Lawrence school board to consider consultant contract, hear special education update

Share this post or save for later

The Lawrence school board on Monday will hear an update on the district’s special education work as well as consider approving a consultant contract for enrollment projections.

The district’s special education department made a report that breaks down staff and student data and discusses progress as well as challenges the department is facing.

Special education staff members on Monday will give the board an overview of the report, including information about services and resources, staffing, dispute resolution, funding and expenditures, partnerships with community agencies, celebrations and challenges, according to the meeting agenda.

Currently, 222 certified special education staff are employed by the district, according to the staff presentation slated for Monday. There are 25 officially unfilled certified special education positions, but 13 of those have been filled by contracting with outside agencies, leaving the district with 12 positions that haven’t been filled at all yet.

The district also has 220 paraeducators currently hired and 35 paraeducator positions are open. 

View the special education staff’s presentation for Monday attached to the agenda item on BoardDocs.

Consultant contract for enrollment analysis

As part of Monday’s consent agenda — a list of items that are considered altogether with one vote, unless a board member or the superintendent asks to pull an item for discussion — the board will consider an $80,000 contract with RSP & Associates, according to the meeting agenda.

The education consulting firm, based in Overland Park, would be charged with creating an enrollment analysis for the district that includes five-year projections.

The district has hired RSP many times. In August 2022, the district gave RSP & Associates on a $120,000 contract to lead its 2023-24 budget planning process. Recently, the board increased the firm’s contract by approximately 23% for its “additional work” related to school closures.

Data included in RSP’s enrollment analysis will project the enrollment at each building for the next five years with the current school boundaries and will be presented in the form of tables, graphs, charts and maps, according to the agenda item. The district on Sept. 20 did its annual enrollment count, which will contribute to the report along with facility and boundary information.

If approved, the funds will be pulled from the district’s general fund.

Here’s the proposed contract:


View the tentative timeline for RSP & Associates’ process also attached to the agenda item on BoardDocs.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel,, and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available on BoardDocs.

To give public comment during the board meeting, sign up before the meeting starts either in person or by emailing Commenters may request to participate by Webex video/phone conferencing.

If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

Click here to learn more about our newsletters first

Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

Latest Lawrence news:


Previous Article

Lawrence school board candidates speak on their top priorities during NAACP forum

Next Article

Kaw Valley Almanac for Oct. 9-15, 2023