Public education in Kansas
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Transparency
- 9 Studies and reports
- 10 School districts
- 11 Education ballot measures
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
List of school districts in Kansas
Public education in Kansas
School board elections portal
The chief executive of the Department of Education is the Commissioner of Education, who is appointed by the State Board of Education and serves at the board's pleasure. The current Commissioner of Education is Diane DeBacker.
The governing body of the Department of Education is the Kansas State Board of Education. The board is composed of 10 members elected by district who serve four-year terms. The mission statement of the Kansas State Board of Education reads:
|“||To prepare Kansas students for lifelong success through rigorous, quality academic instruction, career training, and character development according to each student's gifts and talents.||”|
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Kansas State Board of Education adopted the standards on October 12, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Kansas compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Kansas as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for Kansas's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||769||0.16%||0.42%|
|Two or more||20,953||4.31%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in Kansas attend rural schools. More than 61 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 39 percent who attend city or suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma), Kansas had the highest share of fourth and eighth grade students who scored at or above proficient in math.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Kansas was lower than the national average at 2.3 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 2.1 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Kansas
School choice options in Kansas include: charter schools, tax credits, online learning programs and an inter-district open enrollment policy. In addition, about 8.09 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Kansas state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 25.8 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 2.4 percentage points, or 8.5 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 28.2 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Kansas totaled approximately $5.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Kansas and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Kansas totaled approximately $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Kansas and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Kansas, the average salary decreased by 0.7 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Kansas ranked 32nd overall, or "weak," which was in the fourth of five tiers.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Kansas received a score of 81.9, or a B- average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. After the "chance for success" category, the state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 81.2, or a B- average. The lowest score was in "the teaching profession" at 67.4, or a D+ average. With the exception of the "chance for success" category, Kansas had below-average scores in all of its categories. The chart below displays the scores of Kansas and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Kansas||81.9 (B-)||68.4 (D+)||81.2 (B-)||67.4 (D+)||74.2 (C)||75.0 (C)|
|Missouri||77.3 (C+)||66.0 (D)||78.9 (C+)||69.3 (D+)||70.5 (C-)||75.0 (C)|
|Nebraska||83.1 (B)||67.0 (D+)||67.6 (D+)||69.8 (C-)||77.0 (C+)||64.3 (D)|
|Oklahoma||72.2 (C-)||64.2 (D)||93.3 (A)||71.6 (C-)||66.5 (D)||89.3 (B+)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
- See also: List of school districts in Kansas
The following table displays the state's top seven school districts by total student enrollment:
|1.) Wichita Public Schools|
|2.) Olathe Public Schools USD 233|
|3.) Shawnee Mission School District|
|4.) Blue Valley Unified School District 229|
|5.) Kansas City Kansas Public Schools|
|6.) Topeka Public Schools|
|7.) Lawrence Public Schools|
School board composition
School board members are elected by residents of the school district. The only exception is Fort Leavenworth School District, where the board is appointed by the commanding general of Fort Leavenworth. Although Kansas state law doesn't specify the number of members a board must have, generally they are made up of seven members elected to four-year terms. Vacancies on the board must be filled within 30 days from the date of the vacancy. Elections are normally held in the spring of odd-numbered election years.
Kansas does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.
A total of seven Kansas school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment held elections in 2015 for 28 seats. All of the elections were scheduled on April 7, 2015. Primary elections were held March 3, 2015, if needed to reduce the number of candidates for each office in the general election.
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Wichita Public Schools with 50,339 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Lawrence Public Schools with 11,828 K-12 students.
- Lawrence Public Schools had the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with five seats up for election.
- Wichita Public Schools had the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with three seats up for election.
The district listed below served 174,722 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district name for more information on the district and its school board elections.
|2015 Kansas School Board Elections|
|District||Date||Seats up for election||Total board seats||Student enrollment|
|Blue Valley Unified School District 229||4/7/2015||4||7||22,162|
|Kansas City Kansas Public Schools||4/7/2015||4||9||20,194|
|Lawrence Public Schools, Kansas||4/7/2015||5||7||11,828|
|Olathe Public Schools USD 233||4/7/2015||4||7||28,745|
|Shawnee Mission School District||4/7/2015||4||7||27,435|
|Topeka Public Schools||4/7/2015||4||7||14,019|
|Wichita Public Schools||4/7/2015||3||7||50,339|
Path to the ballot
Candidates for school board positions in Kansas file with their respective county. Candidates must pay a $40 filing fee and submit a petition with 4 percent of voters.
Candidates for local offices file their reports with the county election officer. Candidates must file reports 30 days after the primary (if applicable) and 30 days after the general election. If they receive less than $500, they may file an affidavit of exemption no later than the ninth day before the primary election. They do not have to file finance reports unless their receipts or expenditures are $500 or over, at which time they are subject to the reporting requirements.
Education ballot measures
- Kansas state budget and finances
- Kansas Department of Education
- List of school districts in Kansas
- School choice in Kansas
- Charter schools in Kansas
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Kansas State Department of Education, "About Us," accessed May 19, 2014
- Kansas State Department of Education, "Office of the Commissioner," accessed May 19, 2014
- Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 72, Article 76, Section 72-7601," accessed May 19, 2014
- Kansas State Department of Education, "Kansas State Board of Education," accessed May 19, 2014
- Kansas State Department of Education, "Board Goals and Objectives," accessed May 19, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
- Kansas State Department of Education, "Kansas College and Career Ready Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "Kansas," accessed July 10, 2014
- Kansas Statutes, "Article 82: Organization, Powers And Finances Of Boards Of Education," accessed July 10, 2014
- Kansas Secretary of State, "Chapter IV. Candidates," accessed July 10, 2014
- Electronic School, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 10, 2014
- Kansas Legislature, "Chapter 25: Elections, Article 20: School District Elections," accessed November 21, 2014
State of Kansas
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