State Board of Ed

Attorney General’s opinion says county commissions, school boards can opt out of Governor’s school order

Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a formal opinion Tuesday that county commissions can modify or repeal Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order dealing with masks and other requirements in K-12 schools, and that local school boards can make their own decisions in those areas.  On July 20, Kelly issued executive order 20-59, which requires all K-12 schools, public and private, to follow four requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19: masks or face coverings for all persons with limited exceptions, social distancing in most areas of the school, and hand sanitizing and temperature checks for all persons upon first entering school....

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State medical groups offer guidance determining on-site, hybrid and remote learning

The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday accepted a new set of criteria local district officials can use to determine when schools should be open for onsite learning and other activities based on trends in COVID-19 cases.  The “Kansas School Gating Criteria” document was put together with input from the University of Kansas Pediatrics, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians, Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and education leaders who headed committees that produced KSDE’s Navigating Change guidelines.   The new medical guidance suggests that the learning model (onsite, hybrid or remote), student activities and access...

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Implementation of recommendations to improve dyslexia services may be delayed

The State Board of Education is considering a delay in some recommendations made last year to improve dyslexia services for students in Kansas public schools. The delays are needed in part because the Legislature adjourned the 2020 session early due to the COVID-19 pandemic without having funded a dyslexia coordinator position, Kansas State Department of Education staff said Tuesday. Implementation of recommendations from a task force on dyslexia were further complicated when Kansas school buildings were shut down in March because of the coronavirus. State Board of Education Chair Kathy Busch, of Wichita, said the desire is there implement the recommendations, but...

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KSDE unveils `Kansas Schools Gating Criteria’

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson on Tuesday released recommendations for schools to consider when determining on-site, hybrid and remote learning options during the COVID-19 pandemic. The color-coded “Kansas Schools Gating Criteria” was put together by education and health officials and meant as suggestions for schools, said Watson. He said school boards and administrators should use these suggested thresholds in consultation with local and state health officials to determine what is the best option to keep students safe. “The local school districts have to wrestle with the details of this,” Watson said. He said school boards across the state are working hard to...

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State Board of Education to hear from the field on school reopening plans

As districts start a new school year like none other, the State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive feedback from education leaders on their progress. Here is a link to the State Board's agenda and backup materials. Here is a link to the live webstream of the meeting. Districts statewide are grappling with how to open schools during the COVID-19 pandemic after being shut down in March to slow the spread of the disease. Last month, the State Board approved guidelines — “Navigating Change” — to help schools prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year with on-site, hybrid and...

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Primary election report: Conservative shift seen in GOP state House, Senate results

Unofficial election results indicate a conservative shift among state Senate and House Republicans, with a number of moderates losing races. In general, conservative Republicans in the Legislature have sought less state spending, which could include school funding; more support for funding non-public school programs, such as vouchers; more opposition to the policies of Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and more support for constitutional amendments that could limit the judiciary in school funding issues. State Senate  Seven Republican Senators were defeated, although one race is within about 50 votes.  Six were viewed as moderates; all elected four years ago and helped repeal the income...

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State health official will provide information today during KASB `Lunch & Learn’ session

KASB’s weekly “Lunch and Learn” meeting at noon today (Wed. Aug. 5) will feature Ashley Goss, the deputy secretary of public health for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, who will provide information on COVID-19 as schools plan re-opening. The online session is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. No registration fee is required, however, pre-registration is required to receive access to the session via Zoom. Here is a link to register. Recently, Goss served as co-chair of the committee that put together the school operations section of the Navigating Change guidelines for re-opening schools...

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KASB online sessions this week focus on school opening, Title IX and advocacy

KASB will be offering three online sessions this week to help education leaders. Wed. Aug. 5 Starting at noon, join us for our weekly “Lunch and Learn” meeting in which we cover timely information and developments to help you plan for the school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. No registration fee is required, however, pre-registration is required to received access to the online sessions via Zoom. Here is a link to register. Thur. Aug. 6 Starting at 9 a.m., KASB will conduct "Title IX Sexual Harassment Response" training. The session...

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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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Major groups make endorsements in primaries

With the political party primaries less than one week away, major organizations that represent a wide variety of interests have endorsed candidates. KASB doesn’t make political endorsements, but provides information on education issues and urges Kansans to vote and participate in the election process. Here is a link to KASB’s Overview of Kansas Public Education Issues. The Republican and Democratic primaries are Tue. Aug. 4. The general election is Tue. Nov. 3. Every seat in the Kansas House and Senate, half of 10 positions on the State Board of Education, all four of Kansas' U.S. Representative positions and one U.S. Senate...

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