August 13, 2009
For Immediate Release
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AUGUST STATE BOARD MEETING
TOPEKA/The Kansas State Board of Education met on August 11-12, 2009, in the boardroom at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), 120 SE 10th Ave., Topeka. All 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. The pledge of allegiance was then recited, and the agenda was reviewed. The revised agenda was approved 10-0. The July minutes were approved.
Commissioner’s Report: ACT recognized the state with a certificate honoring its 50 years of participation in the ACT assessment. Dr. Posny presented the certificate to the State Board. Posny shared a national report, Kids Count 2009, on children’s well-being showing that Kansas has significantly lowered its percentage of high school dropouts since 2000, becoming one of the country’s leaders in that area. The report is published by the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation, a group that strives to help vulnerable children and families succeed. Dr. Posny also updated the State Board on a recent NAGB Board meeting.
Citizen’s Open Forum: Citizen’s Open Forum was opened at 10:25 a.m. Three constituents spoke during the Open Forum regarding an upcoming Kansas Learning First Alliance (KLFA) program entitled “Reading, Writing and the Future of Education for Kansas Kids.” The program will air on all Kansas PBS stations (check local listings) on September 23, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. Watch and Talk parties will be held across the state. For additional information about this program and local discussion groups, visit www.kfla.org. One constituent spoke on the green schools conference held in July. Open Forum was closed at 10:47 a.m.
P-20 Council Report: Dr. Posny shared an update concerning the mission and work of the P-20 Council. The Council is committed tofulfilling the state’s responsibility for delivering and funding an integrated high quality educational system that prepares Kansans for life and work.
Title 1 Schools/Districts On Improvement: As part of the federal accountability process under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), states are required to identify Title 1 districts and schools that have not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two consecutive years and are, therefore, on improvement. The identification must occur prior to the start of the school year in order for parents to be provided the opportunity to have their child attend another school within the district that is not on improvement. The list of Title 1 schools and districts identified for improvement for 2009-10 was presented to the State Board by Judi Miller, assistant director for title programs and services. To access this report, go to: http://www.ksde.org/ under “Press Releases.”
H1N1 Influenza Community Mitigation Update: Dr. Mark Thompson, project director for coordinated school health at KSDE, introduced Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, state health officer and director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Dr. Eberhart-Phillips provided an update on the H1N1 influenza pandemic. More is learned every day about the H1N1 flu pandemic, and KDHE is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention to take necessary steps to prepare for the expected escalation of flu activity in coming weeks. While illness caused by the virus remains relatively mild, school-aged children appear to be disproportionately affected. Children are also known to transmit flu viruses efficiently, especially in schools and other group settings. Consequently, schools will be very important partners in public health planning and response to H1N1 flu. The development and plans for use of an H1N1 flu vaccine are currently moving forward ahead of federal decisions regarding vaccine deployment. In the meantime, other strategies for reducing the transmission of the virus within communities are essential. Information regarding the H1N1 flu virus and guidance from the CDC will be available on the KSDE website (www.ksde.org) in the near future.
Career and Technical Education Update: Dr. Blake Flanders, vice president of workforce development at the Kansas Board of Regents and Robin Harris, assistant director of career and technical education (CTE) at KSDE, shared the current work in the state regarding the connection of the workforce to K-12 and higher education including curriculum alignment, standards and assessments.
Consent agenda: After further discussion of items e, f, j, l, m, o, r, w, and x, the consent agenda, with the exception of e & f, was approved. Items e & f were tabled until Wednesday to allow staff an opportunity to address the issues.
Dave Dennis moved and Ken Willard seconded that the Board conduct a work session prior to convening its meeting for official business on an as needed basis. Motion passed 8-0-1 with Kathy Martin abstaining and Jana Shaver absent. Sally Cauble moved and Carolyn Wims-Campbell seconded that the Board hold a work session on Tuesday, September 8, beginning at 9:00 a.m., with the official State Board of Education meeting beginning at 1:00 p.m. The work session will be audio-streamed. The Open Forum will be held at 1:30 p.m. Motion passed 9-0 with Shaver absent. The Board recessed until Wednesday, August 12, at 9:00 a.m.
The Wednesday, August 12, agenda was approved as amended.
