Kansas Educators Expect to Talk of Budget cuts Wedneaday
November 11, 2014

(AP) – Kansas education leaders fear a new revenue forecast requiring the state to make $278 million in cuts for the current fiscal year will result in a school funding reduction.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the state’s fiscal situation is expected to be discussed at a Kansas Board of Education meeting on Wednesday. Board member Janet Waugh says education spending in the state already is down to the bare bones.

State Department of Education officials say they don’t think Brownback or the Legislature plans to cut K-12 spending because of statements they have made that indicated education would not be targeted.

Brownback’s budget director announced more than $100 million in proposed savings during the fall gubernatorial campaign, and said an additional list of $50 million in cuts would be revealed soon.

Kansas Education Dept. Starts Search for New Chief
May 19, 2014

(AP) – Kansas State Board of Education members plan to have meetings across the state to ask their constituents what experience and skills they see as essential for a new education commissioner.
The board is describing the meetings as focus groups. One is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bonner Springs High School in Bonner Springs. It will be hosted by the local state board member, Democrat Janet Waugh.
The board says several more focus groups are planned.
The board is searching for a new commissioner because Diane DeBacker stepped down from the job last week to become an adviser to the director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates.
During the search, Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander will serve as acting commissioner

Kansas Educators May Consider New Statewide Tests
November 13, 2013

(AP) – Kansas State Board of Education members are preparing to consider a proposal for a multistate group to develop new, standardized tests for public schools.

The proposal on Wednesday’s agenda comes from the state Department of Education.

Commissioner Diane DeBacker said the department wants the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop math, reading and language arts tests to be given first in spring 2015.

Kansas is among 21 states involved in running the consortium, which is based in Washington state. Under the department’s plan, the University of Kansas would still administer the tests developed by the multistate group.

The university has developed tests in the past.

The new tests would be based on multistate, common core standards. The standards have been attacked by conservatives as endangering local and state control of education.

Kansas Students Slipping in Some Subjects
November 13, 2013

(AP) – The Kansas Department of Education says overall scores by K-12 students on standardized math and reading tests have slipped this year.

The department also reported Tuesday that 59 percent of the state’s public and accredited private elementary and secondary schools failed to show progress this year in improving students’ overall scores. Students took the tests in the spring.

But Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander said some of the declines can be attributed to changes in academic standards since 2010. He said the tests are not fully aligned to what’s being taught.

The department reported that 84.7 percent of Kansas students were proficient in reading, compared with 87 percent in 2012. It said 78.3 percent were proficient in math, compared to 85 percent in 2012