Private School Regulation
Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: The Kansas Board
of Education accredits public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools.
K.S.A. § 72-7513(a)(3). Nonpublic schools are not required to be accredited,
The official custodian of every nonaccredited private elementary or secondary
school must register the name and address of the private elementary or
secondary school with the Kansas Board of Education. The purpose of this
provision is to make available the name and location of the school for
the request of student records in the event of a student transfer K.S.A §§ 72-53,101,
Education provided at the high school level by churches or religious denominations
satisfies the Kansas compulsory attendance statute if approved by the Kansas
Board of Education. Approval is granted for a two-year period based on
the following criteria: 1) attendance is mandatory in at least 5 hours
of learning activities for each day legally required in the public schools;
2) acceptable learning activities may include parent supervised-projects
in agriculture and homemaking, work-study programs or accredited correspondence
courses; 3) the program includes at least 15 hours per week of classroom
work under the supervision of a capable instructor; 4) students file written
reports of the activities they have pursued between class meetings that
are regularly evaluated by the instructor; 5) the instructor maintains
complete records of the students work and files the records on a monthly
basis with the Kansas State Board of Education. K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-111(e)
(According to the Kansas Department of Education, no church or religious
denomination utilizes these provisions, since they may operate as an accredited
or a nonaccredited private school without the restrictions imposed under
this subsection of the law.)
Recordkeeping/Reports: he governing authority of a nonpublic
school must designate an employee to report students who are not regularly
attending school as required by law. The designation must be made by September
1 and certified to the Secretary of Social and Rehabilitative Services,
the County or District Attorney, and the Commissioner of Education, or
their designee, within 10 days. If a student is absent without excuse for
three consecutive school days, five or more school days in any semester,
or seven school days in any school year, the nonpublic school shall notify
the parents of their legal responsibility, and if an appropriate response
is not received, file a report of the absences with the above authorities.
K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-1113.
Every nonpublic school operating within Kansas must require proof of identity, e.g. preferably
a birth certificate, whenever a child enrolls in a school for the first
time. If proof of identity is not presented within 30 days, the governing
authority must give written notice to the local law enforcement agency
for an investigation into the identity of the child. Persons with custody
of the child must not be informed of the investigation while it is being
conducted. Nonpublic schools are under a statutory duty to cooperate with
the law enforcement agencies conducting the investigation and to provide
access to the child. K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-53,106.
Length of School Year/Day: To satisfy the Kansas compulsory
attendance statute, private schools must offer instruction for a period
of time which is substantially equivalent to the period of time public
schools are open (1,116 hours per year). K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-1111(a).
Teacher Certification: Teachers and administrators employed
at accredited nonpublic schools must hold proper certification from the
Kansas State Board of Education. There is no certification requirement
for teachers or administrators employed at nonpublic schools not accredited
by the Kansas State Board of Education. K.S.A. § 72-7513(a)(4) and
K.A.R. § 91-31-19.
Accredited nonpublic schools are under a statutory duty to adopt a written
personnel evaluation policy and procedure for certified personnel. The
policy must be filed with the Kansas Board of Education and provide a minimum
schedule of evaluations. Every employee must be evaluated at least one
time per semester in the first two consecutive school years of employment,
but not later than the 60th day. During the third and fourth years of employment,
evaluations must occur annually, but not later than February 15. Thereafter,
evaluations must occur at least once every three years but not later than
February 15. K.S.A. § 72-9003
Curriculum: Accredited private and parochial elementary
schools are required to provide a complete course of instruction in civil
government, United States history, patriotism and citizenship. Accredited
private and parochial high schools must give a course of instruction in
the government and institutions of the United States, particularly the
constitution of the United States. No student can graduate from high school
without successfully passing such a course. K.S.A. § 72-1103.
Every accredited elementary school must teach reading, writing, arithmetic,
geography, spelling, English grammar and composition, history of the United
States and of Kansas, civil government and citizenship, health and hygiene,
and other subjects as the State Board determines. K.S.A. § 72-1101.
Special Education: Local school boards have the authority
to contract with any private nonprofit corporation or public or private
institution within or without Kansas which has proper special education
services for exceptional children. The curriculum shall be approved by
the Commissioner of Education upon authorization by the state board. K.S.A. § 72-967(a)(5),
Special education services must be provided to students attending private,
nonprofit elementary or secondary schools on an equal basis as the same
services are provided to public school students if requested by the parents.
Private, nonprofit elementary or secondary schools are defined as organizations
regularly offering elementary or secondary education, exempt from federal
income tax under ? 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, conforming to the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, and satisfying compulsory school attendance laws.
If services for exceptional children must be provided in the public schools,
transportation are provided by the school district. K.S.A. § 72-5392,
5393, as amended.
Health: As of July 1, 1994, every pupil up to the age
of nine years who has not previously enrolled in any Kansas school must
present a health assessment prior to admission. A health assessment includes
a health history, physical examination and such screening tests as are
medically indicated to determine hearing ability, vision ability, nutrition
adequacy and appropriate growth and development. Nonpublic schools must
provide all known incoming students who are subject to this provision with
a copy of any governing policy adopted by the school board. Parents are
exempt if they are opposed to the assessment based on the religious teachings
of their denomination and file a statement to that effect. Local health
departments and clinics may charge a sliding fee for the health assessment
but no pupil can be denied the health assessment due to inability to pay.
K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-5214.
