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Standards and Instruction

State Board of Education members discuss next steps toward reaching Kansans Can vision

State Board of Education members discuss next steps toward reaching Kansans Can vision

The Kansas State Board of Education in 2015 announced a new vision for education – Kansas leads the world in the success of each student. 

Eight years later, the state is entering the next step to meet that vision. 

On Wednesday, June 14, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Ben Proctor and other Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) staff members updated the State Board of Education on the progress of the School Improvement Work Group (SIWG). 

This 35-member team is comprised of KSDE staff members, as well as staff members from the Kansas Technical Assistance Systems Network (TASN) and Kansas Learning Network (KLN). The group meets every two weeks, Proctor said.  

SIWG has been charged with building capacity across Kansas to elevate student opportunities and reduce limitations, which will help the state achieve the Kansans Can vision established by the State Board in 2015, Proctor said.  

Building capacity to elevate student opportunities and reduce limitations can be accomplished through four fundamentals at the school building and classroom levels in each school system in Kansas. Those four fundamentals are: 

Structured literacy

  • Provide each child with literacy instruction aligned to the science of reading. 
  • Every school system is committed to teaching each child to read.
  • Intentional support is provided to make sure teachers are well-trained and knowledgeable in the elements of structured literacy. Increased literacy achievement will unlock opportunities for all students to reach their potential. 

Balanced assessments - Student learning is assessed in a variety of ways and data is used to adjust instruction, interventions and practice. 

  • Each system has a deep understanding of the purpose of unique assessments and how to best utilize the data.
  • A single data point isn’t the only thing used to determine student and system success. 
  • Use of data to adjust instruction unlocks opportunities for students. 

Standards alignment - Lesson planning, instruction and learning materials are aligned to Kansas academic and nonacademic standards. 

  • Effective standards alignment is essential to determine what students need to know and be able to do. 
  • The process for aligning to academic and nonacademic standards must be well understood and executed effectively. 
  • Equitable access is provided for all students to unlock opportunities to reach their full potential. 

Quality instruction - High-quality instruction is provided each day to each student, and instruction and support are adjusted when students don’t meet academic and nonacademic standards.

  • Quality instruction allows students to read, write, speak, listen and think across disciplines. 
  • The art and science of teaching incorporates the use of interpersonal, intrapersonal and cognitive skill development. 
  • There is a culture of high expectations and responsiveness when expectations aren’t met. 
  • High-quality instruction will unlock opportunities for all students to reach their potential. 

KSDE will elevate the four fundamentals by engaging all partners that support student success. Initial collaborative partners include KSDE, the State Board, school systems across the state, service centers, teacher and leadership organizations and associations, and higher education institutions.  

KSDE will measure its actions as an agency to determine if they are aligned and provide a focused direction and targeted support, Proctor told State Board members. 

During the summer months and early fall 2023, KSDE staff members will create a clear and consistent message around the work; identify internal lead measures; assess and build capacity to support the work; and audit KSDE information sharing, initiatives, stakeholder groups and guidance. 

Also, during the June meeting, the State Board of Education approved updated English language arts (ELA) standards. KSDE’s Dr. David Fernkopf, assistant director of the Career, Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS) team, and Dr. Laurie Curtis led the discussion on the ELA standards. 

During a review of ELA standards in November 2022,  there were some identified areas for improvement, including structured literacy - semantics, syntax and morphology.  

Revisions to the ELA standards:  

  • Reflect the Kansas dyslexia initiative by incorporating the Science of Reading and adopting structured literacy as the explicit, evidence-based model for reading instruction.  
  • Provide clarity, common language and alignment across grade levels.  

KSDE had two public hearings via Zoom on the updated ELA standards, one on May 25 and one on June 1. There was a small turnout for each hearing, Fernkopf said. Attendees included teachers, building leaders, district leaders and one State Board of Education member. Feedback included the request for a crosswalk of changes made to the standards. 

The ELA standards also were published on the KSDE website for review and comment. KSDE received 42 written comments submitted by 29 people, Fernkopf told the State Board. Those people included principals, a reading specialist, at-risk interventionist, teachers and TASN coordinators. 

