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August School Board Reports — Week 3

Image credit: snr / 123RF Stock Photo

The Kansas State Board of Education and thirteen local school boards met last week.

Kansas

State Board of Education

Highlights:

  • Hearing an update on the state’s No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waiver from the federal government
  • Hearing an update on Kansas’ participation in development of the national Next Generation Science Standards
  • Receiving a presentation regarding a draft of the “Kansas Guide to Learning: Literacy” that is now available for public comment
  • Receiving the annual report containing demographic information regarding teachers and other state certified education professionals, such as superintendents
  • Hearing a report on development of proposed new state accreditation standards for public schools
  • Discussing education issues the State Board of Education would like to see addressed during the next session of the Kansas legislature
  • Considering the Lansing School District’s request for approval of an election asking voters to approve the sale of new school bonds in excess of the district’s general bond debt limitation
  • Considering approval or awarding federal McKinney-Vento Children and Youth Homeless Program grants, including more than $70,000 to the Kansas City, Kansas School District
  • Hear a presentation about a new state law that will provide $1,000 incentives plus tuition and transportation reimbursement for high school students earning industry-recognized certificates related to occupations in need of skilled employees

Basehor-Linwood

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and approved the district’s budget for the 2012-13 school year
  • Heard an enrollment estimate of an increase of 64 students in a district with a total enrollment of 2,210 last year
  • Considered revising board policies relating to a list of topics ranging from “Drug Free Schools” to the addition of a language relating to “whistleblowers” in the “Annual Operating Budget” policy
  • In his report, Superintendent David Howard informed the board that — due to the provisions of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — the district can no longer give peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students who do not have money in their lunch accounts. Instead, these students will receive fruit, baby carrots and milk.

Blue Valley

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and considered approving the district’s budget for the 2012-13 school year
  • Considered revising district policies relating to “Behavior and Discipline” and “Civility of Students”

De Soto

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and considered approving the district’s budget for the 2012-13 school year

Lansing

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and considered approving the district’s proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year
  • Viewed architectural drawings of new school buildings the board like to have funded by bond sales that must be voted on by the public
  • Heard an update on the proposed $73 million school bond election, which must be approved by the Kansas State Board of Education before it can proceed. In addition to approving the sale of these bonds — which is a form of public debt — the state board would also have to grant approval for the district to exceed its debt limit. If voters approve the bond sales, property taxes in the district would increase.

Piper

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and considered approving the district’s proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year
  • Considered revising district policies on topics such as “Drug Free Schools” and “Truancy”

Shawnee Mission

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and considered approving the district’s proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year
  • Considering revising district policies on topics such as “Graduation Requirements” and “Student Rights and Responsibilities”

Missouri

Blue Springs

Highlights: Routine responsibilities of governance

Excelsior Springs

Highlights:

  • Held a public hearing of the proposed no change in the property tax levy to support the school district
  • Considered revising policies in accordance with the state’s new Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which required districts to adopt such policies no later than July 1, 2012
  • Considering revising other district policies relating to staff leaves and absences

Fort Osage (August meeting agenda not available online)

Highlights:

  • Setting tuition rates for non-resident students for the 2012-13 school year
  • Considering approval of agreement with Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to place law enforcement officers in district schools
  • Hearing an update on projects being funded by the sale of school bonds approved by voters
  • Considering revising district policies on topics such as “Reporting Child Abuse” and “Concussion/Brain Injury”

Grandview

Highlights:

  • Hearing a three-year budget forecast

Hickman Mills

Highlights:

  • Hearing an energy education report
  • Hearing a report on the district’s superintendent search
  • Accepting a $62,000 federal McKinney-Vento Children and Youth Homeless Program grant for the 2012-13 school year. According to the superintendent’s report, the number of homeless children in the district has been growing at an “alarming rate.”

Independence (not posted online)

  • Considering approval of tax levy for 2012-13 school year
  • Considering approval of resolution supporting energy conservation
  • Hearing update on projects funded by sales of school bonds approved by voters

Raytown

Highlights:

  • Establishing non-resident tuition rates for the 2012-13 school year
  • Hearing a report on the energy conservation program
  • Considering revising policies relating to professional and support staff benefits

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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