State Board of Ed

State education officials agree to push for free college credit in high school

Kansas public school and higher education leaders Thursday said they would ask the Legislature to approve funding that would allow students to take freshman English at no cost while still in high school and earn three hours of college credit.  The proposal would cost the state approximately $5 million and would be considered the first step toward the goal of offering students 15 hours of free college credit while in high school, officials said.  “This would be huge for our state if we could make this happen,” said Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Shane Bangerter.  The issue was discussed during a joint...

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Kansas Board of Regents approves changes to qualified admissions

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved removing the class rank requirement from the criteria to enter a state university and replacing it with a grade point average (GPA) requirement.  Regents staff said GPA was a more reliable predictor of college readiness than class rank and the current system was confusing and hard to manage.  The move could allow thousands of more high school graduates to be admissible to state universities and affect the pre-college curriculum and graduation requirements at Kansas high schools.   For years, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Pittsburg State and Wichita State required most entering freshmen...

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New school safety bill to be heard this week in Congress

A Congressional committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on a new bill requiring the U.S. Secretary of Education to publish an annual report on school crime and safety that includes data on school shootings.   The House Education and Labor Committee will hear and possibly act on H.R. 4301, “The School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act,” sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Lucy McBath, D-Ga. and Jahana Hayes, D-Conn. Hayes is a former National Teacher of the Year; McBath lost a son to gun violence, and Gabbard is running for president of the United States. KASB will monitor the hearing.  The annual...

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Kansas Board of Regents plan could affect high school requirements

The Kansas Board of Regents is scheduled to vote later Wednesday on a proposed change to the criteria for admission into a state university that could allow thousands of more high school graduates to be admissible and affect the pre-college curriculum and graduation requirements at Kansas high schools.  Currently, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Pittsburg State and Wichita State require most entering freshmen to have a minimum ACT composite score of 21 or rank in the top third of their graduating class; and to complete a college prep curriculum of 16 specific units, which includes courses in English,...

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Health official urges Kansans to stop vaping; Goddard USD 265 approves filing lawsuit against e-cig maker

The state’s top health official Tuesday urged Kansans to stop vaping after a vaping-related death and a Kansas school board approved filing a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturers. “It is time to stop vaping,” said Dr. Lee Norman, the Kansas State Health Officer and secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop,” he said. Gov. Laura Kelly also urged Kansans to follow the recommendations of public health officials. More than 450 serious lung injuries and six deaths related to the use of e-cigarettes have been reported in 33 states, including at least...

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State Board of Education briefed on early childhood needs

Services to help young Kansans before they start school are inconsistent across the state and many families are struggling to provide the basics for their children. Those were the key findings of a state assessment of early childhood needs in Kansas that was provided Tuesday to the State Board of Education. Through a $4.5 million federal planning grant, the state conducted 53 public meetings across Kansas this spring and summer to gather input on what programs are available for children before they enter school and what needs are out there. Advocates also gathered stories online and conducted surveys to gather...

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School Board Review: Vaping – Dangerous clouds on the horizon

By Scott Rothschild   srothschild@kasb.org  The stories aren’t pretty.  Lung damage, explosions, addiction, drug use and in recent cases in other states, even death.  The problem of young people puffing on e-cigarettes, often referred to as vaping, has hit the nation and Kansas schools like an earthquake.   “It has exploded. It is an epidemic,” said Mark Thompson, a program consultant with the Kansas State Department of Education.  From 2017 to 2018, the use of e-cigarettes by high school students in the United States increased 78 percent from 11.7 percent to 20.8 percent. In 2017, almost 35 percent of Kansas high school students reported they’d tried e-cigarettes...

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Early childhood assessment to be unveiled at State Board of Education meeting

A statewide assessment of early childhood needs in Kansas will be presented to the State Board of Education on Tuesday. State officials have concluded the information-gathering phase in the development of a plan to improve a wide range of services, including healthcare, child care and pre-school. More than 6,000 Kansans have engaged in the process through more than 50 public meetings, focus groups and online testimony. Officials from various state agencies will share information on their findings and how to implement strategies that will ensure young Kansans are prepared emotionally and academically when they start kindergarten. The presentation is scheduled for 11 a.m....

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September issue of School Board Review is out; focus on vaping

The September issue of the KASB School Board Review focuses on the alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes by young Kansans and includes articles covering numerous other education issues. The issue, available here online and in the mail to school leaders, also includes columns by KASB President Shannon Kimball and Executive Director John Heim. In addition, Mark Tallman, KASB’s associate executive director of advocacy and communications, provides further analysis of the achievement gap in the second installment of a three-part series. SBR also includes coverage of KASB’s Board of Directors, Legislative Committee and Workers Compensation Committee; KASB Annual Survey data;...

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Numerous education issues tackled at KASB Board, Legislative Committee and Workers Comp meetings

School board leaders from across Kansas tackled numerous education issues Saturday during the KASB Board, Legislative Committee and Workers Compensation Board of Trustees meetings.  The Board of Directors was joined by the Legislative Committee for an advocacy and communications update and discussion of anticipated topics for the 2020 legislative session. The Legislative Committee then met separately to start work on KASB’s advocacy positions.  The balance of the Board of Directors meeting included reports from staff on results from the Summer 2019 Regional Roundtable discussions, the agenda for upcoming Fall Regional Roundtable meetings and a review of the new KASB Pathways and...

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