Student Issues

New board training draws nearly 100 for full day workshop

Close to 100 new board members, mentors and superintendents attended the Foundations of Boardsmanship 1.0 workshop Thursday in Topeka. The training is geared towards newly-elected or appointed board members and includes a variety of topics focused on the roles and responsibilities of the elected board.   “High functioning boards create high functioning districts,” said Doug Moeckel, KASB Leadership Services. Moeckel’s sessions included the fundamentals of boardsmanship and importance of working as a team.   Other sessions include legal issues and the role of policy, presented by Ashley Rohleder, KASB attorney, an introduction to school finance, presented by leadership services Sue Givens, and communications...

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What Gov. Kelly’s budget recommends for Kansas education

Gov. Laura Kelly’s budget released Thursday would fund base state aid per pupil and equalization programs as outlined in the Gannon school finance lawsuit settlement for K-12 education, but does not redirect savings in general state aid to boost special education aid as requested by the State Board of Education.  School finance changes  Under the law passed last year by the 2019 Legislature, base state aid per pupil will increase from $4,436 this school year to $4,569 in Fiscal Year 2021, $4,706 in 2022 and $4,846 in 2023. After that, the base is to be adjusted by the prior year change...

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At-risk funding in spotlight next week

Three legislative committees will take turns reviewing at-risk student funding next week.  A Legislative Post Audit report on at-risk funding raised questions about whether State Board of Education policies and local expenditures are following state law. Districts receive over $400 million annually in at-risk state aid. About $50 million of that aid which goes to districts with higher percentages of low-income students will expire after this year unless the Legislature removes a “sunset” provision.  The House Education receives a briefing on the audit at 1:30 p.m Tuesday. The House K-12 Education Budget Committee will hear from the auditors and Kansas State...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Jan. 15

Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday described restoring school funding and winning Kansas Supreme Court approval last year to the bi-partisan school finance plan as the top accomplishments of her tenure as governor. In delivering her second State of the State address, Kelly also pushed for Medicaid expansion, a new transportation plan, property tax relief and a food sales tax refund. She vowed to veto any tax cut that "throws our state back into fiscal crisis, or debt, or sends us back to court for under-funding our schools." On Thursday, Kelly will unveil her proposed budget, which is expected to include fully...

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KASB, USA-Kansas Advocacy in Action conference gets under way

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab on Wednesday addressed the annual Advocacy in Action Conference, conducted by KASB and USA-Kansas. In his remarks, Schmidt focused on initiatives to address youth suicide and vaping. In 2018, the Tower Mental Health Foundation and Schmidt formed a task force to survey efforts under way in Kansas to reduce the incidence of youth suicide and provide recommendations on further steps that could be taken. Schmidt noted the number of young people in Kansas who have killed themselves has increased from eight in 2005 to 32 in 2017. On vaping, Schmidt said...

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State Board of Education approves task force report aimed at reducing school bullying

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a task force report that calls for a wide range of strategies to address bullying in schools. Board member Jean Clifford, of Garden City, who served on the Blue Ribbon Bullying Task Force, said the recommendations “are going to go a long way to addressing the issue of bullying at schools.” The 35-member task force, co-chaired by Rick Ginsberg, dean of the University of Kansas School of Education, and James Regier, superintendent of Whitewater-Remington USD 206, held meetings statewide and received input from numerous interests, including students. The State Board approved the report 8-2...

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2020 Legislature starts; KASB provides coverage, analysis and advocacy

The 2020 legislative session starts today and KASB will provide updates throughout the session on social media, emailed news briefs and the KASB website.   In addition, as the Legislature gears up, KASB and USA-Kansas will conduct the annual Advocacy in Action conference in Topeka on Wednesday and Thursday. The conference will feature numerous sessions led by experts on the top education issues before the Legislature. For more information and to register go here.   On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly will deliver her State of the State address, which will be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on public television stations throughout Kansas. KASB and...

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Bullying, vaping, school redesign on State Board of Education’s agenda

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will consider approval of task force recommendations to address bullying in schools. Here is a link to the State Board's agenda and backup materials. Last month, the board received the report from the Kansas Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying and praised many of its recommendations. The major recommendations include more teacher training, improved collection of data, continuation of social-emotional and character development education and increased support of local districts from the state. The State Board on Tuesday will also receive recommendations from the E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force. Last month, the board approved prohibiting at school the...

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Bi-partisan Medicaid expansion breakthrough announced

Gov. Laura Kelly and state Sen. Jim Denning on Thursday announced a bi-partisan plan to expand Medicaid, which could provide health care coverage for approximately 150,000 Kansans. The announcement represents a milestone in the battle to make Kansas the 37th state to expand health care, but Kelly, Denning and advocates cautioned that the fight will continue during the 2020 session that starts Monday to bring the plan across the finish line. “We are not here to declare victory,” Kelly said. “We have a long way to go in this process.” Denning, R-Overland Park, who is the Senate Majority Leader, said the bill...

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Gov. Kelly announces plan to consolidate social service agencies

Just days before the state of the 2020 legislative session, Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday announced a move to create a new state agency that will consolidate numerous social service programs that affect Kansas families and children. Kelly will submit to the Legislature an executive reorganization order to create the Kansas Department of Human Services. That agency would take in programs at the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and the juvenile services division of the Kansas Department of Corrections. Kelly said the move will improve services and help Kansans who needs those...

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