Emily Sharp
School of Law

Law school symposium to explore future of public education

Wed, 02/14/2018

Public Education Symposium PosterLAWRENCE — Ongoing funding shortfalls, a persistent achievement gap and competing political interests present obstacles for public educators and administrators. How can these issues be addressed to ensure that all children have access to free, quality education?

Legal scholars and policy experts will gather in Lawrence this week to discuss these themes at the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy’s annual symposium. “Public Education Policy in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities” will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at the University of Kansas School of Law, 1535 W. 15th St. 

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register and preview the complete schedule online.

“Public education is the foundation of our modern society,” said Alex Monteith, symposium editor. “It is essential to engage in open dialogue and exchange ideas so that we may work together to improve our public education system nationwide."

The program will address the role and importance of public education, culturally and economically, through the lens of law and policy. Speakers will explore Kansas' current challenges with public school financing, as well as national trends and recent policy changes. Sessions will be divided into two sections: School Financing and Litigation, and Issues in Public Education (including discussion on closing the achievement gap, charter schools and public education for refugees).

Presenters include:

  • Kristi Bowman, vice dean for academic affairs and professor of law, Michigan State University 
  • Jeff King, former vice president, Kansas Senate; senior attorney, Collins & Jones
  • Emily Rauscher, assistant professor of sociology, KU
  • Alan Rupe, managing partner, Lewis Brisbois LLC 
  • Anna Shavers, professor of law, University of Nebraska
  • James Shuls, assistant professor and graduate program director of educational leadership and policy studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis 
  • Connor Warner, assistant professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City 
  • Daniel Weddle, professor of law, University of Missouri-Kansas City 
  • Joshua Weishart, professor of law, West Virginia University 

Scholarship associated with the program will be published in a future issue of the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy. Contact Symposium Editor Alex Monteith at for more information.

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