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.

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Carla Eckels / KMUW

Some states fear that a Kansas voter record system could fall prey to hackers, prompting a delay in the annual collection of nearly 100 million people’s records into a database scoured for double-registrations.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

When 18-year-old Columba Herrera walks across the graduation stage this May, she’ll leave Topeka Public Schools with two things — a high school diploma and the beginnings of her college transcript.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Fellow Republicans on Wednesday characterized Gov. Sam Brownback’s spending plan — more than $6.6 billion a year — as a beeline return to deficits and an abdication of responsibility in a budding crisis.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback, poised to leave Kansas after a generation of dominating its politics, on Tuesday called for steep infusions of money into public schools — spurring fellow Republicans to accuse him of raising hopes with a “fairy tale.”

Brownback said the state can add $600 million over the next five years — without a tax hike.

Sam Zeff / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas set lofty goals for its public schools in the next dozen years – but the Trump administration and independent experts suggest the state’s plan is as vague as it is ambitious.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Following a ruling Wednesday that could complicate the case, the fight over whether Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach violated the constitution in his quest to demand proof of citizenship from voters will go to trial in March.

Kansas News Service/File Photo

The former legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas thinks a practice among some school boards of restricting patron complaints at public meetings eventually will end up in court.

Doug Bonney, legal director emeritus for ACLU Kansas, said if barring complaints about school board members, the superintendent or employees is common, that doesn’t make it right.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service/File Photo

This story was updated at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27. 

The Kansas Department of Revenue announced another delay Wednesday for a major state information technology project involving about 2 million drivers’ records.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Gov. Sam Brownback has more hurdles to clear before potentially leaving Kansas to head the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. State Department.

The governor’s name wasn’t among dozens of nominees approved in the Senate this week, nor was it on a list of nominees to hold over until its next session.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office said that means when the session ends in early January, Brownback’s nomination will go back to the White House, which would need to renominate him.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Tuesday suggested the Legislature let the public have a say on the state’s constitutional duty to pay for public education, but he steered clear of criticizing the Kansas Supreme Court’s rulings on the topic.

Schmidt called for a “thoughtful, balanced, global discussion” about what Kansans want from a provision that they added to the constitution in the 1960s by popular vote. The provision requires the Legislature to provide “suitable” funding for public schools.