Chairman’s report: Mrs. Waugh recommended that in the future the Board could offer a resolution of support when deemed appropriate after an information only (IO) item is presented to the Board. This is in response to the report by Dr. Eberhart-Phillips on the preparations in Kansas for the possible spread of the pandemic H1N1 influenza. Waugh also reported that the Board’s flower fund is depleted. Board members were asked to contribute. The Board secretary keeps the fund. The Board’s budget was also discussed. Last month, the motion to suspend all out-of-state travel for 2010 not paid by an outside source was tabled. It was moved and seconded to remove this motion from the table. Motion carried 7-1-2 with Wims-Campbell opposing and Willard and Bacon abstaining. Discussion of the original motion then followed. Motion failed 1-9 with Martin voting in favor and all other Board members opposing.
Board Attorney Report: The Board attorney presented his bill for July. The bill was approved 9-1 with Chappell opposing.
Legislative Coordinator’s Report: Storm reported on a commission meeting discussing the closure of the Kansas School for the Deaf. She also discussed self-executing powers of the Board and suggested that before introducing legislation, the Board should evaluate positions carefully.
Policy Committee Report: No report at this time.
Other Board member reports: Dave Dennis spoke about the benefit of a technical education conference he attended last week. He also reported on the value of the NASBE New Member Orientation attended last month. Sally Cauble reported on the first meeting of a group developing teacher alternative compensation models. We have received a grant from the National Governors’ Association (NGA) to do this. Carolyn Wims-Campbell reported on the last 2010 Commission meeting. Wims-Campbell attended the New Member Institute meetings and praised the work of those in charge of putting together such beneficial meetings. Mrs. Wims-Campbell also attended a local school’s first professional development meeting for this year. The day was well-planned and benefited the staff. Walt Chappell also commented on the benefit of the New Member Institute sponsored by NASBE. Sue Storm asked for clarification on the teacher alternative compensation study. Ken Willard reported that as the NASBE presidenthe also attended the New Member Institute. He commented on the quality of the class of new board members. They were fully engaged in the activities. He also reported on a conference sponsored by the U.S. Army, NASBE, CCSSO, the Association of Career & Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Governors’ Association (NGA). The conference focused on approaches to training and leadership skills. There will be follow-up study groups formed.
Requests for future agenda items:
Dave Dennis outlined what he believes should be addressed in the Board work sessions. The following are the suggestions he outlined:
· Role of Board in the month-to-month administration of the KSSB & KSSD,
· Discussions of national issues,
· Legislative issues in which the Board is or should be involved,
· Discussion of how schools/districts not making AYP are supported,
· Discussions on the integration of career and technical education into the core curriculum.
Walt Chappell requested that the Board look at increasing CTE for students so that they are prepared with workforce skills as they graduate, getting more CTE teachers in the pipeline and obtaining equipment needed for the classrooms.
Kathy Martin would like more information on the Step Up for Children Scholarships.
Carolyn Wims-Campbell suggested that the Board’s work sessions run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with the lunch break from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sally Cauble asked for guidance regarding the State Board’s responsibility as the local board for the Kansas State School for the Deaf (KSSD) and Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB). Cauble also asked for more information on the Kansas workforce certificates.
Jana Shaver asked for an agenda item regarding the accreditation of schools in Kansas.
John Bacon requested a work session on the graduation rate (national vs. Kansas) and the reconciliation of that as well as what is required reporting for Kansas.
Ken Willard requested an agenda item regarding the Board’s self-executing powers in regard to charter schools.
Discussion of items e and f from the consent agenda (the FY 2011 legislative budget requests for KSSB & KSSD): After discussion, these items were approved by a vote of 9-0-1 with Chappell abstaining.
Fiscal and Administrative Services Report: Dale M. Dennis, deputy commissioner of fiscal and administrative services, distributed a list of the 2009 legislative interim committees, their memberships, and study topics. A legislative proposal regarding campaign finance was shared with the Board. At a later date, the State Board will need to decide if it wishes to request a campaign finance bill be introduced. He also shared a draft copy of a brochure concerning the Board’s legislative recommendations to be presented to the 2010 Kansas Legislature. Discussion followed regarding the brochure and other possible educational legislation to be recommended to the Legislature.
Executive Session: It was moved that the Kansas State Board of Education recess into Executive Session for a period of 30 minutes for the purpose of consultation with the Board attorney so that attorney-client privilege can be preserved and discussion of personnel issues and that the open meeting of the Board resume at 12:25 p.m. Kevin Ireland and Alexa Posny were asked to stay for a portion of the Executive Session. The Board returned to open session and again recessed into Executive Session for a period of an additional 30 minutes. No action was taken following the return to open session.
The Board approved travel requests and adjourned. The next regularly scheduled State Board of Education meeting will be September 8-9, 2009, in Topeka.
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