Teacher Issues

Panel tackles mental health needs of Kansas students

A panel composed of people who help children in numerous ways started work Friday to improve meeting the mental health needs of students in Kansas public schools.  Members of the newly formed Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council noted that mental health services have been decimated by funding cuts in recent years and that a more comprehensive system of mental health training was needed for school officials.  And they said the mental health needs of students are on the rise.  Ronnie Lieurance, chief of police for Goddard USD 265, said while schools do much in supporting students, once children leave school, some...

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Districts responding to declining teacher salaries

From headlines and news stories around the state, it is clear many school districts are using increased state funding to raise teacher salaries more than previous years, with school leaders saying educator pay has fallen behind. According to reports from the Kansas State Department of Education, the average Kansas teacher salary rose from $42,558 in 2004 to $54,737 in 2017, an increase of nearly 30 percent. However, when adjusted for inflation to 2017 dollars, salaries actually peaked in 2010 at $59,235, and have been declining ever since. For the 2016-17 school year, the average teacher salary was lower than in 2004,...

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First meeting of new mental health advisory panel is Friday

The initial meeting of the Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council will be held at 9 a.m. Friday at the Kansas State Department of Education.  The council was established by the State Board of Education to advise on unmet needs in school mental health and coordinate with legislators and stakeholders in efforts to benefit students in social and emotional growth. State Board Vice Chair Kathy Busch will serve as chair of the advisory council.   Here is a link to the meeting agenda. 

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Twenty-one Gemini school districts join redesign project

The skies over Kansas are filling up. Twenty-one school districts will take part in the `Gemini Project’ to redesign schools. They will join the `Mercury 7’ school districts in launching changes to fulfill the state education vision of leading the world in the success of each student. On Aug. 8, seven school districts were chosen to have an elementary and secondary school part of the `Mercury 7’ Kansans Can School Redesign Project. Those districts are Coffeyville USD 445, Liberal USD 480, McPherson USD 418, Olathe USD 233, Stockton USD 271, Twin Valley USD 240 and Wellington USD 353. Of the other districts...

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Mercury 7 You Tube interview on Thursday

KASB’s Scott Rothschild will interview the KSDE “Mercury 7” Kansans Can School Redesign team in a live You Tube interview at 4 p.m. Thursday. Tammy Mitchell and Jay Scott are the Elementary and Secondary Redesign Specialists, respectively, who will guide the seven school districts chosen on August 8 to serve as demonstration sites in the drive to redesign Kansas public schools around the Kansas State Board of Education’s five outcomes that define a successful high school graduate.  The Mercury 7 districts are Wellington USD 353, Olathe USD 233, Coffeyville USD 445, Twin Valley USD 240, Liberal USD 480, McPherson USD 418...

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School Board Review back-to-school issue is out

After summer vacation, School Board Review returns to welcome the new school year.  The issue features our first column from new KASB President Dayna Miller, of Basehor-Linwood USD 458, and KASB Executive Director John Heim’s take on the first day of school.  KASB Past-President Frank Henderson discusses the need to advocate on federal education issues and we also offer a rundown of the work completed by the state Legislature.  The issue also includes an article on money-savings from KASB’s Health Insurance consulting program, research on young adult success and timely legal advice for school boards.  We hope you enjoy the August issue of...

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Total solar eclipse means school is out in some districts

Snow days in August? Yes. Some districts are cancelling school Mon. Aug. 21 because they are located in the best viewing area for the rare solar eclipse and expect to see thousands of tourists and visitors jamming up their streets. Atchison USD 409 posted on its Facebook page: “Due to increasing numbers of visitors for the eclipse, potential traffic issues, and conferring with the City/EMS, USD 409 will not hold classes on August 21st.” With Brown County officials promoting solar eclipse events, the Hiawatha USD 415 school board went the same route. Superintendent Lonnie Moser posted on the district’s Facebook page: “The board...

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KASB Legal offers numerous services on negotiations

KASB’s Legal Department offers numerous services related to negotiation issues as part of the annual Legal Assistance Fund.  The $1,650 annual fee provides districts telephone consultations, webinars, sample negotiation language and more.  Individual representation for on-site negotiation, impasse and fact finding is also available for additional fees.  KASB’s Legal Services also has a new service that will provide an annual review of a district’s negotiated agreement for an annual fixed rate based on the number of pages of the agreement.  Because of the late legislative session, the pending school finance case before the Kansas Supreme Court and budget software not being released, some...

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Districts not selected in Mercury 7 group can fly as Gemini

School districts that applied to be part of the initial Kansans Can School Redesign but weren’t selected, aren’t out of the project. If they chose to, those districts can still participate in the redesign process. They won’t have the on-site one-to-one assistance from the Kansas State Department of Education but will still be able to benefit from materials and other tools from the project. On Tuesday, KSDE announced seven districts were selected to redesign one elementary and one secondary school each around the Kansans Can vision of leading the world in the success of each student. Twenty-nine districts had applied for the...

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Countdown begins for KSDE’s moonshot change to public schools

The countdown for the Kansas State Department of Education’s “moonshot” to revamp public schools has begun. KSDE will announce the seven districts selected for the school redesign project at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday during the Kansas State Board of Education’s monthly meeting. Under the project, a secondary and elementary school in each of the selected districts will be redesigned around the outcomes of the State Board’s Kansans Can vision of leading the world in the success of each student. The outcomes call for improvements in kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, social and emotional growth of students, high school graduation rates and...

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