No 2016 Applications for Kansas School Program

A Kansas program that waives state laws and regulations for participating schools will remain its current size in 2016.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports no school districts applied to join the Coalition of Innovative School Districts in 2016. The Legislature created the Coalition of Innovative School Districts in 2013 as a deregulation program meant to remove barriers to better school performance.

The coalition includes six districts, while up to 20 percent of the state’s 286 public school districts can join.

Sen. Steve Abrams introduced the legislation creating the program and says the low participation rates aren’t cause for concern.

Among the program’s critics is the Kansas National Education Association, which says the program doesn’t address the real obstacle to innovation in Kansas schools, which KNEA says is insufficient state funding.