Written comments were reviewed by KSDE staff members and appropriate edits were made.  

A clarification document will be posted on the KSDE website before the start of the 2023-2024 school year, and the KSDE ELA Standards Team will develop professional development that will be offered in person and virtually to help educators become familiar with changes. 

State Board of Education members accepted recommendations from the Commissioner’s Task Force on Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Emergency Assistance Nonpublic Schools (EANS) Distribution of Money to approve ESSER II change requests, ESSER III expenditure plans and ESSER III change requests for use of federal COVID-19 relief funds.      

Doug Boline, assistant director of KSDE’s Special Education and Title Services (SETS) team, said there were eight ESSER II change applications from districts, representing 52,838 students. The plan includes 267 individual budgeted expenditure items totaling $32.5 million. Out of $343.5 million allocated for ESSER II, $341.1 million (99%) has been approved by the State Board with $.4 million (less than 1%) remaining.    

Nine districts submitted ESSER III plans, representing 9,432 students. The plans included 193 individual budgeted expenditures totaling $9.5 million being considered eligible expenditures. Sixteen districts submitted ESSER III change plans, representing 25,790 students. The change plans included 493 individual budgeted expenditures totaling $33.6 million being considered eligible expenditures.     

Out of $768.1 million allocated for ESSER III, $721.4 million (92%) has been approved for allocation, with $37.2 million (7%) remaining. 

Deputy Commissioner Dr. Craig Neuenswander discussed the fiscal year 2025 budget options with State Board of Education members. 

The Base Aid for Student Excellence (BASE) is projected to be $5,388 per student, which is an increase of 5.9%. It was $5,088 for FY 2023-2024. 

The approved State Foundation Aid for FY 2024 was $3.4 million. For 2025, it is $3.7 million. 

The estimated supplemental state aid (Local Option Budget State Aid) for FY 2024-2025 is $590,000,000. The approved amount for FY 2023-2024 was $568,727,309. 

The estimated capital improvement state aid (bond and interest state aid) for FY 2024-2025 is $205,000,000. The approved amount for FY 2023-2024 was $203,000,000. 

The approved capital outlay state aid for FY 2023-2024 was $94,000,000. The estimated amount for FY 2024-2025 is $93,000,000. 

For juvenile detention facilities, the approved state aid for FY 2023-2024 was $5,060,528. The estimated amount for 2024-2025 is $5,060,528. 

For special education, the approved state aid amount for FY 2023-2024 was $528,018,516 with 69.1% in excess costs. The estimated amount for 2024-2025 is $535,518,818 with 64.7% in excess costs. Neuenswander shared three options for special education state aid with the State Board: 

  • Maintain legislative-approved funding levels at no additional cost. 
  • Increase funding in FY 2025 to target a specific percentage of excess costs.
    • $572,372,166, 69.1% excess cost, with an additional cost of $36,853,348. 
    • $621,243,306, 75% excess cost, with an additional cost of $85,724,488. 
    • $662,659,526, 80% excess cost, with an additional cost of $127,140,708. 
    • $704,075,747, 85% excess cost, with an additional cost of $168,556,929. 
    • $745,491,967, 90% extra cost, with an additional cost of $209,973,149. 
    • $762,058,455, 92% excess cost, with an additional cost of $226,539,637. 
  • Five-year phase-in to fund current law. Assumes 5% annual growth in excess costs associated with special education. 
  • 2025: $613,672,417, 74.1% excess cost, with an additional cost of $78,153,599. 
  • 2026: $691,826,017, 79.5% excess cost, with an additional cost of $78,153,600. 
  • 2027: $769,979,616, 84.3% excess cost, with an additional cost of $78,153,599. 
  • 2028: $848,133,216, 88.4% excess cost, with an additional cost of $78,153,600. 
  • 2029: $926,286,815, 92% excess cost, with an additional cost of $78,153,599. 

Other budget options discussed included transportation, Career and Technical Education (CTE) transportation, Mentor Teacher Program, professional development, National Board Certification, school lunch, Parents As Teachers (PAT), Pre-K Pilot, Kansas Safe and Secure Schools, Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) Pilot Program, and the KSDE agency operating budget (school safety auditor and virtual assessments for virtual students). 

