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Elana Gordon / KCUR

Kansas has delayed cutting off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood facilities in the state and has postponed any action against the organization until June 7.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri spokeswoman Bonyen Lee-Gilmore said Wednesday that the state sought another extension to prepare for the first hearing in a federal lawsuit challenging the cutoff and that the delays are sign of how the state's decision is "all political."

"Clearly, there's no public health emergency at play," she said.

alamosbasement, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Supreme Court justices are mulling how to respond in a lawsuit over school funding. Justices previously said they could close schools if funding disparities among districts aren’t reduced. But as Stephen Koranda reports, an attorney yesterday offered an alternative option.

An attorney representing the state, Stephen McAllister, says if justices rule against the state they could strike down just part of the Kansas school funding system and let classes start in the fall.

Wichita Public Schools is not the only district preparing for a possible shutdown due to the pending state Supreme Court decision on school funding: Hutchinson Public Schools also has a plan in place.

The district’s superintendent says a small skeleton crew would be allowed to work to monitor district facilities.

kslegislature.org

Republican Kansas Sen. Michael O’Donnell is running for a seat on the Sedgwick County commission instead of seeking re-election in the state Legislature.

O’Donnell announced Tuesday that he will seek the county's District 2 seat, which is currently held by Democrat Tim Norton. Norton says he intends to file for re-election.

O’Donnell has served in the Kansas Senate since 2013. Before that, he was on the Wichita City Council.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Supreme Court justices had some pointed questions for an attorney representing the state in a lawsuit over school funding. At issue is whether lawmakers have done enough to reduce funding disparities among school districts.

Justice Dan Biles expressed frustration that lawsuits over education funding have been going on for years and the latest solution from lawmakers appears to be just a one-year solution.

“How many years do we operate unconstitutionally before we say the music’s got to stop and we got to quit dancing?” Biles said.

ronhays / Flickr

Lots of rainfall and average temperatures throughout Kansas means the state’s winter wheat crops are doing well.

According to the latest report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 90 percent of Kansas’ winter wheat is rated either fair, good or excellent. The majority of crops are also more mature when compared to last year.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

At a meeting last night, members of the Wichita school board tentatively agreed to look toward finalizing savings for the district by eliminating certain hazardous bus routes and changing the start times for several schools.  KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that an additional proposal could change the calendar for the next school year and possibly outsource custodial services. 

okpolicy.org

The Wichita chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists is hosting a talk Tuesday night about the Kansas budget and the state’s tax policy.

The event will feature Annie McKay, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth and the incoming president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children. KCEG describes itself as nonpartisan and was created in 2013 to educate Kansans about the state’s economic policies.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Sedgwick County is beginning the process for establishing next year’s budget.

As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, the first step is hearing from the people who carry out the county’s functions.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Without a constitutionally equitable school finance system, public schools across Kansas will not be able to operate beyond June 30. That’s because of a state Supreme Court ruling requiring legislators to make funding more equitable between school districts. Hearings on the matter are scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools met Monday night and discussed the potential shutdown.

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