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Lawmakers Hear School Efficiency Suggestions

The head of a school efficiency task force Monday presented school efficiency recommendations to lawmakers in Topeka. The House and Senate education committees are meeting jointly this week to review education issues.

Gov. Sam Brownback formed the task force to look for ways to spend education funding more efficiently.

The task force endorsed cutting back teachers' bargaining rights and reviewing tenure, so administrators have more flexibility in hiring and firing. They also recommended merging school district administrations and redrawing some district boundaries.

One legislator said that sounds like consolidation, but the head of the task force, state Board of Education member Ken Willard, says the task force was careful to avoid that phrase.

"We are talking about what we want to accomplish, and that is to reduce the level and the numbers of administrations around the state, and allow those administrators to determine which schools, if any, need to be moved or changed," he says.

Lawmakers are now considering the recommendations and will choose whether to pursue any of the suggested changes.