Charter Schools: State Profile

Charter Schools: State Profile - Kansas

January 2018


Charter School Basics 2017
Does the state have a charter school law? Yes. Charters are granted and may be renewed for 5-year terms.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1907

Does the state allow existing public schools to convert to charter schools? Yes. However, state law does not directly distinguish between start-up charter schools and conversion charter schools. Neither is explicitly defined. A charter school may be maintained in a separate facility or in an existing school facility if the charter school is operated separately from the other school in the shared facility--which would allow for a conversion within a school.

Kansas law establishes another alternative education option via the Coalition of Innovative Districts Act. 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1903 Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1921

Does the state have any caps on the number of charter schools? No. However, the number of innovative districts is limited to 10% of the districts in the state (or between 10% and 20% if title 1 focus schools or title 1 priority schools).

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1925

Does the state specify who may apply to open a charter school? Yes. A school building or school district employee group, an educational services contractor or any other person or entity may apply to open a charter school.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906 Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1903

Does the state specify the types of charter schools that may be given approval preference? No
Does the state specify the students who may be given enrollment preference? No. However, each charter application must specify criteria for admission of pupils, including a description of the lottery method to be used if too many pupils seek enrollment in the school.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906

Does the state specify who must provide transportation to charter school students? Yes. School districts must provide transportation for students who qualify for the free-lunch program and live 2.5 miles or more from the school. School districts may also provide transportation for other students.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1908

Charter School Authorizing 2017
What organizations may authorize charter schools, and is there a statewide authorizing body? A local school board and the state board of education is each required to approve a charter application.

There is no statewide authorizing body named as such, except that the state board does approve any virtual schools established under the Virtual Schools Act, gives final approval to public innovative districts and to charters initially approved by local boards.
 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906 Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3711

Is there an appeals process for charter applicants? Yes. The applicant may ask for reconsideration by the local board and may submit an amended petition. The local board, if it finds the application satisfactory, schedules a hearing. Once the local board approves an application, the state board reviews and may request changes for resubmission, approve or deny the application. 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906

Has the state established standards for quality school authorizing that authorizers must meet? No
Does the state require the authorizer to report on the performance of its portfolio of schools? No. However, at the end of each school year the local school board must evaluate the impact the charter school had on the school district and submit that report to the state board of education. In addition, the state board of education must review, assess and compile the evaluations of charter schools submitted by local school boards and submit the compilation of evaluations and other relevant material, including school district and state board waivers granted to each charter school, to the governor and the legislature.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1910

Are there sanctions in place for authorizers? No
Charter School Autonomy and Accountability 2017
What rules are waived for charter schools? State statutes are not waived. Each charter is required to identify the school district policies and state board of education rules and regulations from which waiver is sought and to explain the reasons such waivers are being requested. Charter schools also are required to ensure compliance with applicable health, safety and access laws, school accreditation, to ensure that attendance is reflective of racial/socioeconomic conditions of the district as a whole, to participate in state and local assessments and to comply with attendance records provisions.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906

Does the state specify grounds for terminating or not renewing a school’s charter? Yes. Renewal of the operational status of the charter school may be approved only if the charter school has demonstrated progress in achieving the program goals it established. The district board of education must first determine whether the charter school is demonstrating such progress. If approved by the board, the state board is required to review such progress and approve or nonrenew the charter or discontinue operation of the school.

The local board of education must revoke the charter if the charter school:
  • Materially violates provisions contained in the charter
  • Fails to make progress in achieving the program goals contained in the charter
  • Fails to comply with fiscal accountability procedures as specified in the charter
  • Violates rules and regulations of the state board of education that have not been waived by the state board of education.
Prior to nonrenewing or revoking a charter, a board of education is required to hold a hearing on the issues in controversy. 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1907

Does the state set a threshold beneath which a charter school must automatically be closed? Yes. Renewal of the operational status of the charter school is allowed to be approved only if the charter school has demonstrated progress in achieving the program goals it established. 
 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1907

Charter School Finance 2017
How is the funding for a charter school determined? The law does not specify how charter schools are funded, leaving it at the discretion of the school district. A petition to establish a charter school must outline the proposed school budget and include a description of how the budget will be funded if federal funds are not available.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906

Who provides charter schools with their funding? The school district
Does the state provide start-up or planning grants to new charter schools? No
What kind of facilities funding is available to charter schools? Direct funding:

Other funding:
Charter schools have access to taxable and tax-exempt financing for capital projects and programs through the Kansas Development Finance Authority.

Citations: https://www.kdfa.org/

Charter School Teachers 2017
Do teachers in a charter school have to be certified? Yes

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906

What sets teacher salaries? The local district's collective bargaining agreement sets teacher salaries.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-5413

Does the state require school districts to grant teachers a leave of absence to teach in a charter school? No. State law does not directly require districts to grant leaves of absence. However, charter school petitions/contracts are required to specify of the manner in which contracts of employment and status of certificated employees of the district who participate in the operation of the school will be dealt with upon nonrenewal or revocation of the charter or upon a decision by any such employees to discontinue participation in the operation of the school. 
 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906

Do teachers in a state’s charter schools have equal access to the public school teachers’ retirement system? Yes

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1909

Virtual Charter Schools 2017
Does state law explicitly allow virtual charter schools? Yes. However, the virtual schools act does not refer to such schools as charter schools. A virtual school is defined as any school or educational program that:
  • Is offered for credit.
  • Uses distance-learning technologies which predominately use internet-based methods to deliver instruction.
  • Involves instruction that occurs asynchronously with the teacher and student in separate locations.
  • Requires the student to make academic progress toward the next grade level and matriculation from kindergarten through high school graduation.
  • Requires the student to demonstrate competence in subject matter for each class or subject in which the student is enrolled as part of the virtual school.
  • Requires age-appropriate students to complete state assessment tests.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-72-3711

Is there a statewide authorizer specific for virtual charter schools? Yes. Virtual schools are under the general supervision of the state board. The state board is authorized to adopt any rules and regulations relating to virtual schools which the state board deems necessary.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3713

Does the state set enrollment limits for virtual charter schools? No
Is there additional oversight specific to virtual charter schools? Yes

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3711 through Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3715


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