Highlights of the January State Board of Education Meeting
TOPEKA—January 15, 2009—The Kansas State Board of Education met January 12-13, 2010, in the boardroom at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), 120 SE 10th Ave., Topeka. All ten Board members were present. 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 December minutes were approved as amended 9-1 with Chappell voting in opposition,
Interim Commissioner’s Report: Dr. DeBacker presented an updated P-20 Council document to the Board. Accomplishments/recommendations outlined in the document were presented by the P-20 Council to Governor Parkinson for consideration during the 2010 Legislative Session.
DeBacker also gave Board members a draft of the Kansas Education Summary (accountability plan). This document will be discussed next month.
DeBacker briefed the Board on the state’s Race to the Top (RTTT) application. The RTTT application is based on four core reform areas:
- Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workforce and to compete in the global economy;
- Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;
- Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
- Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
Kansas is asking for $150 million in the RTTT funding. We are posed to reap the benefits of past accomplishments and move forward significantly with future improvements with funding from a RTTT grant. The Kansas application will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by January 19, 2010.
Citizens’ Open Forum: The Citizen’s Open Forum was declared open at 10:38 a.m. Five constituents addressed the Board on a variety of topics. Shari Wilson, representing the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE), reported on the annual conference just completed. Carolyn Wims-Campbell attended the Saturday session of the conference. Ms. Wilson invited the Board to attend the Green Schools Conference, to be held July 30. She will bring more information on this conference back to the Board as it becomes available. She also indicated that applications are now open to schools for waste management grants. The deadline for submitting a grant application is February 15, 2010.
Sarabeth Farney spoke on behalf of a reconsideration of a motion denying Terrance Vick a teaching license.
Steve Iliff spoke to the need for a comprehensive accounting system for public school districts.
Terrance Vick spoke on his behalf asking for reconsideration of the motion denying him a teaching license.
Dr. Gordon Schultz, superintendent of Word of Life School, spoke to the issue of charter school law in Kansas.
The Citizens’ Open Forum closed at 10:56 a.m.
The Kansas Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) appeared before the board. SEAC serves as a liaison between the statewide populace and the Kansas State Board of Education. In its role as a liaison, SEAC advises the State Board on issues relevant to the area of education supports and services for students ages 3-21 with disabilities. The Kansas SEAC works collaboratively to provide leadership for continuous improvement of educational systems to ensure equity and enhance learning for all students. The SEAC is required to submit an annual report of its activities each year to the State Board. A copy of the 2008-2009 report is included in the Board meeting materials. Dr. Sean Smith, SEAC Chairman for 2009-2010, highlighted Council activities. SEAC Council members were also introduced.
Act on recommendations of the Professional Practices Commission: It is moved and seconded that the Kansas State Board of Education adopt the findings of fact and conclusions of the Professional Practices Commission and approve the recommendations of the Commission. Motion carried 10-0.
Receive information from the Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools: At the request of the State Board of Education, Dr. Nick Compagnone, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Salina and President of the Kansas Association for Independent and Religious Schools, presented information to the State Board regarding Quality Performance Accreditation (QPA) and North Central Accreditation (NCA).
Reorganization Update from the Kansas State School for the Deaf (KSSD) and the Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB): The Kansas Facilities Closure and Realignment Commission recommended in their Executive Summary of November 23, 2009, to combine as many functions as possible in the areas of administration, maintenance, security, and food services at KSSB and KSSD. Dr. DeBacker submits the following recommendations:
- Employ only one superintendent to oversee both schools. With the retirement of Mr. Bob Maile, Ms. Madeline Burkindine has agreed to serve as superintendent at both campuses.
- Rename a position as Assistant Superintendent to assist Ms. Burkindine in the administration of KSSD and in cooperation with the Director of Instruction (Student Services) at KSSB. The individual filling this position would come internally from the KSSD and be housed at the KSSD campus.
- The Human Resources (HR) director at the KSSD is also retiring. The recommendation is that this position be assumed, in part, by the Director of Human Resources from the KSSB. Senior staff in the HR department at the KSSD would remain in place by elevating an HR Professional II position to an HR Professional III position and a half-time position would be moved to a full-time position. The recommendation also includes renaming the position of Director of Human Resources to Director of Operations to encompass human resources as well as maintenance, housekeeping and security.
- With the retirement of the Director of Admissions and Related Services at KSSD, it is recommended that this position be advertised and filled as this is essential to the services for students.
- A position at KSSD in the area of early intervention would be consolidated with another position at the KSSD.
- Other internal changes at both the KSSD and KSSB would also be implemented to support the consolidation.
The total savings incurred during the first year of this change would be approximately $242,000. It was moved and seconded to accept the recommendations of Interim Commissioner DeBacker for KSSD and KSSB, and stipulated that the reorganization measures be reviewed at the end of FY 2012 to determine if the changes were working and if new efficiencies might be implemented. After discussion, motion carried 7-3 with Chappell, Willard, and Bacon voting in opposition.
Mr. Maile and Ms. Burkindine were available to respond to questions from the Board.