The State Board is slated to act on the budget options at its July meeting. The budget recommendations will then be submitted to the Division of the Budget and then forwarded to Gov. Laura Kelly’s office. 

Neuenswander and Tate Toedman, assistant director of the SETS team, highlighted the Kansas At-Risk Pupil Assistance Program. 

Neuenswander discussed funding for at-risk students, and Toedman shared information about the criteria for students to be identified as at-risk. 

State Board of Education members approved the Accreditation Review Council’s (ARC’s) recommendations to accredit 39 public systems, one special purpose system and one private system, and conditionally accredit one public system through Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA). 

The ARC can make a recommendation of:  

  • Accredited – Evidence of student success, a quality of process and in compliance.  
  • Conditionally accredited – Insufficient evidence of either student success or a quality process and in compliance.  
  • Not accredited – Insufficient evidence of student success and a quality process or not in compliance.  

Accreditation of systems began in the 2017-2018 school year and accredits systems as opposed to buildings. It is a five-year cycle, and systems were able to select what year they would begin their cycle.  

The ARC reviews a system’s accountability and narrative report, as well as the Outside Visitation Team’s (OVT) report, and makes an accreditation recommendation to the State Board. The OVT is an external collaborator that makes the report to ARC.  

To date, 183 systems have completed their first cycle of KESA, and 179 systems are completing their first cycle during the 2022-2023 school year. There are currently 362 public and private systems in KESA.

ARC recommended, and the State Board approved, the following systems for accredited status:  

  • Erie-Galesburg Unified School District 101  
  • Rock Hills USD 107  
  • Central Plains USD 112  
  • Greeley County USD 200  
  • Piper USD 203  
  • Moscow USD 209 (under redetermination)  
  • Minneola USD 219  
  • Ashland USD 220  
  • Meade USD 226  
  • Smith Center USD 237  
  • Wallace County USD 241  
  • Palco USD 269  
  • Chase County USD 284  
  • Quinter USD 293  
  • St. Francis Community USD 297  
  • Sylvan Grove USD 299  
  • Southeast of Saline USD 306  
  • Nickerson – South Hutchinson USD 309  
  • Haven USD 312  
  • Ellsworth USD 327  
  • Mission Valley USD 330  
  • Cunningham USD 332  
  • Wellington USD 353  
  • Altoona-Midway USD 387  
  • Russel County USD 407  
  • Moundridge USD 423  
  • Victoria USD 432  
  • Sedgwick USD 439  
  • Scott County USD 466  
  • Arkansas City USD 470  
  • Chapman USD 473  
  • Crest USD 479  
  • Dighton USD 482  
  • Kismet-Plains USD 483  
  • Flinthills USD 492  
  • Lawrence USD 497  
  • Lewis USD 502  
  • Baxter Springs USD 508  
  • Parsons State Hospital  
  • Bethany-Lutheran  

Oswego USD 504 was conditionally accredited, and Wellington Christian Academy withdrew from the KESA process. 

State Board members also received 36 ARC recommendations (32 public systems and four private systems) to consider for their July meeting.  

ARC recommends that the following systems be accredited:  

  • Republic County USD 109 
  • Riverside USD 114 
  • Hugoton USD 210 
  • Gardner-Edgerton USD 231 
  • Fort Scott USD 234 
  • Twin Valley USD 240 
  • Weskan USD 242 
  • Marmaton Valley USD 256 
  • Mulvane USD 263 
  • Beloit USD 273 
  • Oakley USD 274 
  • Triplains USD 275 
  • West Franklin USD 287 
  • Pretty Prairie USD 311 
  • Onaga-Havensville-Wheaton USD 322 
  • Kingman-Norwich USD 331 
  • Holton USD 336 
  • Oskaloosa USD 341 
  • McLouth USD 342 
  • Macksville USD 351 
  • Pratt USD 382 
  • Ellinwood USD 355 
  • Pratt USD 382 
  • Madison-Virgil USD 386 
  • Ellis USD 388 
  • Hamilton USD 390 
  • Augusta USD 402 
  • McPherson USD 418 
  • Leavenworth USD 453 
  • Burlingame USD 454 
  • Syracuse USD 494 
  • Pawnee Heights USD 496 
  • Independence Bible Elementary 
  • Trinity Lutheran Elementary – Atchison 
  • St. Paul Lutheran 
  • Branches Academy 

The ARC recommended that Chase-Raymond USD 401 be conditionally accredited. 

