republicans released their latest response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday. The bill has an overall price tag of $1 trillion and contains K-12 education funding of about $70 billion, with two-thirds of that only available to school districts that have in-person reopening plans approved by their state’s Governor. The measure must now be reconciled with the $3 trillion HEROES Act passed earlier this summer by the U.S. House, which reflects Democratic Party priorities for pandemic response. KASB is monitoring the Congressional negotiations and will continue to report on what is expected to be a very fluid...

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KASB `Lunch & Learn’ today will focus on school reopening

At noon today (Wed. July 29), KASB will tackle the No. 1 and No. 2 public policy questions on the minds of Kansans — when will school start and how? Please join us for the Zoom forum, which will feature KASB Assistant Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman, KASB Leadership Services Field Specialist Gary Sechrist and KASB Attorney Sam Blasi. The Board Leadership session is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. There is no registration fee, however, pre-registration is required to receive access to the online sessions via Zoom. Here is a link to register. School districts...

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KASB, BuyBoard can help districts purchasing PPE, cleaning supplies

KASB, through its partnership with BuyBoard, a buying cooperative many school districts use for procurement, can help districts access and purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing supplies to assist in the opening and operation of school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed to comply with state laws which require government entities to make purchases from an approved list of vendors that have gone through a competitive procurement process, BuyBoard gives school entities the ability to get volume discounts with the ease of online, web-based shopping and ordering. As a member of our organization, you are automatically a BuyBoard member. If your...

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Apparel company, tennis star, NSBA are teaming up to provide face masks to schools

CORRECTION: The process for school districts to access masks has not been finalized. KASB will provide details later in the week. An earlier version of this story that had an email to make requests for masks was incorrect.  KASB apologizes for the confusion. Apparel company Bella+Canvas and tennis star Serena Williams have teamed up with NSBA to provide masks and COVID-19 safety education to students returning to school. The effort will supply 80,000 masks to underserved communities and district and reduce the cost of reopening schools. “We hope this effort will help NSBA’s members and their school districts keep schools safer and...

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CDC releases revised guidance for reopening schools

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday evening released guidance for the reopening of school buildings for the 2020-21 school year following the COVID-19 pandemic that closed schools in March. Some aspects of the guidance differ from recommendations released by the CDC last May and come as many Kansas school districts are finalizing their reopening plans.   The “Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020” is posted on KASB’s “Roadmap to Reopening” Resources page on our website.  One change from the CDC’s May recommendations is new guidance on screening students for COVID-19 symptoms.    “Based on the best available evidence at this time, CDC does not currently recommend universal symptom screenings (screening all students...

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Get the latest on governor’s executive orders, school reopenings during KASB Advocacy update at noon today

When will schools open? Will Congress approve more K-12 funding? What is the status of state funding? How can we close the homework gap? These questions and others will be discussed at noon today (July 24) during the KASB Advocacy Update. Education leaders are invited to join the KASB Advocacy staff to review recent public school developments on the state and federal level, including Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order on health precautions at schools and her order rejected by the State Board of Education on delaying the start of school. The meeting will be held online via Zoom. There is no registration...

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After rejection of Kelly’s order, school districts move forward with re-opening plans

Kansas districts are implementing school re-opening plans around a surge in COVID-19 cases and a rollercoaster week of activity in Topeka.  Last week, the Kansas State Department of Education released its “Navigating Change 2020” document to help guide districts through the re-opening process. A day later, the State Board of Education accepted the document’s recommendations, but then hours later Gov. Laura Kelly announced she would issue an executive order to delay the start of school until Sept. 9. Kelly also issued an order to require masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing and temperature checks in schools.  A week later, the State Board...

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State Board of Education rejects Gov. Kelly’s proposal to delay start of schools

The State Board of Education on Wednesday rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order to delay the start of school until Sept. 9. The decision on when to start school is now up to local school districts and Kelly is recommending they start later because of the record surge of COVID-19 cases that Kansas is currently experiencing. "Our decisions must be informed by public health experts not politics. This votes puts our students, faculty, their families and our economy at risk" Kelly said. "I will continue to work with our school districts to ensure the safety and well-being of our children...

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Details of Gov. Kelly’s K-12 executive orders

On Monday, July 20, Gov.Laura Kelly released two executive orders regarding K-12 education. The first, E.O., 20-58 (link), delaying the start of school until Sept. 9, will only go into effect if approved by a majority vote of the State Board of Education. A special meeting of the State Board has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. (Links to agenda and livestreaming.)  The second order, E.O. 20-59 (link), establishing health and safety protocols for K-12 schools, becomes effective Aug. 10. It does NOT require State Board approval.  Delay of school opening  In the proposed order delaying the opening of schools, K-12 public...

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Kelly signs executive order on COVID-19 precautions in schools; delay of school startup to be considered Wednesday by State Board of Education

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed an executive order requiring masks, daily temperature checks, social distancing and hourly hand sanitizing in Kansas schools. Kelly said she would sign an additional executive order delaying the start of school until Sept. 9 once the State Board of Education approves it. Approval by the State Board of Education, however, isn’t a given. The State Board has scheduled a special online meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday to take up the executive order on delaying school. The board announced it would accept public comment on the issue until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Here is a link...

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