Board of Education makes two districts ‘innovative’

The Kansas State Board of Education has approved creating two “innovative” school districts, which will exempt them from most state laws and regulations governing public schools.

The board voted Tuesday to make McPherson and Concordia the state’s first innovative districts, with several conditions.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the districts are exempt from state regulations if they have a plan to improve education. The board attached conditions and added rules that will give the state board more control over how the innovative schools system will be operated.

The Kansas Department of Education had previously recommended against approving both districts’ applications because they sought waivers from federal laws and regulations. The orders approved Tuesday commit the state board to working with the districts to seek federal approval for the waivers.