Quarterly Presentation on Kansas Learning Network (KLN): This year, there are seventeen districts participating in the Kansas Learning Network. The Network is also providing direct support to the 32 schools that are on improvement, in corrective action, or restructuring. Dr. Julie Ford began the presentation which focused on how the KLN is impacting districts, schools and classrooms across the state, targeted technical assistance that has been provided to districts, and information from implementation coaches who are working directly with schools that are on improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. Presenters included Mr. Dean Katt, superintendent, Ottawa USD 290; Dr. Darren Dennis, director of learning services, Garden City USD 457; Dr. Connie Wehmeyer, Cross and Joftus; and Dr. Willie Amison, implementation coach, Cross and Joftus. Dr. Ray Daniels, Cross and Joftus, was also available to respond to questions.
Act on Petition to Disorganize USD 213 (West Solomon Valley) and attach its territory to USD 211 (Norton Community Schools): It was moved that the Kansas State Board of Education approve the petition to disorganize USD 213 and attach its territory to USD 211. Motion carried 10-0.
Act on Request for Reconsideration from Terrance Vick: It was moved by Sue Storm and seconded by Carolyn Wims-Campbell that the State Board of Education grant Mr. Vick’s Petition for Reconsideration. Motion failed 4-6 with Dennis, Bacon, Willard, Shaver, Waugh, and Martin voting in opposition. It was then moved that the State Board of Education deny Mr. Vick’s Petition for Reconsideration. Motion passed 6-4 with Chappell, Storm, Cauble and Wims-Campbell voting in opposition.
Act on Consent Agenda: It was moved that the State Board of Education approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 9-1 with Chappell voting in opposition.
Executive Session: It was moved that the State Board of Education go into executive session for a period of 40 minutes from 5:05 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. to discuss pending litigation with the Board attorney. Also invited to be present were Dr. DeBacker, Rod Bieker, and Kevin Ireland. Motion carried 9-0 with Chappell out of the room.
Conference Call with NASBE to discuss and act on next steps in Commissioner search: The Board met via conference call with Brenda Welburn, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) to discuss the current status of the search for a new commissioner of education and to plan the next steps of the process. Concern was expressed that the focus groups for western Kansas and Wichita were not conducted due to inclement weather. The Board secretary was directed to set up additional conference calls with focus groups composed of those who were invited to attend the cancelled Wichita meeting. In addition, it was requested that all service centers in the state be asked to participate and share the opinions of any of their constituents who wished to have them included in the environmental scan. It was moved that NASBE advertise the position in Education Week online as well as online with the American Association of School Administrators and on the Kansas State Department of Education website and other websites to which NASBE has access. Motion carried 10-0. In addition, NASBE will conduct outreach to all chief state school officers, deputies, all Kansas school districts, national education organizations and state organizations representing superintendents. The recruitment phase will be open for 30 days (beginning January 25, 2010, and closing February 26, 2010) unless the Board directs otherwise. Optimally, application review will take place on March 8th and interviews will be conducted the week of March 15th.
Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) presentation: As part of the Annual CTSO Citizenship Day activities, state officers from eight Kansas Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) met with the State Board. Ashley Shahan, Kansas Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)
State President, and Beck Johnson, Kansas DECA ( a national association of marketing education students)State President, shared leadership and skill development experiences by the CTSOs with members of the State Board.
Recognition of the Superintendent and Principals of the Year: The Kansas State Board of Education had the pleasure of hearing from four Kansas administrators who recently received prestigious awards.
Dr. Rob Winter, superintendent of Salina USD 305 has been named the 2010 Superintendent of the Year by the Kansas Association of School Administrators;
Mr. Steve Jameson, principal at Columbus High School, Columbus USD 493, has been named the 2009 MetLife Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals;
Mr. Jerry Meier, principal at Washburn Rural Middle School, Auburn-Washburn USD 437, has been named the 2009 Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators; and
Mr. Patrick Duffy, principal at Hesston Elementary School, Hesston USD 460, has been named the 2009 Kansas Distinguished Principal by the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals.
The administrators shared some of the ways they are building instructional capacity to help all students learn and achieve. They were available to respond to questions from Board members.
2010 Board Calendar: It was moved adopt the proposed calendar of Board meetings for 2010, with the addition of March8th when NASBE would be present to work with the Board in executive session to select candidates to interview. Motion carried 10-0.
Other agenda items:
The State Board of Education’s budget considerations were postponed until a later date due to time constraints. It was moved to approve the monthly attorney’s bill. Motion passed 10-0. It was moved that the Kansas State Board of Education approve State Board member travel requests. Motion carried 10-0.
Other Board Member reports: Kathy Martin presented information on Religious Freedom Day to be held January 16, 2010, with Board members. Dave Dennis shared information regarding the RFP for Project Pass. Walt Chappell shared information put together by the Kansas Policy Institute, A Kansas Primer on Education Funding, with Board members.
Legislative Matters: Dale M. Dennis, deputy commissioner for fiscal services, shared a list of committee assignments for the 2010 legislative session which included the House and Senate Education Committees. Mr. Dennis shared a summary of the Governor’s education budget recommendations for the Board’s review and discussion.
Meeting adjourned. The next Board meeting will be February 9-10, in Topeka.