SBR President’s Perspective: Many challenges before usAndrea Hartzell
In keeping with tradition, the transition from one KASB president to another occurred recently without a hitch. Amy Martin completed her tenure as president on June 30. I took over the role July 1.
A lot happened under Amy’s watch and I, and education advocates across the state, want to thank her for helping guide public school students over the past few years as a member of the Olathe USD 233 school board and as a leader with KASB.
Amy’s work with KASB is not over by a long shot. As the immediate past president, she will chair KASB’s Legislative Committee, which reviews KASB policies and proposes revisions.
In her farewell column as president last month, Amy wrote that “KASB is seen as the respected leader in education issues in the state, and every day we provide critical services to our members.”
I could not agree more with that statement and, along with president-elect C. Patrick Woods, Topeka USD 501, KASB board members and education leaders throughout Kansas, we will do all we can to make sure we continue along this path.
As always, we will have many challenges before us.
The Kansas Legislature approved a new school finance system to replace the block grants and the first significant increase in K-12 investment in years. The change to the new system has been welcomed by most districts, but will prove problematic for some and it is still under review by the Kansas Supreme Court.
We also will work diligently to help Kansas become a world leader in student success in the ways outlined by the Kansas State Board of Education.
Kansans have wisely said they want their children ready for kindergarten and for schools to have individual plans of study. They want schools to help students grow emotionally and socially and to complete high school with a clear understanding of what they want to do after graduation.
These are reasonable requests and we will do everything we can as partners with Kansas families to achieve this goal.
As the new president of KASB, I commend my fellow school board members across the state for maintaining a civil and courteous tone. While much public discourse in this country has become more vitriolic, we win when we treat our fellow Kansans with dignity and respect.
Thank you for this great opportunity to help lead KASB and feel free to contact me at any time.