State Board of Ed

Kelly signs COVID-19 bill; urges Congress to approve more stimulus

Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed into law the COVID-19 emergency legislation and urged Congress to pass another stimulus bill to avoid cuts in schools and other services. “We are really hoping that Congress gets it together and comes up with a stimulus four package because there is absolutely no way the state and local units of government can recover without having to do massive cuts in programing, essential services,” Kelly said. “I mean we’re talking about public safety, we’re talking about schools, we’re talking about all sorts of things that would be devastated if Congress doesn’t provide some relief, quickly,”...

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State Board of Education to discuss re-opening of schools

The State Board of Education this week will discuss guidance for re-opening schools and how to handle another possible closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. A task force, put together by Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson, is working on how to reopen schools safely — including sanitation, social distancing, busing and food service — and how to continue academic achievement and assessment if schools are interrupted again. Gov. Laura Kelly shut down schools in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus and educators switched to online learning for most instruction through the end of the year. The State Board of Education...

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KASB Advocacy review at noon today on special session, candidate filings

Kansas education leaders are invited today to a review by the KASB Advocacy staff of the just-concluded special legislative session, election filings for the Aug. 4 primary and critical education issues that can be shared with candidates and voters. The meeting will be held online via Zoom at noon today (Friday, June 5). There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The advocacy session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media. To register for the meeting,...

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KASB Legislative Roundup, Thur. June 4

The Legislature on Thursday finished work on the COVID-19 emergency bill and wrapped up the special legislative session.  The measure, HB 2016, includes a new wrinkle if Gov. Laura Kelly wants to close schools again because of the pandemic. Under the new bill, Kelly would have to first seek approval from the State Board of Education to shut down schools.  Approved 107-12 in the House and 26-12 in the Senate, Kelly said she would sign the bill into law, describing the legislation as a compromise.   In March, Kelly closed schools as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Some complained she acted prematurely or...

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KASB Legislative Roundup, Wed. June 3

On the first day of the special legislative session, the House approved the COVID-19 emergency response bill and the Senate Education Committee recommended legislation that includes most of the provisions that were contained in a bill vetoed earlier by Gov. Laura Kelly.  On the new education bill — SB 5 — KASB issued a statement in support of the measure.   The bill would:   — Provide free ACT and ACT WorkKeys assessments at no charge to anyone enrolled in private school. This would be in addition to current policy of providing the tests free to public school students.  — Allow school districts...

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The big question of the summer: Will schools re-open in August?

By Scott Rothschild   srothschild@kasb.org  Now that the school year is over, the question on the minds of students, parents, teachers and board members is — will schools re-open in August?  Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson says at this point, that’s the plan.  “We are cautiously optimistic we will be in school in August 2020,” Watson said recently.  After schools were shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kansas teachers won praise for quickly developing continuous learning programs through online instruction and sending lesson packets to students’ homes. But teachers across the state have also acknowledged that without daily contact in the classroom,...

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May issue of School Board Review focuses on end of school, plans for next school year

The May issue of School Board Review covers how the “new normal” was anything but normal this year as students, parents and educators dealt with the statewide school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the issue jumps into the conversation on what happens next. Will schools re-open in August, and if so, what will they be like? In her final column as president of KASB, Shannon Kimball calls on local school board members to listen to and follow sound public health advice when tackling the tough issue of planning for school in the fall. The May issue also includes important information...

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Elections 2020: Deadline to file candidacy is Monday, June 1

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org Elections will proceed as scheduled this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. With the Monday, June 1 filing deadline approaching, school leaders should be looking at candidates who they believe can best represent their values, including possibly running themselves. Several legislators and State Board of Education members began their public service as school board members and educators. Every seat in the Kansas Legislature is on the ballot, so the August primary and November general elections will be particularly important for Kansas public education because the final years of the funding formula that settled the Gannon school finance case...

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Legislature passes bills on COVID response, education and tax policies on final day

Just short of 24 hours after it began, the final day of the 2020 Legislature passed a multi-part bill addressing the COVID pandemic that Democrats say could be vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly.  The Legislature also approved a bundle of several education bills, including a provision allowing districts to pay for student tuition in dual high school/college courses, and combined a number tax provisions.  Here are the provisions:  COVID response – HB 2054. Bill description. Conference Committee report.   The bill appropriates federal funding Kansas receives from COVID relief to the Legislative Coordinating Council, rather than the office of the Governor. It requires state...

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Kansas’ Tabatha Rosproy named 2020 National Teacher of the Year

Tabatha Rosproy often accompanied her mother, a nurse, to the nursing home where her mother worked. Tabatha C. Rosproy Tabatha said as a child she connected well with the elderly residents. It’s no wonder then that Tabatha would grow up to become a preschool teacher and develop a program where her classroom was housed in a retirement community. It was that kind of initiative that led to Winfield USD 465’s Rosproy being named the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year. On Thursday, Rosproy was named 2020 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers. “I am so honored...

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