McPherson USD 418 named Innovative District, Watson to chair board

By Office of the Governor
February 27, 2014

On Wednesday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback along with the chairpersons of the Senate and House education committees, Sen. Steve Abrams and Rep. Kasha Kelley respectively, chose McPherson USD 418 and Concordia USD 333 as the first two districts to join the Coalition of Innovative Districts.

“Today marks the first step in an exciting new process, which allows districts to create a better path for their students to become college or career ready,” said Governor Sam Brownback.

During the 2013 legislative session House Bill 2319 was signed into law allowing up to 10 percent of Kansas school districts the ability to opt out of most state laws, rules and regulations in order to improve student achievement.

The panel, which included the Governor, Sen. Steve Abrams, and Rep. Kasha Kelley, listened to presentations from seven of the eight applying districts and chose two districts to serve on the Coalition for Innovative School Districts Board. The Coalition board has sole discretion to approve or deny further Innovative School District applications. However, the Kansas State Board of Education must ultimately approve or deny each application. The panel selected Superintendent Randy Watson from McPherson USD 418 as the chairperson of the Coalition board.

“We wish these districts the greatest success as they move forward,” said Governor Brownback.