2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 62%
The Kansas Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program was enacted in 2014 and began serving students in 2015, making it Kansas’ first school choice program.
Charter Schools Score: 0%
Kansas has a weak charter school law due to school districts having total control over charter school authorization.
The only authorizers in Kansas are local school districts which have ensured that any and all charter schools that get authorized look very similar to district schools and do not compete with them. Further, Kansas’ law requires that charter schools submit in their applications the regulations which they will be exempt from which further limits the ability of charter schools to innovate in a way that creates opportunity for kids.
Kansas has earned an F in CER’s new charter school law rankings. Despite not having a cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state, charter schools in Kansas are dependent on school districts and have to place any regulations schools want to be exempt from in their charter school contract which means Kansan charter schools cannot be the innovators they ought to be and earning Kansas a failing grade.
- Fast Facts:
- Law Passed: 1994
- Number of Charter Schools: 10
- Estimated Charter School Enrollment: 2,800 (0percent change from 2015-16)
- Kansas does not cap the number of charter schools who can enroll students
- Virtual Schools Permitted (with district consent)
- Charter Schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes (with district consent)
- Kansas earned a zero on Authorizers. In Kansas, school districts have total control over all authorizing decisions for charter schools. n many other states there are appeals processes in place where if a district denies a charter school’s application some other body can make a ruling. In Kansas, districts maintain total control over all charter school authorization decisions. Furthermore, decisions made by the districts are subject to the approval of the state board of education which makes the state board an uber authorizer further limiting the opportunity for students.
- Kansas earned a ten out of fifteen on growth. Kansas does not cap the amount of charter schools which are able to be opened. However, the regulatory environment in Kansas is one where no charter schools have opened in recent years,and prospects for future growth do not look good.
- Kansas earned a two out of twenty for operations. In Kansas, charter schools need to indicate in their application what rules they want to be exempt from. This indicates that charter schools have literally no freedom and instead are then entirely at the whims of their authorizers. Charter schools thrive when they are able to have exemptions from regulations that affect their ability to operate efficiently. Unfortunately, Kansas does not have such freedom, rendering them ineffective.. Additionally, Charter schools are subject to the existing collective bargaining agreement for teachers unless exemptions are made in charters. Without these exemptions charter schools in Kansas are often hamstrung with staffing decisions and do not have the ability to act as autonomously as they need to be effective. Additionally, Charter school teachers must be certified in the same manner that traditional public school teachers are. The sole effect of this policy is that it prevents individuals who have not gone through the bureaucratic measures of teacher certification from working with students even if the charter schools thinks they are the right individual for the job.
Kansas earned a zero out of fifteen for funding equity. Funding for charter schools is not addressed in the charter law, leaving it entirely to the discretion of the school district, which ensures inequitable funding.
Online Learning Score: 82%
The state’s law provides students access to multiple providers, but options would improve overall by updating the state’s online education approval process. Kansas continues to use their ninety-three virtual schools and programs to provide opportunities to access online courses and services, many of which serve out-of-district students. Additionally, The Virtual School Act altered the funding of online students so that all full-time virtual students are funded at 1.05 (105%) of base FTE students.
Teacher Quality Score: 68%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers D-
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers D+
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C-