The Kansas State Board of Education will kick off its 2015 Regional Community Conversations in Arkansas City on January 27, 2015. Future Commissioner Randy Watson and State Board members will be in communities across Kansas over a three week period in January and February.

To download the complete list of scheduled meetings, click here. It is likely that additional dates and times will be added to the schedule, so watch for future announcements. Meetings are open to the public and free of charge. Please share this schedule with friends and colleagues in your community.
This morning, the Governor released his allotment plan to address the $280 million shortfall for FY 2015. While there were no proposed cuts to the K-12 education funding formula in the Governor's plan, it did include a four (4) percent reduction to the Kansas Department of Education operating budget and proposed reducing employer contributions to KPERS by nearly $41 million.
Topeka, Kansas - The State Board of Education has selected Dr. Randy Watson, superintendent, McPherson USD 418 as the next Commissioner of Education. The vote was 7-3, with Campbell, Cauble and Waugh voting no.

Watson has been superintendent in McPherson since 2005, having served as Assistant Superintendent of Instruction in the district before that. In 2011, McPherson became the first school district in the nation to receive a waiver from No Child Left Behind, allowing the district to use ACT assessment for 6th to 12th grades. The waiver allowed McPherson to fully implement their C3 – Citizenship, College and Career Readiness plan.
During the recent Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals (KAESP) and Kansas Association for Secondary School Principals (KASSP) Fall Conference, long-serving executive director Gene Haydock announced plans to retire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Surrounded by long-time friends and colleagues, Haydock announced his plans to retire, effective June 30, 2016. Haydock's retirement will come at the end of 11 years of service to the elementary principals organization and 31 years of service to secondary school principals.
Topeka - The State Board of Education will interview four candidates for the Commissioner of Education position. The announcement came earlier today. The candidates will be interviewed on November 5 and 6 in Topeka and hopes to announce the new Commissioner at the November State Board of Education meeting.
The Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals (KASSP) and the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals (KAESP) have declared the month of October as National Principals Month in coordination with the efforts of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Governor Sam Brownback has issued a proclamation recognizing the important work of school principals in Kansas.

On Friday, the Student Performance and Efficiency Commission submitted its final report to the Kansas Legislature, along with recommendations for proposed legislation. Sam Williams, Commission Chair, is scheduled to present the recommendations a joint meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees this Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.

To view the final Commission Report, click here. To view the Commission's proposed legislation, click here.

As you enroll students, welcome teachers and prepare for the first day of school, don't forget to take time to renew your USA|Kansas membership. You can renew online or download a PDF membership form.

Here are some quick administrator resources:

2015-2016 Superintendent Changes The most recent superintendent change list for 2015-2016 is now available online. Please note that this list is subject to change regularly and is based on personnel information we receive from district offices. To submit changes or updated information, please contact the USA|Kansas office at 785.232.6566.

Kansas Statutes for School Administrators. This page includes a list of frequently accessed Kansas Statutes governing public schools, especially school finance.

KPERS Members: Your Benefits Are Changing.
To help members and employers understand the benefit changes enacted this past legislative session, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) has developed a special section on their website for changes going into effect in January, 2014.
Recent reports indicate that some school district firewalls may be blocking communication from USA|Kansas and some of our member associations. Sometimes, systems will see multiple people at one USD, getting the same email at the same time, as suspicious activity. To ensure that you receive communication from USA|Kansas, please provide the following information list of IP addresses to your IT departments.

Click here to read more.

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