KAIRS Public Policy

KAIRS 2015-2016 Public Policy and Agenda

KAIRS Perspective

Our commitment to the total formation of the human person, rooted in spiritual values, makes our schools unique and distinctive. The highest priority of KAIRS is that independent and religious schools remain free to pursue their missions while supporting the legitimate concern of Kansas for the quality of education.

Parents are the first and best educators of their children, and they should be able to choose the most appropriate school for their children without financial penalty. KAIRS, therefore, believes that all parents and students should be treated equitably in educational policies and regulations and access to those government-funded services and programs to which they are entitled as residents, citizens, and taxpayers.

We believe that discrimination against parents who choose religious or independent schools for their children has been detrimental to educational achievement as a whole, and, in particular, for those who have the fewest choices: low-income families. We believe that a more neutral stance that respects local decision making, shared religious and community values, and high expectations for every child would benefit all families and all schools.

 


 

State Board of Education

1. Accreditation

KAIRS urges all member schools to maintain accreditation by a reputable accrediting body. More than 40 states recognize several different models of accreditation without penalizing non-state-accredited schools, and we believe Kansas would benefit from such an approach as well.

2. Access to Federally Funded Services

The Kansas State Board of Education should designate an official to serve as a liaison to keep religious and independent schools informed about federally funded services and programs and to arbitrate inter-district disagreements.

State Board of Regents

Qualified Admissions

KAIRS supports higher admission standards for college students but opposes differential treatment for students who graduate from Kansas schools accredited by a process other than Quality Performance Accreditation.

Legislature

1. Teacher Licensure and Renewal

KAIRS believes that teachers should undergo rigorous preparation and ongoing formation. Teachers should be able to use their experience in any school accredited by a reputable accrediting agency in order to obtain and renew professional licenses. In addition, any school accredited by a reputable accrediting agency should be allowed to form a Professional Development Council in order to assist their teachers in license renewal.

2. Special Education

The current state special education laws should be enforced and fully funded. Whenever possible, services should be provided on-site by the district where the student attends school.

3. Parent Tax Credits

KAIRS recognizes that parents of students in all school settings incur educational expenses. We believe that all parents should be able to receive a tax credit for their legitimate educational expenses, including tuition.

4. Kansas State High School Activities Association

KAIRS is committed to the value of high school activities that are free from cheating or recruiting of athletes. KAIRS proposes that KSHSAA continues with a compliance committee composed of public and KAIRS-member representatives to assist KAIRS in investigating any allegation of violations of KSHSAA rules by any member institution, public or non-public.