Student Issues

SBR: President’s Perspective: Kansas children have remained the focus throughout KASB’s history

by Dayna Miller KASB President Basehor-Linwood USD 458 Fall is such an exciting time of year. There are so many activities in so many areas of my life, important traditions that I look forward to each year. Our district’s BandCats have a competition almost every weekend – a special tradition in my household – and our sports teams and academic teams are competing. Our schools are filled with busy teachers and students, and there are so many new initiatives underway!  Wearing my parent hat, we have attended college football games, parents’ days, concerts and undertaken multiple “I forgot, will you bring…” trips in...

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November issue of KASB’s School Board Review is online

The November issue of School Board Review, which highlights KASB’s 100th Celebration, is online and will soon be in your mailboxes.  The issue covers landmark legal decisions on education, including a column by KASB Executive Director John Heim on the Brown v. Board decision that desegregated public schools.  The issue also looks at student fees, provides an update on KASB Board actions, school finance and numerous other issues facing K-12 education in Kansas.  In addition, the issue focuses on KASB’s 100th annual conference that will be held Dec. 1-3 in Wichita. We hope you enjoy School Board Review and please submit any...

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Child Welfare System Task Force tackles numerous questions

A judge told state legislators Tuesday that the child welfare system is plagued with a host of problems from overloaded caseworkers to lack of services for children and parents.  “The biggest complaint is there is not enough time for these caseworkers to do what they have to do,” said District Magistrate Judge Taylor Wine, whose district includes Osage, Anderson, Coffey and Franklin counties.  He also said there is a great need for more drug rehabilitation and mental health counseling.  The number of children removed from homes because of parental substance abuse has increased 42 percent since 2012, according to the Kansas Department...

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Child Welfare System Task Force to meet Tuesday on judicial role

The Child Welfare System Task Force will look into the judicial system’s role in protecting children.  The task force will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in room 112-North in the Statehouse.  The task force has been charged with looking into the Kansas Department for Children and Families and other groups that provide welfare services.  In recent meetings, the task force has heard about numerous problems in foster care and protective services. 

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State Board of Education to receive update on formation of school finance interim committee

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive an update on the decision by legislative leaders to appoint an interim committee to address the Kansas Supreme Court’s school finance ruling.  The Special Committee on a Comprehensive Response to the School Finance Decision will study the court decision and consider options, including a possible amendment to the Kansas Constitution to alter the provision that deals with education funding. An amendment to the constitution would require a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate before it could be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.  The committee, which has been allotted...

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Wichita proud of opportunities, partnerships

The new superintendent of Wichita USD 259 says the district is proud of the opportunities it offers its students through academic offerings and community partnerships. With a new superintendent and four new board members, USD 259 is now beginning work on a strategic plan that will build upon existing successes to further strengthen Wichita public schools.  Dr. Alicia Thompson became Wichita's newest superintendent this summer, but she is a lifelong product of USD 259, from kindergarten through graduation from Heights High School. On the first day of the 2017-18 school year, Thompson visited her former Chisholm Trail Elementary 5th grade...

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KASB seeks information from districts

KASB is seeking information from school boards on bond issue elections and board member elections via two surveys.  The first is the Question Submitted Elections survey, pertaining to special elections which pose a question to the voters in a specific jurisdiction based on 1) a statutory initiative petition, 2) a request by the school board, or 3) a protest petition.  Here is a link to the survey on the Question Submitted Election.   The second is the Board Member Election survey, which collects information on the board members each district retained, which were newly elected, and so forth.    For the board member elections survey, a unique...

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KASB Legislative Committee forwards platform to members

KASB’s Legislative Committee on Nov. 4 approved draft policy language to set the organization’s 2018 legislative priorities in Topeka and Washington, D.C. The recommendations will be finalized by the KASB Delegate Assembly on Dec. 3 in Wichita during the association's annual conference.  The committee, which is comprised of representatives from each of KASB’s ten geographic regions and the state’s five largest school districts, recommended the organization adopt a 2018 state resolution focusing on the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision in the Gannon school finance case. Here is a link to the report.  The resolution, entitled “Reinvest, Redesign, Results: Continuing Improvement in Kansas...

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Committee hears SB 367 coordination is lacking

A legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday that juvenile justice reform efforts are off to a rocky start. A former state senator who is overseeing those efforts cautioned, however, that the Legislature must stick with SB 367 and give it time to work.  The Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight is holding two days of meetings that conclude today in Topeka. One of its topics is the implementation of juvenile justice reform.  The Legislature in 2016 enacted SB 367, which was intended to reduce the number of low-level juvenile offenders incarcerated in the state. The law also required local school...

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Drop seen in all-day kindergarten fees, according to new KASB survey

In past years, the start of kindergarten for many Kansas parents carried both an emotional toll -- their child was starting a new phase in life – and a financial one – many school districts charged on average several hundred dollars because the state didn't fund full-day kindergarten. But now that financial toll is over.  Because of an increase in state school funding, Kansans are paying a lot less for all-day kindergarten, according to the KASB 2017 Fees Survey Annual Report.  The survey found that parents and guardians of all-day kindergarten students were charged an average of $665.85 in the 2016-17...

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