Teacher Issues

Bill approved by U.S. House committee could cost Kansas public schools $18 million in Title II grants

A bill approved by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee could cost Kansas schools $18 million in funding for professional development and other programs. KASB members should use the upcoming August Congressional recess to explain the impact of the measure to their members of Congress. The committee last week forwarded to the full House of Representatives a Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations measure for several federal agencies, including the Department of Education (DOE). While the bill makes some improvements to President Donald Trump’s initial DOE budget blueprint, it still contains a provision that eliminates Title II funding for “Supporting Effective Instruction” state...

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State Board receives new math standards, postsecondary success metric

The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday accepted on first review proposed new public school math standards and reviewed the state’s new measure of postsecondary success for K-12 public schools. The 2017 math standards will replace the 2010 standards, which were adopted with little attention but drew significant criticism later because they were aligned with the Common Core standards developed by associations of governors and chief state school officers. KSDE staff said the 2017 math standards were written for Kansans by Kansans and set a rigorous example for the rest of the country. Several board members had questions about various...

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Watson urges schools apply for redesign project

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson on Tuesday reiterated his call for school districts to apply for a pilot project to redesign schools in line with the Kansans Can vision. Watson said four districts have completed their application process for the “Mercury 7” project, which is named after the pioneering U.S. astronaut program. Seven districts for the project will be announced next month, he said. Under the program, an elementary and secondary school in each of the seven districts will be redesigned in conjunction with the State Board of Education’s Kansans Can mission of leading the world in the success of each...

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Plaintiffs, State argue school finance in briefs filed with Kansas Supreme Court

In briefs filed Friday, the State of Kansas says the new school finance act is "a dramatic, positive step for Kansas, its students, and its schools," correcting the constitutional flaws in funding adequacy found by the Supreme Court; and asks the court to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs say the act "significantly underfunds K-12 public education – by all measures;" and ask the court to require almost $900 million for funding over the next two years. The plaintiff school districts also say the new law introduces unconstitutional funding inequities, and ask the court to set a new deadline of Sept....

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Public Schools 1st campaign kicks off this week

Kansas schools can showcase their accomplishments in a national campaign that kicks off this week. The National School Boards Action Center has announced a new grassroots digital and social media campaign called “Public Schools 1st: MakeYourImpact that will launch at 9 a.m. Thursday with Twitter and Facebook action. The Public Schools 1st campaign will mobilize education leaders across the country to advocate for the importance of supporting public schools and the wide variety of choices they offer students and parents. Kansas school districts should share something positive about what’s happening in their local public schools at 9 a.m. Thursday on their Twitter...

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School finance bills advance; funding does not

Approval of a school finance system to replace the block grants on July 1 took several steps forward Wednesday when the House advanced a bill to final action and the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance recommended a similar bill to the full Senate. However, passage of a tax bill to fund current state expenditures and the additional costs of the school finance proposals remained stalled, and many question whether the plans will be approved by the Kansas Supreme Court. The court set a June 30 deadline to correct constitutional inadequacies in school funding. Both bills restore most features of the...

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House passes working after retirement overhaul

The Kansas House voted 114-0 this morning to make major changes in the rules for going back to work after retirement in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The Senate will vote next, and passage sends the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback. The conference committee agreement on SB 21 removes the "earnings limit" that has applied to most retirees from the KPERS system if they return to work for the same or another KPERS employer. It also will require future retirees to wait 180 days before returning to work if under age 62. The current 60 day waiting period is...

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KPERS working after retirement simplified

The Kansas Legislature has simplified KPERS working after retirement provisions and eliminated the earnings cap, making it easier for Kansas school leaders to hire qualified retirees for critical positions. Under an agreement reached in mid-May, as of January 1, 2018, the following provisions apply to any KPERS school retiree, regardless of retirement date: There is no earnings cap; For non-covered employees (those who work 630 hours or less in a calendar year) employers do not make a contribution to the KPERS fund; Employers will make the statutory contribution on a covered employee’s first $25,000 in earnings in a calendar year...

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Mandating Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Kansas school districts

KASB is providing this fact sheet (below) on the issue of Applied Behavior Analysis, which has generated much discussion since House Bill 2410, the proposed school finance measure, was advanced with a provision that would require ABA therapy for public school students in some cases. The measure has prompted questions about the cost of such therapy, who would pay, who is qualified to provide it and how many students would be eligible. `Mandating Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Kansas School Districts' answers these questions and many more. As the school finance bill advances through the Legislature, we encourage education officials to...

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Tallman Report: There is no evidence Kansas could achieve higher student success through expanded school choice

This post is from a report on school finance released by KASB as the Kansas Legislature works to develop a new school finance plan in compliance with the Kansas Supreme Court decision on adequate funding. Today: states with tax credit programs to provide scholarships to private schools have no better academic success than Kansas, and in most cases, worse. Read Full Blog

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