State Board of Ed

Gov. Kelly signs budget that includes increased school funding; line-item vetoes several education-related programs

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed into law the state budget, which includes a $90 million increase for K-12 to address the school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court, and made several education-related line-item vetoes. “There is a lot to celebrate in this state budget,” Kelly said. “We can accomplish so much good for the people of Kansas when reckless tax policy does not leave our state embroiled in a perpetual budget crisis. I appreciate the bipartisan work of lawmakers to pass a budget that takes meaningful strides to rebuild Kansas – including investments in public education, public safety, [...]

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New edition of KASB School Board Review is available

The new issue of School Board Review is available and features stories on the emphasis on early childhood services, a call for school board service as the candidate filing deadline nears, a wrap up of the legislative session and a look at what’s on the horizon for educators. The June issue is available here online and will be mailed out early next week. The edition also contains advice for school boards to reflect on what they did the past year to drive student success, a preview of the new task force that will recommend ways to address bullying, analyses of trends [...]

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State auditors start work on at-risk funding audit

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit has started work on an audit evaluating K-12 at-risk funding. The audit was ordered under the recently approved school finance law, SB 16, and is expected to be finished in December for legislators to consider during the 2020 session. School districts must use at-risk funding to provide additional educational services to students who are at risk of academic failure. In the 2017-18 school year, the state provided $415 million in total at-risk funding to school districts. The audit will look into the method used to count the number of at-risk students; how districts spend at-risk [...]

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Farm to School program provides healthy meals, ag education

Fruit is sweeter close to home. That’s what school officials hear from students when they buy watermelon and other fruit from nearby farms. Officials and students from several districts praised the “Farm to School” initiative in a presentation Tuesday to the State Board of Education. The program connects schools with local farms in order to serve nutritious meals and give students hands-on opportunities to grow gardens, raise farm animals and learn how to cook. “These are truly living, breathing classrooms,” said Jenny Lazarus, outdoor education coordinator of Lawrence USD 497. Students are learning where their food comes from and to eat healthy, she [...]

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State Board of Education seeks policies to address increase in students using e-cigarettes

Concerned by the explosive increase in the number of young people using e-cigarettes, the State Board of Education on Tuesday said it will work to help districts enact enhanced policies to make schools tobacco- and vape-free and help students who have become addicted. “I had no idea how serious this problem is,” Board Member Jim McNiece said after a presentation by school and health officials. McNiece and other board members expressed alarm over the increased use by students of the battery-powered e-cigarettes that can deliver high quantities of nicotine and other harmful chemicals through a liquid. Board members also decried the [...]

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Vaping, early childhood, school redesign on State Board of Education’s agenda

Concerns about the increase in student use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, will be presented to the State Board of Education. The presentation is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday and will be conducted by Jordan Roberts, youth prevention manager for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment; David Stubblefield, executive director of school administration for Blue Valley USD 229 and Mark Thompson, education program consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education. Here is a link to the board’s agenda and backup materials. Also on Tuesday, the board will receive an update on work going on to strengthen Kansas’ early childhood system. [...]

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Early childhood community engagement meetings set for next week in Great Bend, Osborne

State officials have scheduled meetings next week in Great Bend and Osborne to seek input from Kansans to address early childhood issues. The community engagement meetings will be held Monday in Great Bend at the Holiday Inn Express from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The meeting in Osborne will be held Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Osborne Senior Center. The meetings are being held throughout the state for the next several months as part of an effort to develop a comprehensive assessment of what is needed for early childhood in [...]

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Kansas Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying to meet May 28; public comment ground rules

The Kansas Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying will hold its first meeting later this month and is seeking public comment on ways to address bullying. The initial meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tue. May 28 in Clearwater at the South Central Kansas Education Service Center. The goals of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying are to study the problem, coordinate with stakeholders, review work in areas of social and emotional learning; review current statutes and practices and make recommendations to the State Board of Education. Members of the 37-member task force include educators, legislators, counselors, [...]

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Kansas Supreme Court: Arguments made; decision awaits

The state and plaintiff school districts Thursday argued before the Kansas Supreme Court over whether the state’s recent $90 million increase for K-12 funding was enough to settle the long running Gannon lawsuit. Toby Crouse, an attorney representing the state, said the increase complied with the inflation adjustment ordered last year by the court. Coupled with an earlier approved $522 million phase-in of increased funding, Crouse said the state was in substantial compliance with court decisions in the decade-long litigation and the case should be dismissed. Alan Rupe, the attorney representing school districts that sued the state, said the $90 million [...]

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Kansas school finance system back in court

KASB will provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of oral arguments Thursday in the Gannon school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court. Follow KASB on Twitter for developments during the arguments, which start at 9 a.m., and then Facebook for interviews after the event and later at 12:30 p.m. during KASB Live for analysis of the court proceedings from KASB’s Donna Whiteman, attorney and assistant executive director legal services, and Mark Tallman, associate executive director advocacy and communications. The dispute before the court centers on SB 16 — the legislative fix to add an inflation adjustment to school funding. The state argues SB 16 [...]

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