Dane Baxa, director of community relations for Goddard USD 265 and executive director of the Goddard Education Foundation, introduced Jacob McCarty, a recent graduate of Eisenhower High School, Goddard USD 265. 

During the spring semester, McCarty completed an internship with Goddard USD 265’s Community Relations Department and the Goddard Education Foundation. 

“Jacob is a passionate advocate for his fellow students,” Baxa told the State Board. “His persistence, leadership and a little nudge from our good friend earned him the very first internship in the Community Relations team for Goddard Public Schools. Jacob is truly a humble guy.” 

McCarty graduated from Eisenhower High School with 42 hours of college credit while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, Baxa said. He also received the Dale M. Dennis Excellence in Education Award. 

“To sum it up, Jacob is one of those students who gives us in education what we pursue to achieve, which is hope for a brighter future,” Baxa said. 

McCarty presented about his work during the internship, including taking photographs and producing videos and a magazine. 

McCarty plans to attend The University of Kansas in the fall and major in political science. He also plans to attend law school and hopes to someday run for public office. 

“I was still a student at the district, but I wasn’t treated like a student, I was treated like a coworker,” he told the State Board. “This has been another one of those moments in my life when I was heard and could see my potential. Every single person I talked to is doing this for the students … Education is so important and powerful. All of the work you are doing is worth it. Thank you, guys, so much.” 

The State Board approved the appointment of State Board Chair Melanie Haas to the Special Education and Related Funding Task Force, which was established by Senate Bill 113. 

Doug Boline, KSDE’s assistant director of SETS, introduced Bev Mortimer with Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-Kansas); Diana Kohls and Sarah Finan, both with Orion Education and Training; and Lori Ray, superintendent of Parsons USD 503. They shared information on the obstacles youth in the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) and state custody face on the path to graduation. 

One of the major challenges is the high rate of school mobility for youth in care, both when they are initially removed from a home and when they change living placements while in care. 

About 25% of Kansas children who entered foster care experience eight or more placements in a 12-month period, according to the DCF Placement Stability Rate Report for FY-21. About 39% of foster care students don’t graduate with their four-year cohort, according to the Kansas Department of Children and Families Kansas Foster Care Report Card

When foster children move schools, they often experience delays in enrollment, inappropriate school placements, a lack of educational support services and difficulties in transferring course credits, presenters said. Foster children often lack a strong advocate to help navigate the obstacles associated with changing schools. Those same students find themselves with limited or no opportunities for education because of a lack of a permanent placement or expulsion/long-term suspension. 

Kansas data shows that during the 2020-2021 school year, more than 6,000 children were in the custody of the state foster care system, and 32.1% of them missed 10% or more school days. On average, only 20% of those students scored at levels three and four on the state assessments. 

Solutions proposed during the presentation included: 

  • Establish a systematic approach to identifying students who are in DCF or state custody, who are 14 years of age or older, and are at risk of not graduating with their cohort class. 
  • Once identified, the students would be placed in an Orion Education and Training program and staff members would become those students’ advocates by developing a comprehensive educational plan (CEP) that follows them to graduation. 
  • Each student placed in the program would be provided with a graduation plan that follows guidelines in Kansas statutes. Students also would be enrolled in core subjects through a state-aligned online course management system with Kansas-licensed teacher support and would receive a Google Chromebook to complete online courses. 
  • A program liaison would coordinate with each student’s placement district to ensure all necessary services are being provided and are being fully integrated into their new school setting. 
  • Placement districts would be required to provide a daily class schedule within the school building that includes elective courses; special education and ESOL services; access to extracurricular activities and academic/social-emotional counseling support; and notification of a student not attending school. 

Deputy Commissioner Proctor and KSDE’s Laurie Curtis updated the State Board on the Every Child Can Read Act, which goes into effect on July 1 to address third-grade literacy initiatives. 

