Kansas school board votes to allow McPherson, five others to hire unlicensed teachers

By Chris Swick
July 15, 2015

TOPEKA - USD 418 is one of six school districts the Kansas Board of Education will allow to hire unlicensed teachers.

After a close vote, the state’s designated “innovative districts” can use non-accredited instructors under a one year pilot program. Board chairman Jim McNiece favored the proposal.

“We already have a whole series of rules and regulations that we've approved that allow folks from industries come into our schools in special ways,” McNeice said. “About everything they've proposed, we have, in fact, granted. It's more symbolic than anything.”

Board Vice-Chair Carolyn Wims-Campbell, who opposed the proposal, worries about lawmakers expanding an unproven practice.

“I think the legislature will look at this and I wouldn't be surprised if they would try to change what we just did with the six districts,” Wims Campbell said.”

The innovative districts are allowed to opt out of most state education laws in order to improve student achievement.

Joining McPherson in the controversial measure are Concordia, Hugoton, Marysville, Blue Valley and Kansas City, Kansas.