Kansas lawmakers are considering a proposal to replace the Teacher of the Year program with a cash awards system.
The proposal establishes the Kansas Legislature Award for Teaching Excellence Program, which would dole out thousands of dollars to chosen teachers, and prohibits the Kansas Department of Education from running any similar awards program.
Teacher of the Year winners are currently selected by a large committee composed of educators, administrators, boards of education, parents and other education organization representatives. Winners receive a $4,000 prize and can earn up to nine free credit hours a year from several Kansas colleges and universities.
The proposed replacement would see winners selected by 13-member committee comprised of three administrators, a superintendent, four business representatives chosen by House and Senate leaders, four members of the legislature and a previous winner.
One outstanding teacher would receive $20,000. Four finalists would get $15,000 and at least 10 semifinalists would receive $10,000 each.
According to Budget Director Shawn Sullivan, the program would cost the state about $340,000 per year.
Associated Press Information from: The Topeka Capital-Journal