Teaching in Kansas
Education accounts for about 53 percent of the general fund in Kansas. Moreover, education was the single greatest target for federal job-creation and job-saving stimulus monies used by the state in 2009. Clearly, education is a big focus for Kansas lawmakers and citizens.Last August, the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) determined that the state could save a great deal of money simply through more efficient use of teachers and buildings. The LPA found that none of the districts had a systemic process for managing inefficiency. However, even as the LPA identified opportunities to do so, the group Schools for Fair Funding began pursuing a lawsuit demanding increased funding for education. Governor Sam Brownback recently proposed joining several other states in implementing a teacher-evaluation framework for determining pay raises. Under the proposal, teachers would be rated through a combination of peer evaluation and increase in student achievement. Highly effective teachers would receive additional salary bonuses, while teachers rated ineffective for two consecutive years would be dismissed. Although similar to proposals passed in Indiana and Idaho (and debated but not yet passed in Iowa), fierce resistance to the measure from the dominant teachers’ union resulted in putting the proposal being set aside. Further education reform proposals are expected next session. One proposal is to increase opportunities for establishing charter schools. (Currently, school districts have total authority over authorizing charter schools, giving them effective control over the growth of their competition.) Under such a proposal, teachers in rural areas could reorganize to offer better education with lower overhead costs. Another major proposal being discussed is HB 2367 (currently referred to the Committee on Education) promoting School Choice, which would offer Kansas parents tax credits/vouchers for enrolling their children in qualified public or private schools.Benefits packages for Kansas teachers include health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; tax-sheltered annuities; and a college tuition program for furthering their education. Additionally, teachers are enrolled in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), and may retire with full benefits at the age of 65 (or at the age of 62, if they’ve taught for at least 10 years). Teachers may also retire early, getting a reduced benefit. The earliest one may retire is at the age of 55, receiving 41 percent of the benefit they would receive by retiring 10 years later. Several organizations in Kansas are devoted to teacher development, and to providing educational resources to Kansas teachers. These organizations often publish and discuss research on teaching programs and techniques, and often offer classroom activities or curriculum supplements to improve teachers’ classrooms.
- What’s the education climate in Kansas?
- How’s the job outlook for Kansas teachers?
- What benefits do Kansas teachers have?
- What are the credentialing requirements in Kansas?
- Find schools offering Masters in Education programs in Kansas
What’s the education climate in Kansas?With the end of federal stimulus money, and the continued economic recession, budget issues in Kansas are motivating a great amount of discussion regarding how to improve the funding of education in the state. Since Kansas currently has much higher overhead costs for its schools than most other states, various reforms are being debated to improve how education funds are spent. One proposal requires online reporting of all school expenditures to increase transparency and accountability. Another proposal involves abolishing the Board of Regents and Board of Education, replacing them with a smaller administrative office headed by an Education Secretary appointed by the governor.
Average Salaries for Kansas Teachers
- Elementary School: $44,660
- Middle School: $46,050
- Secondary School: $45,660
- All Kansas Jobs: $40,030