Kansas lawmakers look to improve learning in Sunflower State - KCTV5

Kansas lawmakers look to improve learning in Sunflower State

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Kansas lawmakers discussed Thursday ways to improve education in the Sunflower State.

Offering an exemplary education in a period of budget cutbacks was a focus of the conference. Charter schools, boosting teacher pay and virtual classrooms were among the topics discussed. Lawmakers looked at best practices in other states, including Indiana.

"We have to put our focus on the children and quit focusing on just the dollars," Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett. "Redesign Kansas education so that kids not achieving can achieve like their peers who are achieving."

Bennett discussed using money to bolster student performance such as offering financial incentives to teachers who raise achievement levels. He also said districts should look at ways to make it easier for students to attend the school of their choice, including a charter school.

"That may mean changing work rules, collective bargaining agreements," he said.

Lawmakers said they appreciate the opportunity that the conference provided.

"What I'm really looking for here is how we concentrate more on results-oriented education," said State Rep. Arlen Siegfreid of Olathe.

Siegfreid, who is the House Majority Leader, said Kansas needs to do a better job of putting education dollars in areas that get results.

Lawmakers said they hope to use ideas from the conference to affect education policy changes when the Kansas Legislature reconvenes.

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