Celia Llopis-Jepsen

Reporter, Kansas News Service

Celia comes to the Kansas News Service after five years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. She brings in-depth experience covering schools and education policy in Kansas as well as news at the Statehouse. In the last year she has been diving into data reporting. At the Kansas News Service she will be producing more radio, a medium she’s been yearning to return to since graduating from Columbia University with a master’s in journalism.

Celia also has a master’s degree in bilingualism studies from Stockholm University in Sweden. Before she landed in Kansas, Celia worked as a reporter for The American Lawyer in New York, translated Chinese law articles, and was a reporter and copy editor for the Taipei Times.

Ways to Connect

Lancerenok / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers may once have thought stiffer penalties for marijuana made sense, but in recent years crowded prisons forced them to take another look.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Last November, nearly two dozen mail-in ballots cast by disabled voters got tossed away in Sedgwick County.

Some state officials say local election authorities misread a technicality in state law, and the votes could have been counted.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Sit-ins and other protests over poverty and racial equality could be coming to the Kansas Statehouse, clergy and civil rights activists said Monday.

They promised to bring the same level of attention to the issues that the causes garnered when Martin Luther King Jr. championed them a half-century ago in his Poor People’s Campaign.

The effort is an updated version of King’s campaign by the same name. It emphasizes higher minimum wages, lower barriers to voting and an end to disproportionate incarceration of minorities.

Kansas Public Radio file photo

Last fall’s dramatic public backlash against plans for a massive poultry operation in northeast Kansas could lead to a change in law.

Christine H. / flickr Creative Commons

Over five years, the bus money that Kansas doled out to schools — that auditors say it shouldn’t have without legislative permission — totaled $45 million.

It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $4 billion a year that the state spends on public schools.

With so much at stake — the state’s single largest budget item — the system is drawing fresh looks.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The chief school finance official in Kansas — under fire from top Republican lawmakers, backed by scores of people in state education circles — on Friday avoided a suspension.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Tenure, as Kansas public school teachers had known it for decades, died at the hands of lawmakers without a hearing in the spring of 2014.

No one disputes that.

On Wednesday, state and teachers union lawyers went head-to-head before the Kansas Supreme Court over whether the ending of those long-standing job protections ran afoul of the state and U.S. constitutions.

Kansas News Service/File photo

For decades, Republicans and Democrats both made it hard for the public to know what goes on in the Statehouse. But in the wake of a Kansas City Star series highlighting the lack of transparency, some members of both parties are pushing for change.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The U.S. Department of Education has thrown its weight behind a Kansas school plan that aims for much higher rates of math and reading proficiency by 2030.

Initial feedback from the federal agency on Kansas’ 90-page blueprint for closing achievement gaps had been lackluster, forcing the state to revise it.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Some lawmakers in Kansas aren’t happy Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff is the lobbyist for the company lined up to build a new state prison.

Top Democrats in the Kansas Legislature — along with the Republican Senate president, Susan Wagle — are calling for a law that would require people lobbying for state contracts to register that activity.

Just like they have to do when they’re lobbying for legislation. David Kensinger, Brownback’s former chief of staff, is registered as a lobbyist for prison contractor CoreCivic.