Teacher Issues

National Teacher Appreciation Week is this week

Among the many lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic and school closures, is how important teachers are to the well-being of students and families.  To honor teachers, education and parent organizations throughout the country, including KASB, encourages everyone to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs through Friday. Teacher Appreciation Day will be celebrated Tuesday, May 5.   "Teachers do so much more than teach. And in these challenging times, we've all gotten a pretty clear glimpse at the immense work they do and the immeasurable impact they have on our children's lives," said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. "Now more...

Read more...

Governor’s plan: What it means for schools

Kansas schools are still closed, but some possible loosening of restrictions on students being taught in school buildings are included in Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to gradually re-open Kansas during the coronavirus pandemic.  Even so, the issue of how or if schools will re-open on time for the upcoming school year remains in question. In her statewide televised address on Thursday, Kelly said, “We don’t yet know what school will look like in August.”  On March 17, Kelly issued an executive order that closed schools to student instruction until May 29 with the exception of operating a school with fewer than...

Read more...

DeVos recommends no IDEA waivers

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday told Congress she’s not recommending school districts receive any waivers of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) during the COVID-19 pandemic.  DeVos was granted authority to consider waivers of some aspects of selected federal education laws in the CARES Act enacted in March. That law provides $13 billion to K-12 school districts nationwide. The CARES Act directed DeVos to submit a report on necessary waivers by April 27.  In her report, DeVos did not recommend Congress pass any additional waiver authority concerning the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive...

Read more...

Kansans Kelly and Pai discuss homework gap on national forum

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai discussed the “homework gap” Thursday in separate interviews with the Axios media platform. Kelly said the state has made some progress toward improving home broadband internet access, but the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated there is more work to be done. Pai stated he wants to “work with” public educators to provide better internet access for students and urged them to tweet at him or email him with ideas.  Kelly also pledged to “work like the devil” to find ways to continue to fund public schools in Kansas despite pandemic-related revenue...

Read more...

KASB dues and lobbying

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) recently sent all local units of government, including school districts, a survey requesting information about the amount of money spent on membership dues to associations that lobby, or for paying lobbyists.  KASB does engage in lobbying, so members should report the amount they paid to KASB in annual membership dues. We have received questions about how much of KASB dues goes to lobbying activities.  First, lobbying is defined in Kansas state law as promoting or opposing in any manner action or nonaction by (1) the legislature on any legislative matter, (2) any executive...

Read more...

Learning across Kansas: PBS, KSDE, local teachers providing class on TV

Kansas students who must stay home because of closed schools due to the coronavirus pandemic will now have another way of continuing their education. Kansas PBS stations, the state education agency and teachers have teamed up to provide educational content on television during the school shutdown. The Learning Across Kansas broadcasts began today (April 20) and will offer 30-minute segments for elementary, middle school and high school students. A complete list of programs on KTWU, KPTS, KCPT and Smoky Hills PBS is available here. The program hosts will be the three co-chairs of the Continuous Learning Task Force, which produced the guidance...

Read more...

All eyes on new state revenue estimates on Monday

Education advocates on Monday will be watching closely as the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group puts together fiscal estimates that the state, including public education, will depend on.  The revenue forecasting comes during extreme uncertainty caused by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, which has shut schools and much of the U.S. and Kansas economy.  In a memo to legislators earlier this month, the Kansas Legislative Research Department said the revisions will be impacted by the unprecedented increase in unemployment, the delays of federal and state tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15 and the enactment of federal legislation.  With approximately half of the...

Read more...

KASB 2020 Human Resources Coaching and Consulting program offered

Even though schools are closed due to the coronavirus health crisis, human resource issues continue to arise. To address these challenges, KASB has put together the Human Resources Coaching and Consulting program.  The program offers pre-recorded videos from KASB attorneys Ashley Rohleder and Sam Blasi, online supplemental materials, follow-up virtual sessions and personal consultations to help district staff navigate the ins and outs of employment law and other legal and personnel issues.  The KASB 2020 Human Resources Coaching and Consulting program will replace the traditional human resource academy this year. To register for the program, go to www.kasb.org/training.  Once registered, a link...

Read more...

State Board of Education approves continuous learning plans

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved the continuous learning plans implemented by public and private schools since schools were ordered closed last month because of the coronavirus outbreak. Kansas K-12 schools were shut down March 17 through an executive order by Gov. Laura Kelly. Kelly also ordered the Kansas State Department of Education to formulate guidance for school districts to put in place continuous learning plans for the state’s half million students. These plans — many of which were launched within a week of school closures — include online instruction, paper lesson packets and some small group meetings. Approval of...

Read more...

Kansas educators rallied quickly when decision was made to shut schools

Within a few days in mid-March, the coronavirus outbreak went from a concern to a major crisis that prompted Kansas to become the first state to shut down schools for the remainder of the school year and educators to compose and implement continuous learning plans that have been used by many other states. “It truly is amazing what has been done,” said State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathy Busch. The board heard a review of how Kansas public education has responded to the closure of schools March 17 and the continuation of education through the official end of school in May. Kansas...

Read more...