The Kansas State Board of Education is being asked to develop regulations to implement the "Celebrate Freedom Week" bill that Kansas lawmakers passed this year.
That law designates the week of Sept. 17, or any other week determined by local school boards, as "Celebrate Freedom Week" and requires schools to give instruction to students in kindergarten through eighth grade about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.
Although current state standards already require schools to teach those subjects, the new law adds a requirement that, "religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction."
That bill was modeled after similar laws enacted in Texas and other states.
The draft regulation being considered by the state board would make compliance with the law a condition for schools to be accredited by the state.
The state board meets Tuesday and Wednesday at the Department of Education building in Topeka.
If approved, the draft regulation would then have to be reviewed by the Kansas Attorney General's office and the Department of Administration. Once they approve, the state board would then schedule a public hearing before voting to formally adopt the regulation.
The law requires the state board to adopt the regulation by Dec. 31.
In other business, the state board will:
• Act on recommendations of the Professional Practices Commission regarding the licenses of several current and prospective educators.
• Review policies about the collection and dissemination of personally identifiable information and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.
• Hear an update on plans for statewide assessments for 2014 and beyond.
• Receive an update on career and technical education programs in the state.
• Discuss the status of the state's waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind law.
• Discuss possible policy recommendations for the 2014 legislative session.
• Hear a report on emergency safety interventions.
• Consider paying $24,985 for membership dues in the National Association of State Boards of Education.