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Board Stews Over Kansas Innovative District Plans

Associated Press - May 13, 2014 7:03 pm

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.