Highlights of the December State Board of Education Meeting
TOPEKA—December 10, 2009—The Kansas State Board of Education met December 8-9, 2009, in the boardroom at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), 120 SE 10th Ave., Topeka. Nine Board members were present; Kathy Martin joined the Board by phone at 11:30 a.m. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Janet Waugh. Following the statement of the mission of the Kansas State Board of Education, the State Board observed a minute of silence, followed by the pledge of allegiance. The agenda was approved as amended. After discussion, the October special meetings’ minutes and the November minutes were approved 8-1 with Chappell voting in opposition.
Interim Commissioner’s Report: Interim Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker shared with the Board information regarding Race to the Top (RTTT). One of the requirements for the RTTT is for local education agencies (LEAs) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to the State’s plan for education reform according to the four priority areas. The MOU must be signed by the superintendent, the board president, and the local teacher association representative in order for the district to be eligible for any RTTT funding. The MOU and a brief summary of the Kansas plan was sent to all Kansas school districts for action. If Kansas is one of the states chosen in this initiative, Kansas will receive between $60 million and $175 million over the course of the next four years. Dr. DeBacker responded to questions regarding the Kansas RTTT plan.
Milken National Educator Recognition: Bradley Nicks, a mathematics teacher at Shawnee Heights High School, was named a 2009 Milken National Educator in late October by the Milken Family Foundation, Santa Monica, CA. This program recognizes, celebrates, and rewards teachers and principals who have made and continue to make significant contributions to the education of children. Mr. Nicks will receive $25,000 and has been invited to attend the Milken National Educator Forum next spring in Los Angeles. CA. He shared some brief remarks and was available to respond to questions from the Board.
Citizens’ Open Forum: The Citizens’ Open Forum was declared open at 10:32 a.m. Two constituents addressed the Board. Sarah Beth Carney, a retired educator from Wichita, addressed the Board in support of Terrance Vick’s application for licensure. The second constituent Terrance Vick spoke on his own behalf in requesting the Board consider his application for licensure. Citizen’s Open Forum closed at 10:44 a.m.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Recognition: The recipients of the 2008 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching were invited to address the Board. Due to the inclement weather, one of the recipients, Sherry Helus, the elementary mathematics national finalist, was unable to attend. Sherry teaches third grade at Wamego West Elementary School, Wamego USD 320. De Ann Swofford, the elementary science national finalist, made brief remarks and responded to questions by the Board. DeAnn is an eighth grade science teacher at Pioneer Ridge Middle School, Gardner-Edgerton USD 231. Both recipients will receive a $10,000 unrestricted award from the National Science Foundation as well as a week-long conference in Washington, DC. The conference and awards ceremony will take place in January, 2010.
Recess for Deliberations in the Terrance D. Vick licensure case: It was moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board of Education recess the open meeting from noon until 1:30 p.m. for the purpose of deliberating in the Terrance D. Vick case. Motion carried 7-2-1 with Chappell and Bacon voting in opposition and Willard abstaining.
Presentation on Quality Performance Accreditation: Dr. Julie Ford, director of title programs and services at KSDE, and Teresa White, education program consultant at KSDE, provided an update on Kansas’ Quality Performance Accreditation (QPA) process. A QPA manual is available on our website. The components of the QPA process were shared with the Board.
After discussion, it was moved and seconded that the State Board look more closely at state graduation requirements (regulation 91-31-35). Motion carried 10-0.
a. Report on FY 2010 budget allotments and FY 2011 budget recommendations: Dale M. Dennis, deputy commissioner, reviewed with the State Board the Governor’s budget allotments for FY 2010 as issued on November 24, 2009. Kansas public schools state aid was reduced $36,709.794. This takes general state aid to the FY 2006 level. Other cuts on 11/24/09 included: KPERS $419,000; Juvenile Detention Facilities $398,574; School Safety Hotline $350; School Food Assistance $75,315; Discretionary Grants $12,600; After School Program Grants $8,500; Mentor Teacher Grants $43,500; Governor’s Teaching Excellence Awards $1,923 for a subtotal State Aid Reduction of $37,669,556. Additionally, the KSDE Operating Expenditures were reduced a further $332,239 for a total state aid reduction of $38,001,795.
Mr. Dennis also went over the reductions in the KSDE operating budget for FY 2010 ($546,223 & $332,249). In FY 2011, Mr. Dennis sees an additional $228,469 reduction. This makes a reduction in FY 2010 & FY 2011 of over $1.1 million in the KSDE operating expenses. The majority of the reductions for FY 2010 will result in not filling positions, reducing out-of state travel, eliminating membership fees and subscriptions, and renegotiating some contracts for services. Mr. Dennis reported that the agency is looking at ways to absorb the cuts without reducing staff; however, this may not be possible.
b. State Board’s Legislative Liaison’s report: The State Board’s Legislative Liaison Sue Storm responded to comments and inquiries by the Board and urged State Board members to contact legislators regarding the State Board Legislative proposals. She reminded Board members to discuss only the proposals which have been identified by the Board and not individual ideas.
c. Discussion of education issues and recommendations for the 2010 Legislative session: Chairman Waugh asked Board members to make a motion on any additional recommendations for legislative action for the 2010 Legislative session. It was moved and seconded that staff and Dr. Chappell gather information regarding Dr. Chappell’s recommendation concerning school nurses for further Board discussion. Motion carried 8-2, with Cauble and Martin in opposition.
