Kansas Board of Education to Face Most Controversial Year Yet

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas education leaders have some big decisions to make on every level from the classroom to the courtroom.

According to The Lawrence Journal-World, the Kansas State Board of Eduction say 2013 will be one of its busiest and most controversial years in recent history. It’s busy developing the Next Generation Science Standards, which will likely serve as a national model for science curriculum standards. The controversial issue among conservatives is the teaching of evolution versus biblical explanations of creation. The final draft of these standards is scheduled for public release sometime this week.

On the legislative front, lawmakers are trying to figure out how to boost education funding despite massive income tax cuts in 2012. Funding for public schools uses roughly half of Kansas’ general budget; however income tax cuts are expected to take a huge chunk out of future revenues. According to legislative research, there could be a budget deficit of $2.5 billion by 2018.

Lastly, judges are expected to decide soon whether to rule current funding for public schools as unconstitutional. The lawsuit, Gannon vs. Kansas, was filed in 2010 by a coalition of school districts. They claim the cuts enacted since the economic downturn violate the state’s constitutional requirement that the legislature provides adequate funds for public schools.

Whatever the outcome, the case will likely not have an immediate effect because it’s expected to be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.

A couple other issues on the table include renegotiating collective bargaining rights for teachers, considering a law requiring third grade students to be retained if they are unable to pass the state reading assessment and providing vouchers for private and parochial education.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s