Topeka Public Schools, Kansas

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Topeka Public Schools USD 501 is a school district in Kansas. The district serves 14,194 students.[1]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Kansas school district websites

This website was reviewed on November 14, 2011.

The good

  • School board members are posted with contact and term information.[2]
  • Meeting minutes and agendas are posted.[3]
  • The district posts information about No Child Left Behind and Adequate Yearly Progress.[4]
  • Background check policies are posted.[5]
  • The site links to the Kansas State Department of Education report card on the district.[1]
  • Administrative officials are posted with contact information.[6]
  • Budget documents are posted.[7]
  • Local tax rates are posted in the budget.[8]
  • Bid opportunities are posted.[9]

The bad

  • Audits are not posted.
  • No information is available on how to submit public records requests.


School board

The school board is made up of seven unpaid board members elected for four-year terms.[2]

2011 School Board[2]
Name District Position Term Expires
Patrick Woods 3 President 2011
Hal Gardner 2 Vice President 2013
Doug Glenn 1 Member 2013
Janel Johnson 1 Member 2011
Nancy Kirk At-large Member 2011
Peg McCarthy 2 Member 2011
Ned A. Nusbaum 3 Member 2013


Dr. Julie Ford was hired as the district's interim superintendent and began working in July 2011. In November, the board hired her as permanent superintendent for Topeka Public Schools.[10]


Topeka teachers are represented by NEA-Topeka, a local of the National Education Association.[11]

For 2011-12, the union bargained for a 2.1% increase in total compensation. Base pay will rise by $250, and step increases will go up by $500. Under the contract, the district pays 100% of the health insurance costs, which includes drug and dental benefits.[11]


Topeka Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.[12]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2012-2013 $95,713,381 55.4% $13,005,000 7.5% $46,760,455 27.1% $6,901,656 4% $10,269,621 5.9% $172,650,113
2013-2014 $109,985,596 55.8% $13,651,575 6.9% $55,039,612 27.9% $7,137,906 3.6% $11,209,158 5.7% $197,023,847
Averages: $102,849,488.5 56% $13,328,287.5 7% $50,900,033.5 28% $7,019,781 4% $10,739,389.5 6% $184,836,980

Academic performance

Adequate yearly progress

Topeka Public Schools has failed to meet AYP goals for six years in a row ending in 2011. As a Title 1 participant -- under which the district benefits from No Child Left Behind funding -- the district is now in corrective action status.[4]

Math and reading

2010 Math and Reading Performance[1]
Grade Subject % Meeting or Exceeding Standards
3rd Reading 69.3%
5th Reading 76.6%
8th Reading 71.0%
11th Reading 71.8%
3rd Math 74.4%
5th Math 79.6%
8th Math 64.4%
11th Math 61.5%

Graduation rate

Topeka's graduation rate was 67.3% in 2010, and its dropout rate was 2.9%.[1]

External links