Teachers sue Kansas over law that limits teachers’ due process rights

The Kansas National Education Association today filed suit in Shawnee County District Court against the state of Kansas over legislation that limit teachers’ due process rights.

Parts of House Bill 2506 came under criticism during the legislative session from the KNEA and from Wyandotte County Democratic legislators. The lawsuit does not apply to any of the financial portions of HB 2506, according to KNEA information. The law also contained school funding provisions.

House Bill 2506 canceled provisions in the previous law that allowed teachers with tenure to have hearings before they could be terminated. School districts are still allowed to have due process hearings for teachers, but they are not required to have them. The Kansas City, Kan., Public School district said previously it would still have due process hearings for teachers.

The KNEA earlier announced that it believes that parts of the bill that stripped due process “were enacted by an improper procedure and that they improperly deprive teachers of a basic expectation of fairness in termination decisions.”

“Today’s lawsuit by the KNEA is little more than an exercise in labor union politics,” Gov. Sam Brownback said in a news release responding to the lawsuit. “Kansas has high quality, well-funded schools and I signed HB 2506 to keep it that way. I am concerned this misdirected lawsuit may cast doubt on, or unwittingly endanger, school funding just as classrooms are convening all across Kansas.”

The case is Kansas National Education Association vs. state of Kansas, 2014-CV-000789 in Shawnee County District Court.

First day of school

Students attended school in a new McKinley Elementary building for the first time today, as school started in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools. The new McKinley Elementary School, 1301 Armstrong, is between Ann and Armstrong avenues between North 13th and 14th streets. The one-story building measures 42,000-square feet and has 15 classrooms, a media center, computer lab, music room, art room and multi-purpose room. It is on 2.43 acres, and it replaces the former McKinley School at 611 N. 14th St. (Photo by William Crum)
Students attended school in a new McKinley Elementary building for the first time today, as school started in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools. The new McKinley Elementary School, 1301 Armstrong, is between Ann and Armstrong avenues between North 13th and 14th streets. The one-story building measures 42,000-square feet and has 15 classrooms, a media center, computer lab, music room, art room and multi-purpose room. It is on 2.43 acres, and it replaces the former McKinley School at 611 N. 14th St. (Photo by William Crum)

Students attended school in a new McKinley Elementary building for the first time today, as school started in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools. The new McKinley Elementary School, 1301 Armstrong, is between Ann and Armstrong avenues between North 13th and 14th streets. The one-story building measures 42,000-square feet and has 15 classrooms, a media center, computer lab, music room, art room and multi-purpose room. It is on 2.43 acres, and it replaces the former McKinley School at 611 N. 14th St. (Photo by William Crum)
Students attended school in a new McKinley Elementary building for the first time today, as school started in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools. The new McKinley Elementary School, 1301 Armstrong, is between Ann and Armstrong avenues between North 13th and 14th streets. The one-story building measures 42,000-square feet and has 15 classrooms, a media center, computer lab, music room, art room and multi-purpose room. It is on 2.43 acres, and it replaces the former McKinley School at 611 N. 14th St. (Photo by William Crum)

Body discovered floating in Big 11 Lake

Wyandotte County Sheriff’s officers discovered a body floating in Big 11 Lake at 11th and State Avenue today.

The body appears to be a male, but the age or race of the man is not certain at this time, said Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Lt. Kelli Bailiff. She added it appeared that the body had been in the water for quite a while.

She said the body has been taken to the Wyandotte County coroner’s office, which may be able to determine more information, such as approximate age and other details.

Lt. Bailiff said it cannot be assumed that the man died from drowning, since the cause of death has not yet been determined.

A call came in from a bystander at mid-morning about a body floating in the lake, she said. The Sheriff’s Department was brought in because it has jurisdiction over the parks.