Student Issues

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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New era of school finance audits to start

The era of school district efficiency audits is over; a new era of school finance audits is beginning. Kansas Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank sat down with KASB to discuss changes in store for the Legislature's audit and policy research team as a result of the new school finance law passed in June and under review by the Kansas Supreme Court. The video conversation with Frank can be found here. (Other KASB videos can be found on the KASB YouTube page.) The Legislative Division of Post Audit, which is supervised by the joint Legislative Post Audit Committee, has been heavily involved in...

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KASB interviews KAC’s Annie McKay

The leader of a prominent children’s advocacy group sat down with KASB recently to talk about the intersection of early childhood issues and tax reform and to highlight how policy choices impact the lives of the young Kansans who attend our state’s public schools. Annie McKay is the CEO and President of Kansas Action for Children (KAC), a nearly 40-year old non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to shape health, education and economic policy that will improve the lives of Kansas children and their families. McKay, who was previously director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG), joined KAC in...

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If childhood poverty was a school district

A recent media release and infographic from the Kansas Center for Economic Growth noted that if the estimated 370,000 Kansas living in poverty were all in one city, it would be second largest in Kansas, falling between Wichita (389,965) and Overland Park (186,515). KASB decided to take a similar look at school-aged poverty. With an estimated 78,000 Kansas children from age 5 to 17 living in poverty, those students would be largest school district in Kansas, easily exceeding the approximately 50,000 students in Wichita and about equal to the next three districts combined: Olathe, Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley, combined. The...

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Students studied nation’s power grid in project supported by last year’s Westar STEM grant

Students at Kansas City USD 500’s Schlagle High School studied the nation’s electric power grid during a project that was selected last year for a Westar STEM Innovation Curriculum grant. The students built a portable working model of the U.S. power grid system that can be used by other classes. The grid included working outlets, demonstrated energy sources and allowed students to learn about monitoring consumption and efficiency. You can see pictures of the end-of-year activity and learn more about this year’s application process for Westar Energy STEM Innovative Curriculum grants at https://kasb.org/about-us/awards-and-grants/westar-stem-highlights/ The deadline for submissions is Monday.

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Education department launches new postsecondary completion reports

A new reporting system made public this month will show the percentage of each high school class that both graduates on time and completes an industry recognized certification or a postsecondary degree or has been enrolled in postsecondary program in the first two years following higher school graduation. The system is part of the Kansas State Board of Education's Kansans Can Vision and will help measure two of the five Kansans Can outcomes: increasing high school graduation rates and increasing the percentage of Kansans with postsecondary education, including both technical certificates and academic degrees. The system will likely draw increasing attention...

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Students learn about coal, nuclear, wind and sun power in program supported by last year’s Westar STEM grant

Students at Blue Valley-Randolph USD 384 learned about four major sources of energy as part of a project that was selected last year for a Westar STEM Innovation Curriculum grant. Under the guidance of Blue Valley-Randolph High School science teacher Ruth Hutson, students studied coal, nuclear, wind and solar power, heard from guest speakers from each of the four related industries and designed a circuit board and miniature house to demonstrate how electricity travels from power plant to a home. The students also explored nuclear reaction, designed and tested a wind turbine and tracked the sun’s path to determine the optimum...

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KASB VIDEO: Analysis of school finance oral arguments

KASB’s Mark Tallman, associate executive director of advocacy and communications, and Donna Whiteman, assistant executive director of legal services, have provided analysis of Tuesday’s oral arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court in the long running school finance lawsuit. The KASB review can be found on KASB’s Facebook page and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmy6FhKrzfo&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmy6FhKrzfo&feature=youtu.be The KASB legal staff have also provided a written summary. It is available here.  

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Moran opposes latest Obamacare repeal and Medicaid cuts

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran said he would oppose the latest Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and impose cuts in federal medical assistance, another blow to an effort that has repeatedly looked dead but continues to return. Moran's opposition helped derail an earlier Senate Republican plan. It is unclear how Congressional Republican leaders and the administration of President Trump will proceed. Among the options: a straight repeal of the ACA, called "Obamacare," without replacement, or attempting to work with Democrats to make changes in the troubled parts of the federal health care law. Although the focus of...

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Students learn energy production, circuitry in program supported by last year’s Westar STEM grant

An after-school program last year at Andover USD 385's Cottonwood Elementary focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). The program was one of three selected for a Westar STEM Innovation Curriculum Grant last school year. Students learned about circuitry and electricity production, then designed wind turbines and jewelry. An electricity art show rounded out the project. "Over 60 Cottonwood students participated in the After School Science Club activities," said Shari Rooks, principal. "Our last meeting was probably my favorite, as we invited the parents to school so that the students could share the STEM Kits. We will use...

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