TOPEKA, Kan. - State Board of Education members are struggling with applications from the first two Kansas school districts seeking innovative status under a 2013 state law, and with the law's implications for the board's authority.
The board created a subcommittee Tuesday to meet with the Concordia and McPherson school districts to discuss their applications and resolve several questions. Among them were specifics about student testing, accrediting schools and how much governance the state board retains over the districts.
Innovative status exempts districts from certain state regulations in exchange for the freedom to try new ways to improve student achievement.
Gov. Sam Brownback and the leaders of the House and Senate Education committees chose McPherson and Concordia earlier this year from among eight applicants for the designation, but the state board still must approve.
The State Board of Education is preparing to review proposals from two Kansas school districts to be granted innovative status by the state.
Board members on Tuesday will hear staff reports on the plans from the Concordia and McPherson school districts. The two were selected earlier this year by Gov. Sam Brownback and the chairs of the House and Senate Education committees from a pool of applicants.
A 2013 Kansas law allows up to 10 percent of the state's 286 school districts to be granted innovative status. The designation exempts them from certain state regulations in exchange for the freedom to try new ways to improve student achievement.