Kansas' State Board of Education will open discussions next week about pushing for more state funding for public schools.
The agenda for Tuesday's meeting includes reviewing proposals for increased state aid, more money for professional development, and for school lunch programs in the next fiscal year. One proposal would raise the state's base aid to school districts by $640 per student, almost 17 percent. The current figure for the next fiscal year is $3,852 per student.
A new report shows the amount of money Kansas legislators have authorized for school spending for the next two years that is more than $650 million below what is required by law.
Deputy Commissioner of Education Dale Dennis originally included the report as part of the State Board of Education's June meeting agenda. However, the discussion was omitted when debate on academic standards ran long.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute says the Kansas is replacing some of the nation's strongest science standards for public schools with weaker, multi-state guidelines. The education think tank released its findings today.
Educators from 26 states, plus the National Research Council, worked together to develop the new standards. The Kansas Board of Education voted to adopt just this week.
Kansas education officials are asking the state's attorney general for guidance about how to implement a new law about "innovative" schools.
Brad Neuenswander, the Deputy Commissioner for the state Department of Education, told the State Board of Education Wednesday the agency is trying to figure out how to implement a new law that creates a coalition of so-called "innovative districts."
Critics of the Kansas Board of Education's decision to adopt the Common Core Standards for math and reading will voice their concerns Tuesday's at the board's meeting.
Kansas is among 46 states that have adopted the Common Core Standards; they set academic expectations for students from kindergarten through high school. The state adopted the standards in 2010 and school districts have begun implementing them in the classrooms and training teachers.