Act on application for a teaching license from Terrance D. Vick: It was moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board of Education deny the application of Terrance D. Vick for licensure and that the findings of fact and conclusions be prepared consistent with the State Board’s deliberations in support of its final action. Motion carried 6-4 with Chappell, Cauble, Wims-Campbell, and Storm in opposition. It was moved and seconded that the Board adopt the findings of fact and conclusions as prepared for the Board. Motion carried 7-3, with Chappell, Storm, and Wims-Campbell voting in opposition.
Consent Agenda: It was moved and seconded that the State Board approve the Consent Agenda as presented. Motion carried 10-0.
Recess for Deliberations in the Douglas S. Wright licensure case: It was moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board of Education recess the open meeting for 20 minutes beginning at 5:00 P.M. for the purpose of deliberating in the Douglas S. Wright case. Motion carried 10-0. After further discussion, the motion was amended to begin at 5:10 for 20 minutes, inviting the Board attorney, the commissioner and the KSDE staff attorney to participate. Motion carried 9-1 with Chappell voting in opposition. After returning to the Open Meeting, the Board recessed for the day.
The State Board of Education’s December meeting reconvened at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Kathy Martin joined the Board via phone. All other members were present. The agenda was approved as amended. The update on Board goals was transferred to the January meeting as staff at KSDE was not available due to the closing of State Offices by the Governor.
Chairman’s Report: Janet Waugh asked that the discussion of Kansas State Board of Education’s (KSBE) operating budget be postponed until the January meeting.
Act on the NASBE Contract for the Commissioner Search: It was moved and seconded that the KSDE enter into a contract with the National Association of State Boards of Education not to exceed $50,000 to conduct a national search for a commissioner candidate. Motion carried 9-1, with Chappell voting in opposition.
Board Attorney’s report: The Board attorney presented his written report. It was moved and seconded to pay the November bill. Motion carried 9-1, with Chappell voting in opposition.
Legislative Liaison’s report: Sue Storm gave each Board member a copy of the brochure detailing the FY 2011 Legislative Recommendations, which were approved by the Board in August 2009. Discussion followed regarding the recommendations.
Other Board reports:
Dave Dennis gave Board members a written report on meetings he attended during the past month. The report included the Southern Regional Education Board meeting held Nov, 12-13, 2009. The meeting focused on the national problem of students dropping out of school. Ten ideas of ways to decrease the dropout rate were presented. Dave also attended the Robinson Elementary School Blue Ribbon presentation on Nov, 24, 2009. Mr.Dennis also reported on the Project PASS Conference Dec. 3-4, 2009, in Chicago, IL. Project PASS is a partnership with the United States Army, the US Department of Education, and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) to support high school completion. He also reported that the next virtual schools meeting will be Dec. 17, 2009.
Sally Cauble reported on the National Governor’s Association meeting she attended in November. The meeting focused on alternative funding for exceptional teachers.
Jana Shaver reported on the November meeting of the Kansas Advisory Committee of Career and Technical Education. Jana represents the Board on this committee. Of the twenty members on this committee, sixteen represent business and industry. She also reported that a Workforce Development Conference will be held in Topeka at the Capitol Plaza Hotel on January 20-21, 2010.
Kathy Martin reported on a school visit she made to the Clifton-Clyde district.
Sue Storm announced that the 2010 Kansas Teacher of the Year Karen Tritt is from her Board district. The entire State Board attended the awards ceremony in Wichita.
Carolyn Wims-Campbell reported on the annual meeting of the Kansas Association of School Boards held last weekend. She attended the delegate assembly prior to the opening of the conference. Carolyn asked for an update from staff on the Kansas seclusion and restraint guidelines in lieu of the national report on today’s (12/9/09) news regarding the approval of a federal restraint law. Diane will send the narrative submitted to the US Department of Education by KSDE regarding our seclusion and restraint guidelines to Board members in a Friday letter.
Ken Willard expressed his appreciation to the Board for allowing him to serve as president of NASBE. He has completed his term as president and will serve an additional year on the NASBE Board.
Requests for future agenda items:
Ken Willard asked that the Board look at the dollars spent on assessments in the state. He also asked for a report on administrative reorganization in the state.
Kathy Martin asked for further discussion on accreditation of schools in Kansas, either via QPA process or allowing other accrediting organizations to accredit schools in Kansas.
Sue Storm asked for a representative of the Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools (KAIRS) and staff to make a joint presentation to the Board on accreditation.
Walt Chappell asked for a presentation by experts on recommended policies that could be implemented across the state on child wellness/child obesity.
Act to adopt additional findings and conclusions on remand of Douglas S. Wright case: It was moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board of Education adopt additional findings of fact and conclusions consistent with its discussion and review of the agency record as remanded in the Douglas S. Wright case. Discussion followed. Motion carried 6-4, with Chappell, Storm, Willard, and Wims-Campbell voting in opposition.
Act on Board travel: It was moved and seconded to approve Board travel as amended. Motion carried 9-1, with Cauble voting in opposition.
Executive Session: It was moved that the Board recess into Executive Session for 30 minutes, beginning at 11:55 a.m., for the purpose of discussing personnel matters of nonelected personnel regarding evaluations, in order to protect the privacy interests of the individuals being discussed. Motion carried. 10-0. Open meeting was resumed at 12:25 p.m. It was moved and seconded that the Board extend Executive Session for 9 minutes, resuming Open Meeting at 12:35 p.m. Motion carried 10-0. Open meeting was resumed at 12:35 p.m.
Meeting adjourned: The December State Board of Education meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held January 12-13, 2009, in the boardroom of the Kansas State Department of Education.