KSDE Oversight Committee- Navigating Change 2020


Meeting #1- 6/4/2020

This was a “getting to know the committee members” meeting and an opportunity to define the basic purpose of the committee along with establishing the intended workflow process. You can view the workflow and committee list here. Essentially, the purpose of this committee is to identify and bridge gaps that appear as the other two teams (operations and implementation) develop their frameworks.

Dr. Watson used a labor/contract example to illustrate the kind of gaps the oversight team will work to address. Social distancing and health concerns while students are eating lunch in the coming school year is vital. However, Watson noted, there are contract issues that must be dealt with relating to duty-free lunch. He included other examples such as recess, extra-curricular, band, orchestra, and choir, as circumstances that require additional analysis to identify and bridge operational and implementation gaps.

KASB’s, Mark Tallman, initiated discussion relating to his concern that messaging around the upcoming school year is unclear. Tallman has given recent interviews where he has been vocal regarding his concern that budgets will be cut as a result of significant shortfalls in state revenue collections. During our discussion, several of us noted that speculation can undermine public trust and cause difficulties with all publics. KSDE Director of Comms, Denise Kahler, and I are tentatively planning to develop a unified messaging framework for districts to use as they construct their messaging going forward.

Functionally, this committee is scheduled to meet each Wednesday with a hard-deadline to deliver recommendations and revisions by noon on June 29. There will likely be additional meetings and revisions after that date to assist with the final publication of all “Navigating Change” documentation.

-Marcus Baltzell, Director of Communications, KNEA

BVNEA Update


As the school year is beginning, we know you have many priorities.  We’ve heard from many of you regarding the action taken at the end of the last school year by BVNEA leaders to disaffiliate from KNEA and NEA and to form a new organization.  Throughout the summer, our priority has been to communicate as best we can with our members, give our perspective on the action being taken, and assure you that we value your membership.  We acknowledge and respect that you have a choice regarding whom you choose to represent your interests in professional matters.

Recently, a group of KNEA leaders met with some of your colleagues to discuss concerns many have expressed relating to the disaffiliation effort.  From those discussions, we’ve learned that district administration and the newly formed organization appear to be working very closely together to facilitate the process of dropping our members as of September 1, 2018, and in some cases, members have been unaware that this unwanted action is being taken on their behalf.  

Our organization has a responsibility to ensure that the rights and property of those who choose to remain our members are protected.  What follows is an outline for how we intend to proceed in the representation of any Blue Valley educator who wishes to retain membership in our organization.  

How can we ensure your membership in BVNEA as an affiliate of KNEA and NEA continues without interruption?

  1. Let us know who you are.  We attempt to email every current member. Unfortunately, we know that emails frequently change and we know that some of our emails have been filtered or blocked.  We invite you to fill out this short online form to help us communicate with you as we work to ensure your membership continues.
  2. September 2018 dues assessments will be suspended.  As we work to verify our membership rosters, we will be suspending dues for the month of September.
  3. Register for dues payments through automatic bank draft.  Although we assert the rights of our members to make use of payroll deduction for payment of dues, we don’t have confidence that the district and new organization will agree.  It may be in your best interest to register through our automatic bank draft system for your dues payments.
  4. KNEA intends to pursue all necessary courses of legal action to protect the rights and property of our members.  Kansas law regulates the relationship between Kansas school districts and their professional employee organizations. Based upon these laws, we believe all employees are entitled to choose their professional representative accordingly.
  5. Communicate with us.  KNEA believes that information has been withheld both from us to our members and from our members to us.  We recognize that we have made mistakes in this regard and we are committed to correcting those mistakes.  However, we also believe that when information is blocked and filtered at the local level, the ability of our members to make informed choices is impossible.

You have a choice in who represents your interest as a professional.  We also know that a healthy relationship between the district and its greatest asset- you- requires real advocacy.  We believe that when you are fully informed, you’ll see that KNEA is the only organization equipped to position your professional interests as the highest priority.

CLICK HERE to verify your intent to maintain your membership and to update your contact information.

CLICK HERE to register for automatic bank draft of dues.