Highlights of the June State Board of Education Meeting
TOPEKA, June 13, 2007/ The Kansas State Board of Education held its regular monthly board meeting on June 12 – 13, 2007, in the boardroom of the Kansas State Department of Education, 120 SE 10th Avenue. All Board members were present. Following are highlights of the two-day meeting.
The Board heard a report on the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) Coaching Academy grant. Kansas is one of five states selected to receive a grant to provide training to academic coaches across the state during the 2007-2008 school year. The academy is being funded in part by the Wachovia Foundation’s Teachers and Teaching Initiative and is a partnership between NSDC, the Kansas Staff Development Council and the Kansas State Department of Education.
During the May meeting, State Board members expressed an interest in receiving suggestions from school administrators concerning teacher licensure. In response to this request, Dr. Craig Elliott, USD 266 Maize, led a discussion to present to the Board suggestions regarding teacher licensure that superintendents would like considered by the State Board and the Standards Board. Other superintendents were present and also voiced concerns with staffing issues.
On Tuesday, a public hearing on changes to teacher licensure regulations S.B.R. 91-1-201, 91-1-202, 91-1-203, 91-1-204 and 91-1-209, and new regulation 91-1-234 was held. Nine individuals spoke concerning the regulations. On Wednesday, the Board received the staff response and acted to adopt the teacher licensure regulations as presented.
The Board heard a review of 21st Century Learning Skills, centering around improving America’s schools and preparing students for a globally competitive workforce. Dr. Tom Foster and Ms. Melinda Stanley facilitated the discussion.
The Board acted on appointments to the Special Education Advisory Council. Appointed to the Council were Penny Hoffman, School Psychologist Larned Juvenile Correction Facility, Larned; Terry-Ellen Stewart Deseck, Counselor Mater Dei Catholic School, Topeka; Anne Roberts, Kaw Valley Center Behavioral Healthcare, Olathe; Neil Guthrie, USD 259 Wichita SpEd Director, Wichita; Ann Byington, Topeka; Mary Abbott, KU Research Professor, Overland; Krista Morris, SRS – Health Care Policy, Topeka; Katherine Kersenbrock-Ostmeyer, Director, SpEd NWKSESC, Colby;and Jeanette Magathan, KS School for the Deaf, Olathe. One vacancy remains on the Council and will be filled at a later date.
Dr. Larry Englebrick, Division of School Innovations, presented information about a proposed Kansas Commission on Leadership. Realizing that leadership plays a critical role in school and district success, as well as student success, Dr. Englebrick asked for the support of the Board in establishing the Kansas Leadership Commission. Dr. Joe Murphy, Vanderbilt University, has agreed to facilitate the discussion. Dr. Mary Devin and Mr. Ed O’Malley have agreed to serve as Co-Chairs for the Commission. The task of the Commission is to develop a set of recommendations resulting in the creation of a cohesive, research-based system of leadership for Kansas.
After hearing from several patrons during the Open Forum, the Board tabled indefinitely the agreement concerning consolidation of USD 324, Eastern Heights, Phillips County and USD 238, West Smith County. The agreement was sent back to USD 324 and USD 238 for further study.
The State Board received an update on a recently submitted grant to the National Governors Association entitled Changing Policy and Practice to Improve STEM Education in Kansas. The ultimate goal of this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) grant application is to help move more students into these areas of study. If awarded, this grant will provide $250,000 per year for two years which must be matched with in kind and state funds. Governor Sebelius has indicated she is willing to help secure the matching funds if the grant is awarded.
The State Board approved the agreement to transfer territory from USD 337 (Royal Valley), Jackson County, Kansas, to USD 336 (Holton), Jackson County, Kansas, to be effective July 1, 2007, provided that the territory revert back on July 1 of the next fiscal year following such time as there is no person residing in the transferred territory who is employed by USD 336 Holton.
A review of FY2007, FY2008 and FY 2009 budgets was conducted by Mr. Dale M. Dennis.
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