Panel: Education and health policies go hand in hand for improving outcomes for Kansans – News – The Topeka Capital-Journal

Education outcomes are strongly correlated to health outcomes, and if Kansas wants to improve either, school and health officials should continue to work together at the local level to find ways to tie programs together, a panel of leaders in both fields said Tuesday.

The Kansas Health Institute hosted a virtual discussion Tuesday morning where state education and health officials gave examples and ideas for communities to improve Kansans’ lives. Speakers included Gov. Laura Kelly, Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers, state commissioner of education Randy Watson and Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Kelly also said some of her initiatives to expand broadband access across the state ultimately help both students with access to coursework and materials and make it possible for patients to use telemedicine health options.

“We know that educational opportunities and health outcomes are closely connected,” Kelly said. “From Day 1, my

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For Kansas schools, challenge will be ensuring special education students aren’t left behind – News – The Topeka Capital-Journal

It’s one challenge to close any learning gaps for special education students, but in a pandemic, just measuring those gaps will be another obstacle for Kansas schools, two special education leaders told The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Bert Moore, director of special education and title services for the Kansas Department of Education, and Heith Peine, executive director of student support services for Wichita Public Schools, joined The Capital-Journal’s Teaching Topeka podcast to discuss how special education teachers across Kansas have adapted to teaching in a pandemic.

State Commissioner of Education Randy Watson on Tuesday told the Kansas State Board of Education that, after a tour of just a few western Kansas school districts, he was becoming increasingly concerned that certain student groups, including special education students, are showing signs of academic regression as schools adjust their operations for the pandemic. More than 76,000 students, or 14.7% of all Kansas students, receive special

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