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New School Finance Bill Could Reinstate Funding For Kansas Teacher Mentoring Program

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo

There are concerns about whether the money in the Kansas school finance bill awaiting legislative action will be enough to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

But educators were happy to see that the current proposal includes a million dollars for teacher mentoring each year. The money would help districts pay senior teachers for mentoring younger educators.

Olathe Assistant Superintendent Alison Banikowski says mentoring is a proven way to keep first-year teachers in the profession.

“The mentor can really make a difference both emotionally, reducing that stress, and helping the teacher have a great, productive year,” Banikowski says.

Kansas requires the mentoring but stopped providing funding for it a few years ago. The school finance bill currently on the table would remedy that and, all in all, provide $750 million in new dollars for schools over the next five years.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service and is co-host of the political podcast Statehouse Blend Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.