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Kansas State Board of Education supports Kansas joining Interstate Teaching Mobility Compact

Kansas State Board of Education members at their March meeting voted to support a bill that would allow Kansas to join the Interstate Teaching Mobility Compact. 

The Board also voted to have the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) propose some amendments to licensing regulations to make them consistent with the compact. 

Shane Carter, KSDE’s director of Teacher Licensure (TL), and Scott Gordon, general counsel for KSDE, introduced the Interstate Teaching Mobility Compact at the State Board of Education meeting in December 2022 to reduce barriers of getting qualified teachers into the classroom. The compact pertains to teachers who move to Kansas from other states that are also members of the compact in which they were already licensed. 

The compact has been introduced by the Kansas Legislature as Senate Bill 66. With their vote, the State Board asked that SB 66 be signed into law. 

Current out-of-state license requirements include a bachelor's degree; valid or out-of-state license; verification of a state-approved educator preparation program; a pedagogical assessment; content assessment; and either one year of accredited experience within the last six years or eight college credit hours completed in the past six years. 

The Interstate Teaching Mobility Compact will enable the KSDE licensure team to process applications faster and reduce the number of applications that require requests for additional information, Carter told the State Board. The compact also would establish easily understood reciprocity rules. 

The compact is a legally binding agreement enacted by state legislation, Gordon told the State Board. Other occupational compacts include nursing, emergency medical services officials, physical therapists, occupational therapists and counseling. 

Under the compact, a qualified licensee will request a Kansas license based on a license currently held from another state. The licensee will undergo a KSDE background check, and the agency will determine the most appropriate, equivalent license to issue. All member states designate their own eligible-to-receive licenses (unencumbered). The licensee isn’t required to complete state-specific requirements until renewal – and renewal requirements are always set by each state. 

States that join the compact gain authority to send and receive investigation files with other member states, and states are required to communicate regarding use of other state’s files. The compact creates a means to enforce communication and cooperation. 

There is a Compact Commission that creates a code of ethics, a budget and rules/regulations for itself, Gordon said. It is a separate legal entity, and each member state designates one employee as its voting commissioner. The Compact Commission sets internal rules, not licensing rules. 

All members of the compact have an equal vote. If Kansas doesn’t like being a part of the compact, there is a process to leave. 

Gordon presented the pros and cons of joining the Interstate Teaching Mobility Contract. 

Pros include: 

  • Rules of reciprocity would be decided. 
  • Membership equals a seat at the table. 
  • Enforcement mechanism to get interstate cooperation. 
  • Speeds up the application and approval process. 
  • Keeps Kansas competitive with neighboring states. 

Cons include:  

  • It requires legislative involvement in licensure - at least to join the compact. 
  • Reciprocity rules can't be changed on our own.  
  • The actual cost of joining the compact isn't known. 

Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson gave his Commissioner’s Report. 

Deputy Commissioner Dr. Ben Proctor shared a presentation on IXL Math with State Board of Education members. 

A bill passed by the Kansas Legislature in 2022 appropriated $4 million for a virtual math program. The Kansas State Department of Education put out a request for proposal (RFP), and IXL Learning was awarded the two-year contract. KSDE received seven RFPs, said Dr. David Fernkopf, assistant director of the Career, Standards and Assessments Services (CSAS) team. 

This free supplemental instructional program can help Kansas students improve their math skills. IXL’s math curriculum, along with professional development for educators, will be available at no charge to all Kansas accredited public and private schools, K-12, through June 30, 2024. 

IXL Math is aligned to Kansas standards and is evidence-based. It offers personalized learning with a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, individualized guidance and real-time analytics.  

Schools will track and report on use of the program twice per year, including: 

  • Number of attendance centers using a virtual math program. 
  • Number of students using a virtual math program. 
  • Number of attendance centers not using a virtual math program. 
  • Number of students not using a virtual math program. 
  • Number of teachers participating in professional development. 
  • Effect of virtual math program(s) on student academic proficiency. 

This information will be gathered by KSDE and presented to the Kansas Legislature, according to Proctor. 

About 150 systems were using IXL prior to the contract. 

Board 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 and ESSER III expenditure plans 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 six ESSER II change applications from districts, representing 4,661 students. The plan includes 147 individual budgeted expenditure items with a total value of $2.9 million. Out of $343.5 million allocated for ESSER II, $341.1 million (99%) has been approved by the State Board with $1.7 million remaining. 

