Education and training are important components in creating successful, productive communities. Kansas provides support to life-long learners through training programs, resources, and educational opportunities for students of all ages.
The responsibility for ensuring the fitness of Kansas educational standards, availability of resources, and funding lie primarily with a handful of entities:
Public schools in Kansas are open to all Kansas students and are funded by state tax dollars. Both state and federal aid dollars are distributed to Kansas Unified School Districts via the KSDE’s School Finance office. All public schools in Kansas are required to participate in the state’s accreditation process, which is overseen by the Kansas State Board of Education. Kansas public schools offer the following benefits:
Like public schools, charter schools and virtual schools are operated free-of-charge and are open to all Kansas students. Additionally, all charter schools and virtual schools are subject to the same accreditation requirements of public schools and must maintain accreditation to maintain their charter.
Non-public, or “private” schools as they are commonly called, do not have to participate in the the state’s accreditation process, although some do. Accredited private schools meet many, if not all, of the same standards of public schools, however private schools do not receive tax dollars. Instead, private schools typically fund their operations through tuition, endowments, and donations. Private schools also have greater control over their admissions process and may not admit all students who apply.
Those private schools that do not participate in the accreditation process are referred to as “Non-Accredited Privates Schools (NAPS).” All homeschool programs in Kansas are classified as NAPS. While NAPS do not participate in the state’s accreditation process, they are still required to register with the state.
Regardless of the type of education you choose for your child, parents or guardians of all school-age children are required to ensure their child receives an education. Whether your child is enrolled in public or private school, virtual learning environment or in-person, accredited or non-accredited institution, you are required to comply with the state’s compulsory school attendance laws.
Instruction at accredited K-12 schools in Kansas is provided by licensed personnel. Teachers in Kansas are required to:
Once licensed, teachers must maintain their licensure and accreditation by renewing their license with the KSDE. Both teachers and licensure candidates can use the Educator License Lookup to check the status of their license.
Substitute teachers are subject to different requirements than fully credentialed professionals. In order to qualify as a substitute teacher, one must:
If you do not hold a degree, but have earned at least 60 semester credit hours from an accredited college or university, you may apply online to be an Emergency Substitute teacher.
Higher education, including colleges, universities, technical institutions, and GED programs are governed by the Kansas Boards of Regents. In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, high school equivalency, and career and technical education programs. Private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions are authorized by the Kansas Board of Regents to operate in Kansas, but are not subject to their governance.
Additionally, there are 26 private universities and colleges and two federal institutions operating within the state. The Board authorizes the operation of private/out-of-state institutions, but they otherwise do not fall under the Board’s governance.
State universities in Kansas follow Qualified Admissions (QA) criteria when admitting undergraduate students. The purpose of QA is to enhance success at the university level by ensuring students are prepared for the rigors of a university education. The KBOR recently changed the QA standards for 2021 high school graduates.
Parents and guardians of children in special education programs are often required to quickly build their understanding of the services and supports that are available to their student learners. This can include: