Student Issues

Kelly, school officials urge Kansans to get involved to ensure accurate Census count

Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday announced a statewide initiative to make sure every Kansan is counted in the 2020 U.S. Census so that schools and numerous other entities receive their fair share of federal dollars.  Through an executive order, Kelly formed the Kansas Complete Count Committee, which will work with local groups to get an accurate Census count next year.  “The data collected in the Census informs how the federal government distributes funds to our state — through 55 different federal programs,” Kelly said. “And it’s these funds that help to pay for roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and much more,” [...]

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State Board of Education to announce `Apollo’ districts

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will launch the next phase of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project by announcing “Apollo” participants. Under the program, districts designate schools to be redesigned around five outcomes that include improving graduation rates, post-secondary success, kindergarten readiness, individualized learning and social-emotional skills. In 2017, the board designated the first seven districts, referred to as the Mercury 7 in honor of the nation’s space program. The next two phases were named Gemini I and Gemini II. In February, state education officials started taking applications for the Apollo phase. In other business, the board will: Announce the Kansas Career [...]

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Gov. Kelly signs into law SB 128, requiring nine safety drills per school year

Gov. Laura Kelly has signed into law SB 128, which requires schools conduct at least nine safety drills per year. Last year, the Legislature adopted a budget proviso that required 16 drills, including nine crisis or lockdown drills. Educators said 16 drills, which amounted to one every couple of weeks, took away too much instruction time and frightened some students. SB 128 was supported by KASB and other educators as a more reasonable approach. The nine drills includes four fire, three crisis and two tornado drills each school year.

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Gov. Kelly, others vow to improve early childhood education opportunities

Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday urged early childhood advocates and others to aim higher as the Kansas Children’s Cabinet works under new leadership. Kelly said policymakers have learned a lot about the importance of early childhood education over the past 20 years, since the Children’s Cabinet was first formed to oversee the use of expenditures from the Master Tobacco Settlement to improve the well-being of Kansas youth. “Everyone in this room understands that education begins the moment you are born,” Kelly said. Kelly said childhood programs were among many areas of state government that suffered after the 2012 tax cuts championed by [...]

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Kansas Children’s Cabinet meets Thursday

Gov. Laura Kelly and the co-chair of a panel on early childhood education are scheduled to speak Thursday to the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Old Supreme Courtroom in the Statehouse. The meeting can also be viewed on Zoom video at this link. Kelly has emphasized the need to improve early education in Kansas. A subcommittee of the Governor’s Council on Education is dedicated to early childhood education issues and the subcommittee’s co-chair, Joe Reardon, will make a presentation to the Children’s Cabinet. Leaders in education and child welfare are also expected to speak during the [...]

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185 Kansas public schools win Challenge Awards for raising student achievement facing significant challenges

TOPEKA — The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force has named 185 schools in 98 Kansas public school districts as recipients of the 2018 Challenge Awards. The awards recognize Kansas schools that are making a notable difference in student achievement despite facing significant challenges in their school population. Since its inception in 2002, nearly 1,700 awards have been presented to schools across the state. Certificates of Merit will be presented to schools by Kansas State Board of Education members. The Challenge Award recognizes schools for outstanding achievement and uncommon accomplishments based on Kansas assessment results in math and reading, graduation rates, [...]

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Preparing for the worst: Active shooter drill tests response to events we hope will never happen

by Andrea Hartzell, ahartzell@kasb.org 9:37 a.m. a person walked into the front office of Washburn Rural Middle School. Suddenly shots ring out. The shooter had incapacitated the office staff and moved out into the commons area. A blond woman in a gray hoodie - she shouted out a name - looking for someone. She started shooting again; running through the hallways as smoke filled the air and the smell of gunpowder permeated our noses. In one hallway two students were shot, injured and screaming for help. In another, four. Down another hall two, one fatally. Shots continued to ring out. [...]

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KASB Live summary of SB 16

Passage of SB 16 sends school finance response to the Governor, who is expected to sign; then on to the Kansas Supreme Court.  Also passed this week:  SB 130 – board elections   School Bus Tax  Budget “Mega Bill” - expected action today  SB 16 – What is in (Kansas Legislative Research Department summary):  KSEEA Amendments  The bill would make several amendments to the KSEEA, as follows.  Base Aid for Student Excellence (BASE)  The bill would amend the BASE for school years (SY) 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023. The following table shows the BASE under current law and what the BASE would be under the bill.  BASE AID FOR STUDENT [...]

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KASB Daily Education Report, Thur. April 4

Kansas legislators on Thursday sent to Gov. Laura Kelly a bi-partisan school funding plan that supporters said they believe will satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court direction to add an inflation adjustment to earlier funding increases.  Kelly indicated she would sign SB 16 into law and send it to the court for inspection, tweeting that the Legislature “took an important step today towards addressing the needs of our students, supporting our teachers and fully funding our schools. I’m proud this reasonable commonsense plan was embraced with bipartisan support today. Kansans want us to work together to move Kansas forward.  “By investing in [...]

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KASB urges support of school finance agreement

The Kansas Association of School Boards commends House and Senate leaders on the agreement on school finance and educational policy in SB 16. We urge the House and Senate to accept this conference committee report.  KASB believes the plan should bring Kansas school funding back to the inflation-adjusted level of 2009. When school funding was increased after the Montoy case beginning in 2006, measures of student outcomes – graduation rates, state and national test scores, college readiness, postsecondary attendance and completion – all increased.   However, during the past decade, Kansas K-12 funding fell behind the cost of living, per pupil funding [...]

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