2:28 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Kansas House, Senate Approve Teacher Bargaining Bills

Credit Michael B. / Flickr

Both chambers of the Kansas Legislature approved changes yesterday to the rules for collective bargaining between school boards and teachers' unions.

The House and Senate passed separate bills that reflect a compromise that school administrators, boards, superintendents, and teachers' unions reached in January.

State law currently compels the two sides to bargain on 31 issues each negotiations cycle, in addition to pay and hours.

Critics say the policy leads to deadlocks and distractions in talks.

Read more
11:53 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Kansas Bill Would Narrow Talks Between Teachers And School Boards

Credit Vitor Garcia, flickr Creative Commons

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would narrow negotiations between school boards and teachers.

The House Education Committee conducted a hearing on the bill Wednesday. It would remove 30 issues from a list of things over which the teachers' union and school boards would be required to bargain.

That would leave only salary and work hours on the annual bargaining agenda. Both sides would have to agree beforehand to discuss benefits or other issues.

Read more
12:45 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Report: Some Topeka Educators Have Illegal Access To Information About Student Family Income

Reports this week indicate that some educators in the Topeka school district have had illegal access to data that identifies students from low-income families. This is legally protected as confidential.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that principals and other educators were able to see the data through the district's student information platform called PowerSchool. The data is used to determine which students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

Read more
1:11 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Advocacy Groups To Put Support Behind Pro-Education Candidates Ahead Of Primary Election

Kansas education groups are gearing up their political activities ahead of the Aug. 5 primary election, putting their money and energy behind state House candidates that support public schools.

Organizers say teachers view recent changes in teacher licensing and loss of administrative due process as an attack on their profession.

The Kansas National Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, has more than $400,000 to spend this election cycle. Other organizations are going door to door to boost turnout for pro-education candidates.

Read more
12:10 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Kansas BOE: Schools Can Now Hire Teachers Without Education Degrees

The State Board of Education has agreed to allow schools to hire teachers for certain subjects who have expertise but no education degree.

The regulations the board approved Tuesday require teachers to meet one of three criteria:

1) They would need an out-of-state license and to pass the licensure tests.

2) At least a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of related work experience in science, technology, engineering or math.

3) An industry-recognized certificate in a technical profession and at least five years of related work experience.

Read more
10:12 am
Wed May 7, 2014

KU Professor Says It May Take Some Time Before Teachers Will Feel The Effects Of Tenure Repeal

Major changes to teacher employment laws in Kansas will soon be taking effect, eliminating from state law what many people know as “tenure.”

That means administrators will be able to be fire teachers more easily.

It could be several years before we know the full effects of the changes.

Under the old rules, Kansas teachers who had been with a district fewer than three years were on probationary status, and could be let go without a reason.

Read more
10:36 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Lawmakers Vote To Make It Easier To Fire Teachers

Credit Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Senate has voted to make it easier to fire teachers. 

The amendment was added to an education funding bill.

Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, supported the proposal. She said schools should be allowed to operate like a private business, which can mostly hire and fire people at will.

"When you have a teacher that is impeding that system I believe an administrator should be able to let them go. That’s what happens in private schools,” said Wagle.

Read more
Board of Education
5:24 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Kansas Board To Revise Teacher Licensing Rules

The State Board of Education has voted to require all Kansas teachers renewing their licenses to submit fingerprints for checks against a state criminal database.

Read more
3:50 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Teacher Bargaining Rights Bills Shelved

Two bills that would have cut back teachers' bargaining rights have been shelved for this session.

Read more
5:43 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Top Morning News 3.22.13

Senate approves $14B budget; Bill would allow open carry anywhere in Kansas; Committee authorizes bonds to pay KPERS debt.

Kansas Senate Approves $14B Budget

The Kansas Senate has given final approval to a $14 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Thursday's 24-16 vote sends the measure to the House, which approved its own budget bill Wednesday. Negotiators from the two chambers are expected to begin meeting next week to work out a final version.

Read more