State Board of Ed

Key tasks for school boards right now

In two online video forums for school board leaders Thursday night and Friday morning, KASB executive, leadership services and legal staff presented information on critical tasks for local school boards as they confront the COVID pandemic. Approximately 400 school leaders attended. Participation was limited to board presidents, board vice-presidents, superintendents and board clerks to comply with open meetings requirements.  First, boards must determine how to conduct school board meetings that comply with both health directives like social distancing and the Kansas Open Meetings Act.  The Kansas Attorney General has proposed new regulations for conducting open meetings that have received temporary approval...

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COVID and Kansas public education

KASB has prepared a summary of what has transpired during this unprecedented disruption of public education and this historic response by educators, policymakers and everyday citizens across Kansas. We hope this handy guide to documents and policies will help as we go forward and continue teaching the next generation of Kansans. School closure for health and safety  Commission of Education Randy Watson “strongly recommends” public schools close for two weeks. (March 16)  Statewide organizations representing school boards, teachers and administrators offer support and guidance for dealing with school closure. Joint statement by Education Organizations, March 16. (KASB COVID-Resources page)  Governor Laura Kelly orders...

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No state assessments; virtual board meetings

Kansas students won't have to take state assessments this year and local boards will be able to hold virtual meetings. Those were today's major developments as Kansas schools prepare to re-start alternative education plans in the wake of the shutdown of schools by Gov. Laura Kelly to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. During a KASB video, Angie Stallbaumer, assistant executive director for legal services for KASB, and Brian Jordan, deputy director of KASB, provided a daily update on education developments. The video can be accessed here. Earlier today, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that states could seek waivers to standardized...

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Legislature approves school funding, much business unfinished

The Kansas Legislature approved a budget that keeps in place base state aid and special education aid increases approved last year and maintains most other programs at current levels before adjourning.  The Legislature ended the regular session two weeks early. The House and Senate are expected to return for the wrap-up session on Monday, April 27, but that is subject to change in light of the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, a long list of bills passed by each chamber remains unfinished business.  Details of school funding in the budget  The budget bill, SB 66, generally adopted the Governor’s budget proposal that...

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Local boards will be enlisted soon to review new learning programs during COVID-19 crisis

Local school boards will soon be called upon to make important decisions to ensure that Kansas students are receiving education despite district closings caused by the coronavirus outbreak. During a video, Angie Stallbaumer, assistant executive director for legal services for KASB, and Brian Jordan, deputy director of KASB, reviewed the just released "Continuous Learning Task Force Guidance," which provides a framework for schools to re-start delivery of instruction to students. The video can be accessed here. Stallbaumer and Jordan said districts may be able to start teaching students again as early as Monday, March 30. But boards will need to work with...

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Governor signs school term waiver bill, continuous learning plans required

Gov. Laura Kelly today signed a bill into law giving the State Board of Education more authority to waive minimum school term requirements, but state officials stress districts will continue to provide learning services to students.  The Governor issued an executive order Tuesday ordering all K-12 school buildings, public or private, to close and cease in-person instruction until May 29, 2020, unless they can operate under health directives, which currently limit facilities to 10 persons.  The order also directed the State Board and Department of Education to develop guidelines for continuing learning plans for students while schools are closed. Commissioner of...

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Continuous Learning guidelines released; local districts to work on plans to re-start delivering education

School in Kansas will soon be back in session. It will just look a lot different and most learning will probably not occur in school buildings. That’s according to guidelines released today from a special task force in response to delivering education to Kansas' 500,000 students during the current COVID-19 crisis. On Tuesday, Gov. Laura Kelly ordered Kansas public and private school buildings closed for the duration of the school year in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Public health guidelines also recommend no gathering of more than 10 people. A task force led by teachers then worked over the...

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Legislature passes school closure flexibility, budget advances

The Kansas Legislature Tuesday approved a bill that gives the State Board of Education greater authority to waive the minimum school term for districts, sending the legislation to the governor.  The bill means school districts will not be penalized for failing to meet the state minimum school term of days or hours after Gov. Laura Kelly ordered the buildings be closed for most educational functions until May 30.  To receive the waiver, districts will have to submit a request to the State Board of Education and provide information how they will continue to provide learning opportunities for student.  The House amended the...

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COVID-19 Crisis: Kelly shuts down school buildings for duration of school year; education of students to continue

In an unprecedented move, Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday announced that Kansas schools will be closed for the duration of the school year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. But Kelly and Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson emphasized that learning will continue via instruction to students online, in small groups or both. An expert task force is set to unveil recommendations Wednesday on delivering education to students while school buildings remain closed. KASB President Shannon Kimball, of the Lawrence USD 497 school board, was part of the news conference and said later, “We are all going to have to work through this...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. March 16

A bill that would allow the State Board of Education to waive the minimum required length of the school term was recommended Monday as schools face being closed for an indefinite period of time because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The measure was placed in SB 142, an unused school finance bill from last year, and may be considered by the full House as early as Tuesday as legislators race to finish their business and adjourn as the coronavirus crisis worsens. Current law allows the State Board to grant schools waivers of the length of term law — 1,116 hours of instruction...

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