File photo

In a news conference Friday, Gov. Sam Brownback said he wants to “start getting out the facts" regarding Kansas teachers' salaries and the number of teachers leaving the state. But according to school officials, the numbers he presented don't quite add up.

Sam Zeff/KCUR

The Kansas State Board of Education today heard about the increasing number of teacher leaving the state to teach elsewhere.

In the past five years the number of teachers moving out of state to teach has ballooned from 400 to over 650, a 63 percent increase.

The report also said that the number of teachers simply leaving the profession almost doubled since 2011.

Marie Carter, personnel manager for the Topeka School District, says the political climate in Kansas is to blame.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education has narrowly approved a plan that would loosen some teaching requirements for six Kansas school districts. The 6-4 vote will allow the districts to hire people who have expertise in a subject but who lack a teaching license.

Supporters of the change include Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia Lane, who says this will give administrators more flexibility in hiring for hard-to-fill teacher openings.

Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons


The Kansas Board of Education has passed a plan to allow a coalition of school districts to fill open teaching positions with non-licensed teachers. 

Original Story:

The Kansas Board of Education is set to vote on Tuesday on a plan that would allow a small group of school districts to fill their open teaching positions with non-licensed teachers.

cybrarian77, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education has delayed a vote on a plan to let some school districts hire unlicensed teachers.

The proposal would have affected a group of six Kansas districts, known as the Coalition of Innovative School Districts. As Stephen Koranda reports, the board had been set to vote on the plan Thursday.

The delay came after deans of education schools at Kansas universities raised concerns, as did teachers. Nicole Meier is a Kindergarten teacher from Topeka and a Teacher of the Year finalist.

Jirka Matousek, flickr Creative Commons

A bill that would have forced a re-negotiation of all teacher salaries at the end of their current term was defeated in the Senate.

The Senate voted 13-27 to reject the bill Wednesday. It would have also eliminated the current teacher pay scale by narrowing salary talks between school boards and teachers unions to minimum salary.

Republican Sen. Jeff Melcher from Leawood inserted the changes into the bill and said they would help school reward good teachers and fire underperformers.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

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.

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.

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.