Sebelius Kicks Off Talks of New Education Council

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Kathleen Sebelius says the state needs to improve its coordination of education programs.

She also worries that the education system, from preschool through graduate school, has gaps, where students fail or leave school and don't live up to their full potential.

The governor raised those issues during the first meeting Thursday of a new council she has formed to study such issues and make recommendations.

It's known as the P20 Education Council. That's P for preschool, and 20, denoting the grade that the last year of graduate school would be.

"My hope is that we can have a realistic picture for what actually is happening in the Kansas school system with some specifity," said Governor Sebelius. "And if there are students who are dropping out, falling out checking out along the way, have some very specific strategy recommendations of how we can fill those gaps."

The council has 21 members, including legislators, educators and members of both the State Board of Education and Board of Regents.

Policymakers in at least 30 states have looked for ways to enhance an integrated system of education in which all levels of education as well as business partners and legislators, coordinate, communite and educate as one system. Governor Sebelius issued Executive Order 08-05 to do just that in Kansas.

As part of the executive order, the Council was charged with establishing a vision statement, mission statement, guiding principles and a shared plan for reaching the state's vision of a comprehensive system of education.


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