Private school students enrolling for the first time must present certification
that they have received the tests and inoculations as required by the Secretary
of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Alternatively, a student
may present medical certification that the test or inoculation would seriously
harm their health or a written statement that the student is an adherent
of a religious denomination whose teachings are opposed to such tenets
or inoculations. Private schools must give a copy of this provision and
any relevant school policy to all known pupils prior to the commencement
of each school year. If a pupil transfer schools, the school must forward
the certification or statement with the pupil's transcript to the new school.
The area health department will provide tests and inoculations at public
expense, to the extent that funds are available, when parent/guardians
have not provided for the pupils and are not exempt on religious or medical
grounds. K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-5209, 5210.
Parochial and private school principals have a duty, if ordered to do
so, to exclude children affected with diseases suspected of being infectious
or contagious until the expiration of the prescribed period of isolation
for the particular disease. K.S.A. § 65-122.
All private schools must provide a basic vision screening without charge
to every pupil not less than once every two years. The school board must
designate someone to perform the test and notify parents/guardians if an
examination by a physician or optometrist is warranted. K.S.A. § 72-5204,
Students enrolled in accredited nonpublic schools are entitled to free
basic hearing screenings during the first year of admission and not less
than once every three years thereafter. If the nonpublic school attended
is located within the school district of the child?s residence, the screening
is provided at the nonpublic school. If the nonpublic school attended is
located outside the school district of the child?s residence, the screening
is conducted in a school of the school district. K.S.A. § 72-1205.
Safety: Private and nonpublic schools are subject to
annual safety inspections. The state fire marshal will notify the school
of any dangerous conditions that require correction. Schools may petition
for review in the local district court if they disagree with the fire marshall's
assessment. K.S.A. § 31-144.
Administrators of private schools are required to conduct at least one
fire drill each month at some time during school hours as prescribed by
the state fire marshall. In addition, private schools are required to conduct
at least three tornado drills during the school year subject to the fire
marshall's approval. K.S.A. § 31-133(a)(5), (8).
Smoking or the use of tobacco products in school buildings is prohibited.
K.S.A. § 72-53,107.
Private school buildings must comply with applicable building, mechanical,
electric and plumbing codes. In addition, the construction of all school
buildings must be accessible to persons with a disability to the extent
required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. K.S.A. § 31-150.
It is a violation of the Kansas criminal code to possess a firearm on
the property of an accredited nonpublic school or to refuse to surrender
or immediately remove any firearm when requested by a school employee.
K.S.A. § 21-4204.
Under Kansas' criminal code, it is a felony for persons over 18 years
of age to possess a controlled substance with an intent to sell on or within
1,000 feet of any property used for an accredited nonpublic school or extracurricular
school activity. K.S.A. § 65-4127a, 4127b.
No liquor retail, microbrewery, or farm winery license may be issued for
premises within 200 feet of a parochial school, unless the school was established
within 20 feet of the premises after the license had been issued. K.S.A. § 41-710.
Students and teachers in private schools working in specified activities
in vocational, technical or industrial art shops or laboratories and/or
chemical-physical laboratories are required to wear appropriate industrial
quality eye protective devices. K.S.A. § 72-5207.
Transportation: Private and parochial school students
are entitled to transportation along the regular route of the school bus
if transportation is provided to public school students. School districts
may also provide additional transportation for nonpublic interschool or
intraschool functions; but, the terms and conditions must be the same for
public and nonpublic students. K.S.A. § 72-8306, 8316.
Privately owned school buses operated under contract with a nonpublic
school must comply with state rules and regulations governing the design
and operation of school buses implemented by the State Board of Education.
K.S.A. § 8-2009.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The
Kansas Constitution prohibits any control of the public educational funds
by religious sects. Kansas Const., Art. 6, Sec. 6.
Property used exclusively for educational purposes is exempt from property
taxation in Kansas. Kansas Const., Art. 11, Sec. 1. (b); K.S.A. § 79-201.
Private schools may participate in the food service programs and receive
reimbursement for meals served. K.S.A. § 72-5112, 5117, 5119.
Students attending accredited nonpublic schools and enrolled in an approved
course in driver training offered at the school may participate in the
state safety fund and receive remuneration for their expenses. K.S.A. § 8-272.
Nonpublic schools may take advantage of computerized information search
services provided through the state library and through the State Board
of Education. K.S.A. §§ 72-7527, 75-2563.
Homeschooling: The Kansas compulsory attendance law requires
that the parents of children ages 7 through 18 have those children regularly
attend school during the school year. The compulsory attendance law can
be satisfied through home schooling, provided it is operated for substantially
the same length of time as the public schools (1,116 hours per year), be
taught by a "competent instructor", offer planned and scheduled instruction
appropriate to the age-level of each student being educated, and monitors
and keeps records of the achievement and progress of its students. Additionally,
private nonaccredited schools, including home schools, must register with
the State Board of Education.
Miscellaneous: Private or parochial schools have a duty
to display the United States flag and official state flag every school
day from a flagstaff or in inclement weather within the school building.
K.S.A. §§ 73-707, 73-712.
Accredited nonpublic schools and their employees are immune from civil
liability for any report of student alcohol or drug abuse unless the report
was made in bad faith or with malicious purpose. K.S.A. § 72-53,104.
It is a defense to the criminal act, promoting obscenity, that the obscene
material was acquired by the private or parochial school and distributed
as part of an approved course of instruction at the school. K.S.A. § 21-4301(4)(c).
The governing authority of a nonpublic school must adopt rules for determining
valid excuses for absence from school. K.S.A. 1999 Supp. § 72-1113(c)(2),
Kansas provides for nonpublic school representation on the Teaching and
School Administration Professional Standards Advisory Board. By statute,
two members of the 21-member board come from nonpublic schools. K.S.A. § 72-8502(d)(8),