Newsroom19

The year in review in Kansas public school education

By Leah Fliter KASB Advocacy and Outreach Specialist 2019 saw a lot of changes in Kansas education. The resolution of the Gannon school finance lawsuit was the biggest education policy story of the year but concerns about student health and well-being prompted new recommendations against vaping and bullying.   The State Board of Education’s focus on the continual improvement of Kansas public schools saw the launch of the “Apollo” phase of the school “redesign” initiative. Gov. Laura Kelly reinvigorated the Council on Education, and the state ramped up its focus on early childhood. The year ended with a controversial audit report on K-12...

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Advocacy in Action conference Jan. 15-16 will provide insights into major issues facing schools

KASB and USA Kansas will conduct its annual Advocacy in Action Conference in Topeka on Jan. 15-16 to help kickoff the 2020 legislative session. The conference will give education advocates from across Kansas the opportunity to meet state leaders and learn about the latest developments on crucial issues affecting public education. For more information and to register, go here. Guest speakers include Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who will talk about efforts to address the rise in youth suicide, and Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who will discuss ways schools can help build civic engagement. The annual event also includes time...

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Registration opens Jan. 3 for Kansas MTSS and Alignment Institute: Leading by Design featuring John Hattie

As you are aware, Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports and Alignment, as part of TASN, has been working with school districts across Kansas for well over a decade.  We have never wavered from our mantra “All Means All” when it comes to equality and equity in curriculum and instruction for ALL Kansas students.  While constantly analyzing data produced by schools implementing our framework and processes, we have been able to uncover the need for the development of instructional and collaborative leaders at all levels of our education system.  For the past several years, we have talked to leadership experts...

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Gov. Kelly signs proclamation for 2020 School Board Member Recognition Month

Gov. Laura Kelly has signed a proclamation recognizing January 2020 as “School Board Member Recognition Month” and asking Kansans to recognize “the dedication and commitment of local school board members and to furthermore join in working for a public education system that meets the needs of our state’s children today and in the future.”  Gov. Kelly’s proclamation highlighted the commitment of local board of education members, noting that those elected to serve on the local school board devote hundreds of volunteer hours to the governance of the local public education system, advocate for all children and are held accountable by...

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Governor’s Education Council delivers recommendations

Gov. Laura Kelly’s Council on Education on Thursday delivered recommendations aimed at improving the alignment between the Kansas education system and the state’s workforce needs. Receiving the council’s report at KASB headquarters, Kelly said the recommendations “set a path forward in education from birth to the end of life.” Kelly said she wanted to have further conversations on the recommendations, adding, “Everyone of you saw this as the beginning and not the end.” The council included dozens of members representing a wide range of interests in education, government and the private sector. Many of the recommendations were aimed at ensuring Kansas students...

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KASB Delegate Assembly approves 2020 advocacy policies

From protecting students to retaining high quality educators, the policies and priorities of Kansas school boards were recently approved by the KASB Delegate Assembly.  The 10-page report will guide KASB advocacy efforts during the 2020 Kansas legislative session and on federal actions affecting education. Here is a link to the document.   The report supports increased efforts to attract and retain qualified educators, boost opportunities for students to succeed and ensure the health and safety of students. It includes language on several high-profile issues, such as educating immigrant students, fighting the vaping epidemic and reducing bullying.  On the issue of school finance,...

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2019 KASB Annual Conference evaluations; please provide feedback

Thank you to everyone who participated this weekend in the 2019 KASB Annual Conference in Wichita. It was great to see so many of our members from across the state showing such passion and commitment to education in Kansas. If you did not get a chance to fill out evaluations in the conference app, KASB staff would still very much like your feedback in order to help us plan for future events. Please take a few minutes to complete the Pre-Conference and Conference Evaluation Survey here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BPHWLS2 Thanks in advance for your response!

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More counselors, social workers in Kansas schools

In his monthly report to the State Board of Education, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said the high school graduation rate continues to rise and schools have made great strides in hiring more social workers and counselors. Over the past two years, schools have added 132 counselors, an 11 percent increase, and 133 social workers, a 26 percent increase. Meanwhile, since 2015, the high school graduation rate has increased to 87.5 percent from 85.7 percent, while subgroups have increased as well. English Language learners increased to 82.6 percent from 77.2 percent; students who receive free or reduced lunch increased to 80.2 percent,...

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State Board of Education praises bullying task force report

State Board of Education members Tuesday praised a task force report on bullying that recommends a wide range of strategies to reduce bullying in schools. Board Chair Kathy Busch said the report “lays out a lot of good recommendations.” Here is a link to the report. Board member Ben Jones said bullying, “affects every single kid and I’m looking forward to moving the needle on this.” The 35-member task force was appointed by Education Commissioner Randy Watson in April and held a series of public meetings across the state, hearing from students, teachers, social service leaders and others. Rick Ginsberg, dean of the...

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State Board of Education clamps down on e-cigs, vaping

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a policy aimed at prohibiting at school the use of e-cigarettes by students, school staff and visitors. The policy forwarded to Kansas school districts expands prohibitions on tobacco products to e-cigs, vape pens and any other electronic products that can deliver nicotine. Schools across the nation and Kansas have reported an explosive increase in vaping among students from elementary to high school. Deaths and serious health problems have been associated with vaping as has an increase in addiction problems. Nationwide, lung injuries associated with vaping have resulted in 48 deaths in 25 states and...

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