Kansas school districts

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K-12 Education in Kansas
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Diane DeBacker
Number of students: 486,108[1]
Number of teachers: 37,407
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:13
Number of school districts: 321
Number of schools: 1,359
Graduation rate: 85%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,498[3]
See also
Kansas State Department of EducationKansas school districtsList of school districts in KansasKansasSchool boards portal
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Kansas
Glossary of education terms

Kansas is home to 1,359 schools and 486,108 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Jana Shaver, Chairman, District 9
    • Sally Cauble, Vice Chairman, District 5
    • Janet Waugh, District 1
    • Steve Roberts, District 2
    • John W. Bacon, District 3
    • Carolyn L. Wims-Campbell, District 4
    • Deena Horst, District 6
    • Kenneth Willard, District 7
    • Kathy Busch, District 8
    • Jim McNiece, District 10


The following table displays the state's top seven school districts by total student enrollment.

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


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

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.[5]

Demographic information for Kansas's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 5,454 1.12% 1.10%
Asian 12,323 2.54% 4.68%
African American 35,583 7.32% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 769 0.16% 0.42%
Hispanic 83,488 17.17% 24.37%
White 327,538 67.38% 51.21%
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.

In the news

Remedial education

In 2014, top education officials in Kansas stated that remedial education plans for incoming college students are failing. These remedial courses are provided to students who need help improving their capabilities in math, English or reading prior to taking college-level courses. According to the state, 42 percent of the freshman students in two-year colleges and 16 percent in four-year colleges often end up taking at least one remedial course. However, most of those students don't graduate from college, and according to Susan Fish, state director of developmental education, this echoes an issue with the state's preparation.[6]

Refusal to release testing scores

Issues with a new computerized math and reading test for public school students prompted the Kansas State Board of Education to refuse release of the scores. The tests, administered from April to May of 2014 by the University of Kansas, were plagued by cyberattacks according to state officials. The board's decision, voted 9-0, means that the state won't have a conclusive report on how students fared statewide in 2014. The decision must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education because federal law requires states to administer annual tests and improve students' results. However, interim state Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander said he's confident the Department will understand the faulty nature of the scores. The testing center stated that they are unsure of the source of the cyberattacks.[7]

State law

Common Core

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.[8][9]

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.[10][11] Elections are normally held in the spring of odd-numbered election years.[12]

District types

Kansas is made up of unified school districts.[11]

Term limits

Kansas does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[13]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Kansas school board elections, 2015

A total of seven Kansas school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2015 for 28 seats. All of the elections are scheduled on April 7, 2015. Primary elections will be held March 3, 2015, if needed to reduce the number of candidates for each office in the general election to no more than three candidates.[14]

The district listed below served 173,444 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 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 21,925
Kansas City Kansas Public Schools 4/7/2015 4 9 20,499
Lawrence Public Schools 4/7/2015 5 7 11,607
Olathe Public Schools USD 233 4/7/2015 4 7 28,182
Shawnee Mission School District 4/7/2015 4 7 27,760
Topeka Public Schools 4/7/2015 4 7 14,082
Wichita Public Schools 4/7/2015 3 7 49,389

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.[12]

Campaign finance

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.[12]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 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
  2. 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."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 15, 2013
  5. 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
  6. KMBC.com, "State officials say remedial education failing," June 4, 2014
  7. Newser, "Kansas won't release any scores from statewide math, reading tests after problems with exams," June 8, 2014
  8. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  9. Kansas State Department of Education, "Kansas College and Career Ready Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  10. Kansas Statutes, "Article 82: Organization, Powers And Finances Of Boards Of Education," accessed July 10, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 United States Census Bureau, "Kansas," accessed July 10, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Kansas Secretary of State, "Chapter IV. Candidates," accessed July 10, 2014
  13. Electronic School, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 10, 2014
  14. Kansas Legislature, "Chapter 25: Elections, Article 20: School District Elections," accessed November 21, 2014