- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The largest teachers’ union in Kansas said Friday that it is planning to mount a legal challenge to parts of a new education law that boosts aid to poor school districts but also ends guaranteed tenure in public schools and encourages corporate funding for private school scholarships.

The Kansas National Education Association announced said it would have a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday at its Topeka headquarters to announce a legal challenge to “aspects” of the law. The announcement was not more specific, and KNEA officials wouldn’t offer additional details.

Aides to Gov. Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt also declined to comment.

The law, approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature and signed by the GOP governor in April, increases aid to poor school districts by $129 million for the 2014-15 school year to meet a Kansas Supreme Court mandate.

But the law also contains provisions sought by conservative Republicans. One provision taking effect in July will eliminate the automatic right of teachers who face dismissal after three years in the classroom to have their cases reviewed by independent hearing officers.

Another provision authorizes up to $10 million a year in tax credits to corporations that bankroll private-school scholarships for at-risk children.

A third provision makes it easier for professionals with expertise in science, math or technology to become teachers by not requiring them to complete a college teacher-preparation program.

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Follow John Hanna on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .


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