October 21, 2014

School takeover bill clears Senate (AUDIO)

A plan to speed up state takeovers of unaccredited school districts has cleared the state Senate and is ready for House consideration. Warrensburg Senator David Pearce, the Senate Education Committee Chairman, says the bill applies to any failing school district, but the first target is the Kansas City District, which has been unaccredited for more than a year.

                                       AUDIO: Pearce :10

But Kansas City Senator Jason Holsman hopes the state won’t move too quickly if the bill becomes law. He says eight of the nine Kansas City school board members are new since the district lost accreditation and should have a chance to make it better

                               AUDIO: Holsman 27

The bill says the state board of education has the flexibility to wait until the latest test scores become available in the summer to decide whether to take over or give the existing more time to improve student performance.   

Pearce says, however, that the state can’t wait until mid-2014 to take over—as it must under present law.

                                        AUDIO: Pearce 10 

The bill is set up to become effective as soon as the governor signs it.