Thirty-four districts submitted ESSER III plans, representing 32,690 students. The plans included 698 individual budgeted expenditures totaling $31.4 million being considered eligible expenditures. Fifteen districts submitted ESSER III change plans, representing 52,091 students. The change plans included 569 individual budgeted expenditures totaling $66.7 million.   

Out of $768.1 million allocated for ESSER III, $642.5 million (84%) has been approved for allocation, with $94.2 million (12%) remaining, $31.4 million (4%) being reviewed and $14.6 million (2%) in change requests.  

Deputy Commissioner Dr. Craig Neuenswander updated the State Board on the current Kansas legislative session. March 29 is the last day for committees to consider nonexempt bills, and the first adjournment for legislators is April 6, he said. 

Senate Bill 155, the full appropriations bill, was passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Education funding is included in this bill, Neuenswander said. 

He also discussed: 

  • House Substitute for Senate Bill 113: A new education bill in K-12 Education Budget. 
  • House Substitute for Senate Bill 83: The original bill dealing with an increase to the Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship program was stripped and several amendments were made. 
  • House Bill 2048: This is a Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship expansion. 
  • House Bill 2060: Establishes the Special Education Funding Task Force. 
  • House Bill 2080: Allows virtual students to take state assessments online. 
  • House Bill 2138: Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential incentive for students earning industry-sought credential. 
  • House Bill 2236: Fairness in Women’s Sport Act. 
  • Senate Bill 66: Interstate Mobility Licensure Compact. 
  • Senate Bill 304: If school district patrons vote to disorganize the district, the State Board can create a new unified school district containing all or a portion of the disorganized territory. Currently, statute has no mechanism to create a new unified school district. The bill would also allow dissatisfied patrons to request an administrative review by the State Board of any local school board resolution to close a school building. The State Board would issue an advisory determination. Regardless of the State Board’s determination, the resolution would be returned to the local school board for reconsideration. If a patron is dissatisfied with the local board’s decision, action may be brought in district court. 

Board members also received an updated draft of proposed regulation changes that will need to be made to reflect the newly established graduation requirements. During the State Board’s February meeting, Gordon provided State Board members with amendments to two of the accreditation regulations. Additional changes were made and provided during the March meeting. 

Changes made since February include: 

  • The minimum one-half unit of communications was put back under English language arts. The regulation would require four units of English language arts, which will include reading, writing, literature, grammar and at least one-half unit of communication. 
  • Safety, first aid and physiology are now potential subjects under the one-half unit of health rather than under physical education. 
  • Clarification that one unit may only satisfy one graduation requirement at a time. 

Proposed changes introduced at the February meeting included removing outdated terms, updating others, and updating credit requirements for the following units: English language arts, history and government, science, mathematics, fine arts, electives and physical education, as well as adding one-half unit of financial literacy. 

Other changes include the addition of:  

  • Achieve two or more accomplishments approved by the Kansas State Board of Education that demonstrate the pupil will be a successful Kansas high school graduate.  
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion: One of the following, unless exempted by the chief administrative officer:  
  • File FAFSA with the United States Department of Education or;  
  • On a form created by the State Board, file a waiver with the governing body indicating that a parent or guardian or, if the pupil is at least 18 years of age or legally emancipated, the pupil understands what the FAFSA is and has chosen not to apply. 

Action on these proposed regulatory changes is scheduled to take place in April, Gordon reminded the State Board. 

Students from the Innovation Academy at Basehor-Linwood High School, Basehor-Linwood Unified School District 458, gave a presentation on their time display project that will be interactive and inspire people to take an interest in CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) modeling and engineering design. 

The students' time machine project will be displayed at the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) AirVenture 2023 event, which will be July 24-30 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is the largest air show of its kind in the world. It was founded in 1953. At AirVenture, the team will share CAD modeling, 3D printing and the history of aircraft. The display will be in the Siemens booth, which has a futuristic design. Visitors will enter the time machine in the Siemens booth and exit in the Restore Aircraft booth, modeled after the 1940s. 

The students’ project is able to take place because of a partnership with Restored Aircraft and Siemens. Through the Innovation Academy, students are learning real-world skills from industry mentors at Restored Aircraft and Siemens, including industry-recognized training in mechanical design, electronics, industrial technology, construction and documentation. The students can earn both English and Industrial Robotics or business economics credits through Innovation Academy programs. 

