Let's Stand Strong!

Public Education is Worth It!


It has been several weeks since I have sent out any notes. The past couple of weeks have been full of meetings for me. I will try to touch on a few highlights from a few of those meetings.

I want to once again congratulate Kristin Wright for being selected “Counselor of The Year” and Matt Weller for being honored as a “Principal Advocate”, both from the Kansas Counselor’s Association. They are both very deserving of these bestowed accolades. We are proud of both of them, along with all of the supporting staff that helped make this happen!

Below you will find some facts, figures, predictions, commentary and other information in a random format. I apologize much of the information is negative, however I feel it is important that educators understand the current legislative culture and dynamics, which I believe most of you do. Furthermore, in the past I have not been as diligent in being in attendance at so many meetings related to state educational issues. I do feel however that it is imperative to stay abreast of current happenings associated with school law, finance, and legislative activity. You will be able to click on the link to access the rest of the information noted.

Kansas K-12 Student Success Committee

The Governor and Budget Division has appointed this group of legislators and others and challenged them with the task of recommending a new school finance formula. They have met a few times the last couple of months and are looking at historical data on a variety of school spending areas. We, like all districts, have sent a great deal of requested information to be used by this committee. If you are interested in downloading all of the different reports, they can be accessed from www.kasb.org/key/resources and clicking on “committee documents”. Here are a few highlights I pulled to compare USD 379 to the state average: (click here to read)


Flint Hills Military Superintendent Coalition

I attended a meeting this week that included the Garrison Commander-Andrew Cole, Governor’s Military Council Rep- John Armbrust, and several area legislators. Here are the highlights of that discussion: (click here to read)

Council of Superintendents Meeting

On November 10, I attended the Kansas Council of Superintendent’s Meeting in Eldorado. Here are the highlights: (click here to read)

CPSI Board of Directors Meeting

The Council of Public School Improvement is sponsored by KSU with a goal of providing quality research-based professional development opportunities for educators. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to serve on this council. Thursday, November 12, USD 379 had nine staff members attend a conference where Tim Brown was presenting on PLC’s and Collaboration. This feedback I received was very positive, as I was unable to stay and listen because of a previous commitment. Additionally, I’m excited that the CPSI Board of Directors have been able to schedule Jonathan Catherman to present on the innovative school program, “The Leader In Me”, on April 6, 2016.

Smoky Hill Legislative Luncheon

Steve Joonas and I attended this function Thursday, November 12, in Salina. The following legislators were in attendance:

State Representatives: John Barker, Sue Boldra, Diane Dierks, Steve Johnson, Tom Moxley, Susie Swanson and Richard Billinger.

Please remember many of the legislators like the ones in attendance at this meeting are supportive of education and are trying to solve the budget problems within the state. The mood was somber. However, I appreciated their attendance and willingness to listen to our concerns about education. (click here to read)

November 13, 2015 - CMAR Meeting (Construction Updates)

Below are the updates and information from today’s CMAR meeting. We now only meet every two weeks.

Things are winding down in most buildings, except for CCCHS. Progress and meeting the anticipated timelines have both gone well. We appreciate your efforts and patience during this process. Simpson Construction, our CMAR Team, has been very good to work with! (click here to read)

In Closing

Thanks for taking the time to read these notes. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for all that you do for our kids, our staff, and our district!

Contact Mike at:

P. O. Box 97

807 Dexter Street

Clay Center, KS 67432