Teacher Issues

Coalition of Innovative School Districts updates State Board

The Kansas State Board of Education received its bi-annual report from the Coalition of Innovative School Districts during its regular April meeting Tuesday in Topeka. Marysville USD 364 Superintendent Bill Mullins represented the group of six districts sharing the work that has been their focus over the past few months. First up was sharing the Vision and Mission of the group: Vision: Act as purposeful risk takers to meet the needs of our diverse learners, by challenging the status quo. Mission: Challenge traditional thinking, construct brighter futures, through collegiality, with a focus on research based practice. Mullins also reported on the work of two...

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Trauma workshop offers strategies

Dr. Marcia Weseman on Tuesday presented “Trauma Smart: The Journey to Become a Trauma-Informed School Community,” to a capacity audience of school social workers, teachers, superintendents and other school leaders at KASB. The day-long workshop offered strategies to help teachers and others understand the impact of trauma on children and how to help those children recover and become successful. Weseman has more than 30 years experience as a teacher, principal and district administrator. Trauma is any event that places overwhelming demands on the body’s psychological systems, resulting in a profound sense of helplessness and lack of control. Children who’ve experienced trauma...

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KASB offers summary and seminar on Supreme Court special education decision

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could have a significant impact on how school districts develop services for special education students, according to the KASB legal department. KASB attorneys have prepared a summary of the Endrew F. decision released last month, and will hold a special seminar on the  implications of that case for school leaders and special education staff on Monday, May 8 at the KASB office in Topeka. In the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Kansas) had not been applying the appropriate standard to determine whether a...

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Trauma workshop set for Tuesday

KASB will host a workshop Tuesday to help educators understand the needs of students who have experienced trauma. The workshop will be led by Dr. Marcia Weseman, who is a trainer for the Trauma Smart Program at Crittenton Children’s Center, which is part of the St. Luke’s Health System. Weseman has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, principal and district administrator. “Trauma Smart: The Journey to Become a Trauma-Informed School Community,” will be a day-long workshop that help schools help children cope and recover from traumatic experiences and become successful students. To register online go to www.kasb.org and click on...

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State Board to consider specialized certificates

The Kansas State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on whether to renew specialized certificates for 15 instructors to teach for Kansas City USD 500. The board will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday and on Wednesday will visit the Kansas School for the Blind in Kansas City and Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe. On Tuesday, the board will consider whether to renew the specialized certificates for one year. In 2015, the board approved the Coalition of Innovative School Districts’ proposal to hire non-licensed professional employees or licensed professional employees in areas outside their area of licensure. In other business,...

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Senate Committee advances two retirement bills

Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance on Thursday advanced two working after retirement bills that will likely be the subject of conference committee deliberations later this session. Committee members amended SB 138, which exempts KPERS licensed school retirees from the working after retirement earnings limitation, to create a new working after retirement subsection for those who retire on or after Jan. 1, 2018. If those retirees are under age 62, they would have to wait 180 days before they could return to work for a KPERS employer. If they are 62 or over, the retirees would have to wait 60 days...

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House committee passes out WAR bill

The House Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance today passed out a bill that makes changes to state law for KPERS employees who work after retirement. House Substitute for SB 21 provides that, under the basic working after retirement rule: A retiree who reaches $25,000 in earnings must either stop working for that calendar year or have benefits suspended, whether working for the same or a different employer; The employer will pay a 30 percent contribution on salary earned after $25,000 if the retiree continues working; If a retiree begins working under the basic rule and then is hired in a “special exemption”...

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House committee continues discussion on KPERS Working After Retirement

With just three weeks to go in the regular 2017 session, the House Committee on Financial Institutions and Pensions has proposed further changes in KPERS rules for Working After Retirement. Chairman Jim Kelly (R-Independence) on Monday presented a set of amendments to House Substitute for SB 21.  The committee will meet again Wednesday morning to finalize the bill and move to the House Chamber for action. As currently proposed in the legislation the new rules would allow for retirees to earn up to $25,000 earnings limit per year without employer contributions. If they continue to work (suspending their benefits) the employer will pay at a rate of 30% on earnings above that $25,000 threshold. In addition...

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State law requires teacher notice of tort claims protection

In the 2014 Legislative Session, Senate Substitute for HB 2506 mandated that districts give teachers notice of the protections afforded to them under the Kansas Tort Claims Act.  In response to this requirement, KASB developed a form notice and provided it to member districts with the June 2014 Policy Updates. A revised version of that form may be found here. There is nothing in the law requiring this to be an annual notice. So, if you provided the notice to your teaching staff in 2014 or if your district provides all teachers currently employed in your district with notice now,...

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School finance discussions continue

The House K-12 Education Budget Committee continued its conceptual discussions around a new school finance formula on Wednesday. Committee Chairman Larry Campbell, R-Olathe, now says a chairman’s draft bill will be available early next week, with up to a week of hearings to follow. The Senate Select Committee on Education Finance will have its first meeting Thursday, featuring a briefing from the Kansas Legislative Research Department. Wednesday’s House committee member comments touched on school district accounting procedures, teacher mentoring programs, accountability measures and at-risk funding. Campbell said his chairman’s draft will be a “consensus bill,” a basic draft that will be structurally similar to the 1992 school funding formula. Observers expect the draft will...

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