Each school district/system must provide targeted literacy interventions, Proctor said. The act requires literacy to be attained through the science of reading; evidence-based instruction; and the necessary competencies to gain literacy proficiency. 

Schools must follow and use the KSDE Dyslexia Handbook and competencies must be met through literacy instruction, including phonics, phonological and phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, silent and oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. 

Shane Carter, KSDE’s director of Teacher Licensure, provided an informational presentation on licensure for State Board members. 

The Teacher Licensure team is responsible for application processing, fingerprint background check processing, DCF records check, customer service, systems management, apprenticeship program, professional development plans, mentoring plans, program reviews, external training, management of the Professional Standards Board and subcommittees, National Board Certification, mentor stipends and more, Carter said. 

Each year, the team issues about 25,000 licenses; completes about 8,000 fingerprint background checks; and receives about 44,000 phone calls. 

There are several license options, including:

Standard licenses (unencumbered)

Initial (two-year license)

  • ​Initial teaching.
  • Initial school specialist.
  • ​Initial leadership.

Professional (five-year license)

  • Completed performance assessment during term of the initial license. 

Accomplished (10-year license)

  • Received National Board Certification. 

Pre-standard License (encumbered)

  • Temporary Nonrenewable License (TN) 
    • Deficient testing. 

Transitional License (TRANS)

  • Deficient recency if an out-of-state application OR 
  • Held a Kansas license that expired by more than six months. ​

Provisional License

  • Enrolled in program and meets minimum course requirements. ​

Interim Alternative

  • Out-of-state educator whose application is under review by Licensure Review Committee (LRC). 


  • Enrolled in a preparation program and doesn’t meet requirements for a provisional license. 
  • Also available to extend number of days an individual serves on a substitute license. 

Nontraditional (Encumbered)

  • Restricted Teaching License. 
    • Secondary content areas only. 
    • Requires a degree or equivalent coursework in content area. 

Innovative Program Licenses

  • Limited Apprentice License (LAL)
    • High-incidence special education program. 
    • Requires a bachelor’s degree and year of special education paraprofessional experience or equivalent. 
  • Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP)
    • Wichita State University only. 
    • Elementary education and early childhood unified endorsement.
  • Limited Elementary Apprentice Program

    • Elementary education program.
    • Must have a bachelor’s degree. 
    • Visiting Scholar
      • Must meet two of three required criteria: 
        • Advanced degree. 
        • Experience in the field. 
        • Distinguished recognition in the field. 
  • STEM License
    • Statutory requirement. 
    • Bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) and five years of experience in degree content. 

CTE Certificates

  • Standard Technical (Unencumbered)
    • Completed education preparation program in technical education field. 
  • Restricted Technical (Encumbered)
    • ​Enrolled in technical education preparation program. 
  • CTE Specialized (Encumbered)
    • Half-time.
    • ​Full-time. 

Substitute Licenses

  • Standard Substitute. 
  • Emergency. 

Any time that a change is required to a current teaching license, an application and fee are required, Carter said. The standard total processing time for a license is about 10 working days, and applications are worked in the order they are received. 

About 8,000 background checks are completed each year, and about 1,000 educators require legal review each year. About 30 receive disciplinary action each year. 

Carter also shared an update on the Teaching Registered Apprenticeship Program. KSDE’s Teacher Licensure team has been working on finding funding streams to sustain the program, which was approved during the State Board of Education’s May meeting. 

Funding opportunities include $500,000 in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) monies to fund the pilot for the first year; the Kansas Apprenticeship Act (House Bill 2292), which is up to $3 million per year; a competitive grant through the United States Department of Labor that could be worth up to $3 million; Promise Act Scholarship; Teacher Service Scholarship; and Ethnic Minority Scholarship. 

There also is a National Education Agency Great Public Schools Grant, which includes a $10,000 planning grant. It can provide up to a maximum of $250,000 annually. 

Sustainability is the number one priority for the Registered Apprenticeship Program, Carter said. 

The State Board of Education will meet again on July 11-12 at the Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W. Jackson, Suite 102, in Topeka.

Posted: Jun 15, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush
Tags: KSBE

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