Teacher Issues

Have briefs, will travel. KASB Legal/Policy Services department coming to a town near you

KASB’s Legal/Policy Services department will be on the road over the next few weeks and will be happy to visit member districts to offer training or legal updates.  The Summer Regional Roundtables for Boards take place July 30-August 8 across Kansas; the schedule is available here. In addition, KASB attorneys are scheduled to present staff inservices in the first week of August, and Donna Whiteman will represent KASB at the August 5 State Blue Ribbon Task Force in Salina. Members should take advantage of the legal road trip to gain valuable insights for your board and staff.  The KASB Legal Department...

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KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings start soon

KASB is hitting the road again for Summer Regional Roundtables that will give board members and district leaders the opportunity to discuss crucial education issues with their counterparts in area school districts.  Meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. and last no longer than three hours — providing plenty of time for sharing ideas on the following topics: school safety and security; school redesign and success; the 2020 Census; school funding post-Gannon and the upcoming legislative session; and issues and challenges unique to your district and area of the state.  “We designed these opportunities to build on the value of school board...

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Responses sought on current efforts to combat school bullying

A work group of the blue-ribbon task force on school bullying is seeking information through an online questionnaire.  The questionnaire is specifically directed at administrators, counselors, teachers and other support staff, but could be filled out by others, including board members and students. Here is a link. It asks what respondents know about current policies and efforts to address bullying, and what they wish the school was doing.  The task force was created by Education Commissioner Randy Watson in response to data that 28 percent of students in grades six through twelve experience bullying, despite years of efforts to address the...

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KASB announces Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative

To develop a deeper understanding and network of education advocates in Kansas, KASB is excited to announce the Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative (AATI) for the 2019-2020 school year.  “With the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in support of the four-year school finance plan adopted by the Kansas Legislature, advocacy and support for education becomes more critical than ever,” said KASB governmental relations specialist Rob Gilligan. “The focus of our efforts will now be less on securing additional funding than on keeping the long-term financial commitments in place and ensuring that we communicate effectively the progress that continues to be made...

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KASB Focus: Restorative practice: Is it a game changer in improving school climate?

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org  Continuing concerns about how Kansas students’ social and emotional health, bullying and other behavioral challenges affect learning have prompted educational leaders to explore new ways to influence school climate. “Restorative practice” is one such strategy.  Restorative practice, also known as restorative justice, works to keep students in school while addressing problem behavior and its impact on the school community. Students are held accountable for their behavior, but educators are trained to look for the root causes of the behavior and respond accordingly.  For example, a student witnesses a fight between her parents just before she leaves for school. Upset...

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KASB Live: Special Report on 2020 Census

School officials are being urged to get involved in the Census to ensure Kansas receives its fair share of federal dollars, including education funds, through an accurate count.   Wendi Stark, Census Outreach Manager for the League of Kansas Municipalities, and Rob Gilligan, KASB Government Relations Specialist, spoke recently about the upcoming Census on a special report of KASB Live. Here is a link to the video and here is a link to a PowerPoint presentation containing Census information. KASB has created a Census page on its website here and in the coming weeks, KASB will hold a series of regional...

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Task force hears numerous ideas to reduce bullying in schools

Focusing on restorative justice, social and emotional health of students and early childhood learning were some of the ideas touted Tuesday to address bullying behavior. Educators and others discussed ways to reduce bullying at the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying, which met in Garden City at Horace Good Middle School. “We’re starting to come together,” said Rick Ginsberg, task force co-chair and dean of the School of Education at Kansas University. The group, charged with making recommendations to the State Board of Education in December, will next meet Aug. 5 in Salina. Several young people from McPherson wrote the task force...

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U.S. Department of Education announces new grant applications for school climate program

Kansas schools working on improving school climate, please take note: the U.S. Department of Education has invited applications for the School Climate Transformation Grant Program. School districts may seek funding for implementing a multi-tiered system of support for improving school climate. The department will prioritize support for certain communities that will benefit from implementation of this system, including rural communities, Tribal communities, and Local Education Agencies that are in Qualified Opportunity Zones. This discretionary grant program has a total of $40 million in estimated available funds, contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications. Applications are due by July...

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KASB Statement on Kansas Supreme Court’s Gannon decision

Today is an historic day in Kansas public school education history. Today’s decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold SB 16 will provide funding certainty for our public schools while also helping ensure the state’s multiyear commitment becomes reality. KASB applauds Gov. Laura Kelly, legislators, the State Board of Education and education advocates who have supported Kansas schools throughout this litigation and school districts that fought tirelessly for the level of K-12 commitment required by the Kansas Constitution. Kansas schools already are redesigning their operations to focus on early education, social-emotional growth, careers and civic engagement and Kansas academic standards are...

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Kansas Supreme Court upholds school finance law; retains jurisdiction

The Kansas Supreme Court today said the Kansas Legislature had “substantially complied” with its order to add an inflation adjustment to the multi-year funding plan approved last year. But the court said it will retain jurisdiction over the Gannon case to ensure the Legislature complies with that plan.  The 2018 Legislature adopted a plan to increase foundational state aid per pupil over a five-year phase-in period designed to restore funding to the 2009 level, adjusted for inflation. In response the court found that method acceptable to provide constitutionally suitable funding but ruled that the Legislature needed to provide additional funding...

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