State Board of Education members accepted the recommendations of the Accreditation Review Council and awarded the status of accredited through the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) to: 

  • Trego USD 208. 
  • Burlington USD 244. 
  • Frontenac USD 249. 
  • Wellsville USD 289. 
  • Circle USD 375. 
  • Riley County USD 378. 
  • Manhattan-Ogden USD 383. 
  • Inman USD 448. 
  • Ingalls USD 477. 
  • Chetopa-St. Paul USD 506. 
  • Labette County USD 506. 
  • Annoor Islamic School. 

The State Board also voted to accept the ARC recommendation to conditionally accredit Stafford USD 349. 

Jay Scott, director of KSDE’s Accreditation and Design (AD) team, led the discussion about the accreditation process. He said accreditation through KESA began in the 2017-2018 school year. To this point, 183 systems have completed their first cycle of KESA. KESA is a five-year cycle, Scott said. There are 179 systems completing their first cycle during the 2022-2023 school year. 

There are 361 systems in KESA – 286 public systems and 75 private systems.  

The ARC met in February and acted on the accreditation recommendation for 20 systems – 18 public and two private. ARC recommended the following systems be accredited:  

  • Bonner Springs USD 204. 
  • Spring Hill USD 230. 
  • North Ottawa County USD 239. 
  • Southern Lyon County USD 252. 
  • Oberlin USD 294. 
  • Commanche County USD 300. 
  • Jayhawk USD 346. 
  • Conway Springs USD 356. 
  • Argonia USD 359. 
  • Marysville USD 364. 
  • Garnett USD 365. 
  • Woodson County USD 366. 
  • Clay County USD 379. 
  • Tonganoxie USD 464. 
  • Haviland USD 474. 
  • Rural Vista USD 481. 
  • Hays USD 489. 
  • Fort Larned USD 495. 

ARC recommends that Accelerated Schools in Overland Park be conditionally accredited.  

Urban Preparatory Academy decided to withdraw from the KESA process, Scott said. 

The State Board will consider the recommendations at its April meeting. 

Proctor and Beth Fultz, director of CSAS, discussed academic readiness and balanced assessments with State Board of Education members. 

To improve academic outcomes, there must be a focus on strong classroom instruction, Proctor and Fultz said. There needs to be support in structured literacy, standards alignment, quality instruction and balanced assessments. 

The State Board gathered for a three-hour retreat on Wednesday, March 15, at the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA).  

Doug Moeckel, with the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB), led the retreat and worked with State Board members on their current mission statement and Kansans Can vision statement. 

A mission statement, according to Moeckel, should include: 

  • Who we are. 
  • What we value. 
  • What we do. 

The Board’s current mission statement is, “To prepare Kansas students for lifelong success through rigorous, quality academic instruction, career training and character development according to each student's gifts and talents.” 

A vision statement should include: 

  • What we want to become. 

The Board’s current vision statement is, “Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.” 

Board members worked in small groups to discuss their thoughts about the current mission and vision statements. 

Moeckel also worked with Board members on the current outcomes for measuring progress, which are: 

  • Social-emotional growth measured locally. 
  • Kindergarten readiness. 
  • Individual Plan of Study (IPS) focused on career interests. 
  • High school graduation rates. 
  • Postsecondary completion/attendance. 

Goals are “how we focus on our mission to accomplish our vision,” Moeckel said. 

Board members also talked in small groups about potential areas of focus. KSDE staff members and Dr. Watson identified the following as potential focus areas: 

  • Data literacy. 
  • Improve core academic performance and core instruction. 
  • Early childhood supports/programs. 
  • Teacher preparation and retention. 
  • Parent/family engagement. 
  • Leadership training. 

These areas were shared with State Board members at their February retreat. Then, Board members were asked to identify areas they would like to focus on. Common themes from those individual responses included: 

  • Enhance messaging about success in schools. 
  • Address the shortage and quality of educators entering the profession. 
  • Improve academic success. 

The State Board will have its next meeting April 11-12. On Tuesday, April 11, Board members will meet at 10 a.m. at the Landon State Office Building, Suite 102, 900 S.W. Jackson St., in Topeka. On Wednesday, April 12, the Board will visit the Kansas State School for the Blind and the Kansas School for the Deaf. 

Posted: Mar 16, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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