Student Issues

Legislators urge education advocates to stay politically engaged

Three legislators who voted for increased school funding and the tax changes to support K-12 and other parts of the state budget urged education advocates to stay politically engaged to protect the new direction of Kansas. State Reps. Russ Jennings of Lakin, Bradley Ralph of Dodge City and John Wheeler of Garden City offered brief comments Wednesday during KASB’s advocacy tour on “A New Day in Kansas Education.” KASB’s advocacy team has been traveling statewide to have conversations about new education initiatives. On Wednesday, the team held meetings in Washington and Garden City. Today meetings will be conducted in Colby and...

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Appreciation for school funding increase, but concerns persist on KASB advocacy tour

Kansans feel more positive about the new school finance formula and funding than they have for some time, according to comments made during meetings conducted by KASB over the past week. But even with the renewed optimism, those who attended the meetings emphasized there remain many challenges facing schools. Some of the concerns raised included how to help struggling students, provide more mental health services, boost the stature of the teaching profession and juvenile justice reform. KASB’s advocacy team has been traveling statewide to have conversations about new education initiatives. On Tuesday, the KASB advocacy team held meetings in Hays, Pratt,...

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School advocates express enthusiasm, concerns on KASB advocacy tour

Public school advocates expressed enthusiasm and voiced concerns Monday in meetings across the state during KASB’s “New Day in Kansas Education” advocacy tour. The tour continues today in Hays, Pratt, Beloit and Ashland. For updates and comments from the field, please go to KASB’s Facebook page.  The meetings are designed to prompt conversations about public school issues and talk about new initiatives coming forward. On Monday, KASB hosted meetings in El Dorado, Manhattan, Salina and Winfield. Parents, teachers, school board members, administrators and state officials discussed what is needed to make Kansas students succeed in life. “There were great questions from the audience,” said...

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K-12 transportation audit proposal approved, but two other audits held back

The Legislative Post Audit Committee on Monday approved an audit proposal to evaluate transportation services funding to schools but put on hold two other K-12 audits.  The new school finance bill includes a nine-year schedule of K-12 performance audits with the first one being one on transportation funding, which is due when the 2018 Legislature meets in January. More details on this new schedule of required audits and an interview with Kansas Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank can be found here.  State law requires school districts provide transportation to students who live more than 2.5 miles from school. For students who...

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Spirited discussions on public education as KASB Advocacy Tour continues

After an exciting round of meetings last week, the KASB Advocacy Tour — “New Day in Kansas Education" — hits the road again this week with stops in 12 towns for conversations aimed at helping students succeed.  Last week, school board members, teachers, parents, and state officials held spirited discussions on public education issues in meetings in Shawnee Mission, Basehor, Greenbush and Altamont.  The “New Day in Kansas Education” includes the State Board of Education’s Kansans Can vision, which sets the goal of Kansas leading the world in student success; the new school finance formula and increased K-12 funding; a redesign...

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Despite defeat of `skinny’ effort to repeal parts of ACA, education advocates must remain vigilant

The defeat of the U.S. Senate “skinny” effort to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents a reprieve, but not a victory for education leaders concerned about potential cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to schools. “KASB members and others must remain vigilant as the legislative process continues to play out in Washington, D.C.,” said Associate Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman.  In a dramatic early-morning vote today, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, joined Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in voting against the latest attempt by Senate leadership to follow through on a nearly decade-long promise to repeal...

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KASB Advocacy Tour finds Kansans voicing support of Kansans Can, increased school funding

On the KASB Advocacy Tour, school board members, educators, political leaders and community members are voicing strong support for the Kansans Can vision of student success and gratitude for increased K-12 funding and a new finance formula.  The meetings will continue across the state this coming week in more than a dozen cities after discussions were held this week in Shawnee Mission, Basehor, Greenbush and Altamont.  Comments by participants in the meetings, interviews, information on educational developments at each host site and discussions about special programs can be viewed on the KASB Facebook Page.  The meetings discussed what KASB is calling a...

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Advocates urge Congress to leave Medicaid alone

As the U.S. Senate on Tuesday moved toward dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Kansas education, health and disability rights activists called on Congress to keep their hands off Medicaid. “If Congress merely seeks to repeal and replace `Obamacare’ that is certainly its prerogative,” said Leah Fliter, KASB’s advocacy/outreach specialist. But Fliter urged Kansas congressional representatives “to separate that political goal from the very real impact of legislation that appears to go far beyond reinventing the American health insurance system and instead penalizes Kansas schools and students.” On Tuesday, Senate Republicans, with the deciding vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence, voted to...

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School boards encouraged to write letter to the editor on New Day in Kansas Education

Local boards of education can use a letter to the editor to discuss the “New Day in Kansas Education” in their communities. The sample letter, drafted by KASB advocacy staff, lays out the five key factors that are driving historic changes in Kansas public education as the 2017-18 school year approaches. Those are: a new vision for Kansas education, a new school funding formula, a new accreditation system and a school redesign project aimed at helping all students succeed. Boards can customize the letter to highlight specific district points of pride or use it to publicize the overall state K-12 public...

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New Day Letter to the Editor

To the editor, The Board of Education of [Insert your district name a number here] welcomes a new day in Kansas public education as five key factors converge to drive historic changes in the way we educate our children: The Kansas State Board of Education has adopted a vision that Kansas will lead the world in the success of each student through emphasis on kindergarten readiness, improving graduation and postsecondary achievement rates, individual plans of study and social/emotional success; The Kansas legislature enacted a new school funding formula with additional funding targeted to lower-achieving students; This year launches a new accreditation system that...

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