Flunked

The Wichita Eagle takes note of Flunked the Movie, recently shown in Wichita. The Flint Hills Center for Public Policy was one of the sponsors. Contrary to what you might think from the title, the movie isn’t entirely about schools that fail and why they fail. It also shows some schools–unconventional schools–that are working and succeeding.

It has this interesting piece of information:

“But school board president Lynn Rogers said if people vote against the bond issue hoping to expand school choice, “it’d probably take a constitutional amendment” to accomplish it.

Kansas law has rules limiting the formation of charter schools and doesn’t provide money for school vouchers or tax credits.”

Kansas law on charter schools is very restrictive, as we have pointed out. Unlike charter schools in some other states, Kansas charter schools have no financial or legal independence from school districts. That dependence–something that not every school district would want–works counter to the independence that is inherent in the concept of charter schools. Kansans should develop a strong charter school sector, and one step towards that end is changing the law so that entities other than school districts–perhaps universities, perhaps an independent state board of education for charter schools–are authorized to grant and oversee charter schools. That step would require a change in law–but not a constitutional amendment.

As for whether a voucher or tax credit arrangement would require a change in the constitution, opinions differ. See, for example, this testimony (PDF) given before the Kansas Legislature.

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