Safety and Security

First meeting of new mental health advisory panel is Friday

The initial meeting of the Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council will be held at 9 a.m. Friday at the Kansas State Department of Education.  The council was established by the State Board of Education to advise on unmet needs in school mental health and coordinate with legislators and stakeholders in efforts to benefit students in social and emotional growth. State Board Vice Chair Kathy Busch will serve as chair of the advisory council.   Here is a link to the meeting agenda. 

Read more...

School Board Review back-to-school issue is out

After summer vacation, School Board Review returns to welcome the new school year.  The issue features our first column from new KASB President Dayna Miller, of Basehor-Linwood USD 458, and KASB Executive Director John Heim’s take on the first day of school.  KASB Past-President Frank Henderson discusses the need to advocate on federal education issues and we also offer a rundown of the work completed by the state Legislature.  The issue also includes an article on money-savings from KASB’s Health Insurance consulting program, research on young adult success and timely legal advice for school boards.  We hope you enjoy the August issue of...

Read more...

Total solar eclipse means school is out in some districts

Snow days in August? Yes. Some districts are cancelling school Mon. Aug. 21 because they are located in the best viewing area for the rare solar eclipse and expect to see thousands of tourists and visitors jamming up their streets. Atchison USD 409 posted on its Facebook page: “Due to increasing numbers of visitors for the eclipse, potential traffic issues, and conferring with the City/EMS, USD 409 will not hold classes on August 21st.” With Brown County officials promoting solar eclipse events, the Hiawatha USD 415 school board went the same route. Superintendent Lonnie Moser posted on the district’s Facebook page: “The board...

Read more...

Report shows numerous violations of motorists illegally passing school buses

With school about to start in Kansas and thousands of buses set to hit the road, education officials expressed shock Tuesday after hearing a report that showed widespread violations of motorists illegally passing school buses.  “This is major and we need some kind of action,” said State Board of Education Chairman Jim Porter.  During 30 school days between the end of January and first part of March, 57 of the state’s 286 districts statewide volunteered to have bus drivers report violations.   According to Kansas law, the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking any stopped school bus from either direction must stop...

Read more...

K-12 transportation audit proposal approved, but two other audits held back

The Legislative Post Audit Committee on Monday approved an audit proposal to evaluate transportation services funding to schools but put on hold two other K-12 audits.  The new school finance bill includes a nine-year schedule of K-12 performance audits with the first one being one on transportation funding, which is due when the 2018 Legislature meets in January. More details on this new schedule of required audits and an interview with Kansas Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank can be found here.  State law requires school districts provide transportation to students who live more than 2.5 miles from school. For students who...

Read more...

Despite defeat of `skinny’ effort to repeal parts of ACA, education advocates must remain vigilant

The defeat of the U.S. Senate “skinny” effort to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents a reprieve, but not a victory for education leaders concerned about potential cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to schools. “KASB members and others must remain vigilant as the legislative process continues to play out in Washington, D.C.,” said Associate Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman.  In a dramatic early-morning vote today, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, joined Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in voting against the latest attempt by Senate leadership to follow through on a nearly decade-long promise to repeal...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

If childhood poverty was a school district

A recent media release and infographic from the Kansas Center for Economic Growth noted that if the estimated 370,000 Kansas living in poverty were all in one city, it would be second largest in Kansas, falling between Wichita (389,965) and Overland Park (186,515). KASB decided to take a similar look at school-aged poverty. With an estimated 78,000 Kansas children from age 5 to 17 living in poverty, those students would be largest school district in Kansas, easily exceeding the approximately 50,000 students in Wichita and about equal to the next three districts combined: Olathe, Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley, combined. The...

Read more...

Moran opposes latest Obamacare repeal and Medicaid cuts

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran said he would oppose the latest Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and impose cuts in federal medical assistance, another blow to an effort that has repeatedly looked dead but continues to return. Moran's opposition helped derail an earlier Senate Republican plan. It is unclear how Congressional Republican leaders and the administration of President Trump will proceed. Among the options: a straight repeal of the ACA, called "Obamacare," without replacement, or attempting to work with Democrats to make changes in the troubled parts of the federal health care law. Although the focus of...

Read more...

State Board approves forming School Mental Health Advisory Council

The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday approved establishing an advisory council to provide information and recommendations on unmet mental health needs in Kansas schools. “This is probably one of the more important things we do,” Board Member Jim McNiece said. Board Chairman Jim Porter said when he started as a teacher and principal, one of the most common problems was making sure children weren’t chewing gum in class. “We are in a different world now,” Porter said. Educators today are dealing with students who have had serious adverse experiences, he said. The School Mental Health Advisory Council will be chaired by...

Read more...