Notice of Time and Place of Special Meeting - June 30, 2016

June 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: David A. Smith, Chief of COmmunications and Governmental Regualtions (913) 279-2242

A special meeting of the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education is hereby called for Thursday, June 30, 2016, at 4:00 p.m., in the Superintendent’s conference room on the third floor of the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th Street, Kansas City, Kansas.  Board members may attend by telephone.

In addition to regular business itemized in the published agenda, the purpose of such special meeting shall be to take action on the Payment of Bills.

Dated this 28th day of June 2016.

Susan E. Westfahl
Clerk of the Board

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

Students Have an Opportunity to Earn a Degree in 3 Years at the KU Edwards Campus

Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools is among 10 education institutions in the Kansas City metropolitan area joining forces across the state line, enabling students to earn a bachelor’s degree in only three years at the KU Edwards Campus through a new program called “Degree in 3.”  Through this accelerated undergraduate program for high school students, participants can earn college credits while in high school, complete an associate’s degree one year after graduating and complete an Edwards Campus bachelor’s degree two years later.

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Dr. Cynthia Lane was among the individuals who signed a proclamation on Tuesday, June 12, at the KU Edwards Campus symbolizing entrance into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement to better serve students and provide a continuous transfer program between the education institutions. The entities that are part of this program are Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Blue Valley School District, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Olathe Public Schools, Raytown Quality Schools, Shawnee Mission School District, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Metropolitan Community College, and the University of Kansas Edwards Campus. 

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“This is another outstanding educational partnership that will allow our students to graduate Diploma+, which will put them on a pathway to realize their academic goals and career dreams in a much shorter span of time,” said Dr. Cynthia Lane, superintendent of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. “The impact of this program is tremendous in terms of exposing our students to college, reducing higher education costs for families and increasing the number of qualified, workforce-ready individuals in a shorter span of time,” said Dr. Lane. “I want to thank everyone responsible for getting us to this momentous day,” she said.

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Click Degree in 3 to learn more about the exciting opportunities for KCKPS students.

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Click DegreeIn3 for more details.

Notice - Time and Place of Special Meeting - June 12, 2018

June 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Susan E. Westfahl, Clerk of the Board (913) 279-2235

A special meeting of the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education is hereby called for Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Central Office, Room 134, 2010 N. 59th Street, Kansas City, Kansas.

In addition to regular business itemized in the published agenda, the Board shall recess to executive session to protect the privacy of interim Superintendent candidate(s) to be interviewed pursuant to the exception for Non-elected Personnel under the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

Dated this 11th day of June 2018.

Susan E. Westfahl
Clerk of the Board

Ribbon Cutting Set for Mark Twain Elementary School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Tammy Dodderidge, Communications Manager, (913) 279-2225

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly rebuilt Mark Twain Elementary School will take place Tuesday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m. The school is located at 2300 Minnesota Avenue.

Board of Education members and administrators from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools will be on hand to address staff, students and the community at the event. Tours of the building will be available and refreshments will be served. The regular Board of Education meeting will follow the ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

The new Mark Twain opened this school year. The building has a total of 45,920 square feet, and can accommodate up to 322 students. There are two classrooms at each grade level large enough to house 23 to 28 students. Each classroom has its own sink and ample storage. Each has wireless access points, Apple TV and a classroom iPad for teachers and students for instructional use.

Capital outlay funds were used for the construction of the building. (These are funds which are designated to be used for existing facilities, improvement of grounds, construction of facilities, additions to facilities, remodeling of facilities, or for the purchase or lease of equipment.)

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

KCKPS Responds to Release from Governor’s Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2015

Contact: David Smith, Chief of Staff, (913) 279-2242

On Sunday, the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools issued the following statement, in response to a press release issued by Governor Sam Brownback’s office on May 30, 2015:

It is disappointing that a spokesperson for Governor Sam Brownback, Deputy Communications Director Melika Willoughby, would issue a press release that contains erroneous and irrelevant information, in an attempt to mislead the public concerning the reality of public school funding in Kansas City, Kansas. While the release talks about “…how money gets to our schools…” it presents funding amounts that are completely unrelated to money that could actually be used to fund activities in schools in Kansas City. The obvious implication is that the two are connected, and they are not.

First, the release makes an error in logic, in describing the 2014/15 school year as “the first year of the block grant.” Funding for the 2014/15 school year was finalized in May, 2014. The Block Grant legislation was signed by Governor Brownback in March, 2015, a full 10 months after funding decisions for 2014/15 were made. By describing 2014/15 as the first year of the Block Grants, Ms. Willoughby is attempting to give the Block Grants credit for decisions that were made 10 months before the Block Grants became law. This amounts to $12.9 million that Ms. Willoughby is erroneously giving the block grants credit for.

Next, the release conflates state funding to districts with money available to the district to educate children, as if those two are the same thing. They are not. In May, 2014, the Kansas legislature put additional money (see the paragraph above) into the school finance formula, in response to the Gannon v. State of Kansas school funding lawsuit, in which the court found that the state was not providing equitable funding for public schools in Kansas. The state was required to reinstate funding to poor school districts that it was legally obligated to provide, but had not been providing for several years. (To make up for the state’s lack of funding, local districts were forced to levy additional taxes on their taxpayers. All of the additional funding from the state that came to KCK was returned to the taxpayers, as was required by state law. Thus, there was no additional money available for schools because of those increases.)

Next, the release implies that an additional $3.75 million per year (or $7.5 million over the life of the Block Grants) that the state is spending on the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) is money that the district can spend on schools. In fact, this is not money that is available to the district to spend. It is temporarily (a matter of minutes) routed through district accounts, so that the state can claim that it is state funding to the district, but it is not available for the district to spend, so it can hardly be considered an increase. (It is also important to understand that the money is being added now because the state had not been meeting its obligation to fund the pension system for public employees in previous years. Ms. Willoughby is attempting to give the state credit for meeting an obligation it has had on the books for years, and which it has unfairly forced local taxpayers to carry.)

Those two errors in the release from the Governor’s office add up to $20.4 million, and when you add to this the .4% reduction to current funding that the Blocks grants take from districts to fund an “Extraordinary Needs” fund, the $2 million loss that is referred to in the release is accurate and correct.

What is not mentioned in the release is that the Block Grants do not provide any additional funding for increases in costs, such as insurance, utilities, etc., or even more significantly, for increases in student population. KCKPS has average an increase of 500 students each year for the past five years. KCKPS will not receive any additional funds to serve those students, which would be an additional loss of over $4 million over the life of the Block Grants.

Dale Dennis, Deputy Superintendent of the Kansas Department of Education, told the three-judge panel in the Shawnee District Court on May 8, 2015, under oath, that “…no district in Kansas is receiving an increase in funding because of the block grants.” That is the truth about education funding in Kansas.

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242