New Senate bill affects teachers lesson plans

Update: April 15, 2022, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed Senate Bill 58, another bill consisting of curriculum transparency, as well as trying to establish a parents’ bill of rights. After being vetoed, it did not get two thirds majority on the second voting, which means it will likely not be passed, and could lower the chances of other bills like it being passed in the future. (4/29/2022)

The Kansas Legislature has a new bill passing through the Senate called the Curriculum Transparency Act, which would require teachers to have to post all their lesson plans, including sources and worksheets, on or before July 1 of each year.

“I think this bill is asking teachers to do too much,” business teacher Kellee Roberts said. “It’s hard to plan that far ahead when I don’t know what my students will need.”

This act states that all school material, whether it be resources, materials, websites or worksheets, must be posted on the district website on or before July 1 and updated on a regular basis during the school year to provide accurate information.

“I just don’t think this bill is necessary,” history teacher Rick Hess said. “It would have to make all teachers work harder to just adjust lesson plans that have already happened.”

This bill is going through the state legislature with the purpose of helping parents understand how the curriculum is taught in schools.

“I think the idea behind the bill is okay,” current events teacher Ryan Petty said. “However, the effort they are trying to make teachers put into showing what happens in the classroom is too much.”

Petty feels that having transparency with what is being taught at school makes sense, but it is not always applicable in all classes such as his current events classes.

“There is no way I could have a full year’s lesson plan posted,” Petty said. “In my classroom, we go based on what happens in the news, and there is no way to plan for that.”

This act is known as Senate Bill No. 393, but there are other bills working through the Senate and legislature that also focus on education transparency. These bills, House Bill No. 2662 and Senate Bill No. 496 focus not only on education transparency but also establishing a parents’ bill of rights to where parents would have more control over their children’s education.