Great Public Schools Criteria for KansasGreat Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.
Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Kansas.
Readiness to Learn
In order to serve at-risk children who were not eligible for Head Start, as well as those who were eligible, but not enrolled, Kansas began the At-Risk Four-Year Old Children Preschool Program in 1998. Eligibility criteria for the program include risk factors such as developmental delay, single parent home, English Language Learner, migrant status, free lunch eligibility, or referral from another agency. This program has grown quickly, and served more than twice as many children during 2002-2003 as during the previous year. Programs receive a base of $1,800 per student in state funding, and are operated exclusively by public schools.
- State Policy: A definition of the minimum number of hours for full-day kindergarten is not specified in Kansas state statutes. Districts are not required to offer full-day kindergarten and children are not required to attend. Kansas provides the same funding for both full-day and half day kindergarten programs.
- Definition, District Offering and Pupil Attendance: Kansas requires districts to offer 465 hours of kindergarten per year.
(Education Commission of the States [ECS] Kindergarten Database, 2007)
School funding systems must provide adequate, equitable and sustainable funding. Making taxes fair and eliminating inefficient and ineffective business subsidies are essential prerequisites to achieving adequacy, equity, and stability in school funding. ESEA programs should be fully funding at their authorized levels. Kansas' school funding tax structure is hurt by tax giveaways to corporations.
Protecting Public Education From Tax Giveaways to Corporations (PDF, 62pp) (NEA, 2003)
Recruitment and Retention
Kansas has state policies that support statewide financial incentives, hard-to-staff schools, alternative routes to certification, induction, classroom discipline, and requirements for tenure. In addition, there are policies supporting statewide pension, teacher recognition, teacher exchange, and certification/licensure of educators from outside the state.
Statewide Financial Incentives: The Mentor Teacher Program is established and maintained by the board of education of a school district for the purpose of providing probationary teachers with professional support and the continuous assistance of an on-site mentor teacher. The mentor teacher is a certificated teacher who has completed at least three consecutive school years of employment in the school district, has been selected by the board of education of the school district on the basis of having demonstrated exemplary teaching ability and has participated in and successfully completed a training program for mentor teachers. The primary function of a mentor teacher shall be to provide probationary teachers with professional support and assistance to no more than two probationary teachers. The mentor teacher shall be provided an annual stipend not to exceed $1,000 and shall be over and above the regular salary to which the mentor teacher is entitled for the school year.
KSA §72-1412 through §72-1415
For Hard-to Staff Schools or Subject Areas: Math or Science Teacher Service Scholarship is designed to encourage talented college-enrolled junior or senior students to enter the math or science teaching profession and teach in Kansas. Recipients sign agreements to teach two years for each year of scholarship support. Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 each academic year and the scholarship may be received for two years and is subject to renewal. Recipients are advised to be seriously committed to teaching in Kansas two years for each year of scholarship support. If the recipient selects a different major, curriculum emphasis or does not teach in Kansas in the specified curriculum, the scholarship becomes a loan.
Kansas Regents Student Financial Aid
Alternative Routes to Certification: The restricted license was designed to fill a need for districts having trouble recruiting licensed teachers and to recruit mid-career professionals who already have content knowledge into the teaching profession to fill these positions.
DOE Certification/Licensure—Restricted Teacher License
Induction Policies: The successful transition from novice teacher to skilled practitioner demands a comprehensive induction program of early career teachers. Such a program orients the novice to the school, the district and the community. In addition, it links professional development opportunities, school improvement initiatives and appraisal with a mentoring system designed to support the teacher in mastering the many aspects related to teaching and learning. The induction program also must function within the context of the early career teacher's working conditions. Successful completion of the probationary period is more likely when the assignment of new teachers considers such factors as the number of preparations, class size, extra-curricular responsibilities and the challenge of the assignment.
DOE Induction Guidelines
Classroom Discipline Policies: The board of education of each unified school district shall adopt policies or rules that govern the conduct of the employees and students of the school district and that include procedures for enforcement of the policies or rules.
DOE Regulations 91-15-1
Requirements for Tenure: All contracts of employment of teachers in the public schools in the state shall continue in full force and effect during good behavior and efficient and competent service rendered by the teacher, and all contracts of employment shall be deemed to continue for the next succeeding school year unless written notice of intention to terminate a contract of employment is served by a board of education upon any teacher on or before May 1. A teacher shall give written notice to the board of education of a school district that the teacher does not desire continuation of a contract of employment on or before May 15. Terms of a contract may be changed at any time by mutual consent of both a teacher and the board of education of a school district.
KSA §72-5411 and §72-5437
Statewide Pension Policies: No one shall receive such pension without paying into the fund by way of assessment or otherwise not less than the amount of the first annual pension to which such person shall be entitled. If at any time a teacher who is willing to continue is not re-employed or is discharged before the time when he or she would be entitled to a pension, then such teacher shall be paid back at once the money he or she may have contributed.
KSA §72-1728, §1782, §1730 and §17,101
Teacher Recognition Programs or Policies: Kansas recognizes a variety of recognition and awards programs for teachers in the state. They include, but are not limited to:
- Kansas Teacher of the Year sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education identifies, recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.
- Kansas Horizon Award Program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program identifies outstanding science and mathematics teachers in K-12. Serving as role models for their colleagues, these teachers will be leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
DOE Exemplary Awards and Scholarship Programs.
DOE Recognition Programs in Education
Teacher Exchange Programs: The board of education of any school district may grant to a teacher of the district a leave of absence with full pay for a period of not more than one year to permit the teacher to teach in a foreign state under the provisions of the teacher exchange program. The board of education granting such leave of absence may employ with or without pay a national of the foreign state wherein the teacher on leave of absence will teach, if the national is qualified to teach in that foreign state, and if the national will be authorized to teach at a grade level and in a field or subject similar to that which the national is authorized to teach in such foreign state.
License Reciprocity with Other States: Kansas participates in the Interstate Agreement on Qualification of Educational Personnel. The states party to the agreement, desiring by common action to improve their respective school systems by utilizing the teacher or other professional educational person wherever educated, declare that it is the policy of each of them, on the basis of cooperation with one another, to take advantage of the preparation and experience of such persons wherever gained, thereby serving the best interests of society, of education and of the teaching profession.
Certification/Licensure of Educators from Outside the State: Kansas regulations provide for a two-year conditional license, a five-year professional license or a ten-year accomplished license. Applicants will be issued the highest level of license they qualify for based on review by staff of the documentation provided. A fingerprint background check is also required.
DOE Certification/Licensure—Out of State Application