Kansas 2016 State Policy Detail
NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP
Kansas has established a charter sector despite a particularly weak law. Current policy essentially serves as a “shell law”—a placeholder, ready for additions and improvements to ensure stable, quality, and legally autonomous schools as well as a viable alternative authorizer.
- Create legally autonomous schools. Policy should ensure that schools have a legally autonomous governing board and autonomy in crucial areas of school operations.
- Eliminate the dual-approval system and create an alternative authorizer or, at a minimum, an appellate authorizer. Kansas is one of only 2 states that allow only LEAs to authorize charter schools and have no appeals system, and one of only five states with a dual-approval system. This structure severely limits charter schools.
- Endorse professional standards for charter school authorizing.
- Create a strong renewal standard that directly links school academic performance to renewal.
- Require contracts, performance frameworks, and annual performance reports for all charter schools.