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

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service, File Photo

Even before releasing their results, consultants hired to guide Kansas lawmakers to a school funding plan that meets legal muster endured a grilling on Friday.

How, wondered lawmakers, would the consultants reach their conclusions on how much money school districts need to help students succeed academically? Why do the consultants seem to be excluding the overhead — non-classroom expenses of running schools — from their study? And what about criticism of work they’d done in other states?

Crysta Henthorne / KCUR 89.3

Junkie logic brought an addict to the doorsteps of a Topeka woman once convicted of selling cocaine.

The addict was looking to buy, and Kansas’ online database of criminal offenders has a handy geographic search tool that lets users pull up the names, crimes and addresses of people who live within a few miles of their homes.

It’s meant to boost public safety, but the Kansas Sentencing Commission says other consequences come with publishing the past transgressions of nearly 20,000 Kansans.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Imagine, teacher Shauna Hammett tells first-graders gathered around a small table, a train whistle.

Harvest Public Media/File photo

Kansas sits in a shrinking pool of states with the strictest marijuana and hemp laws, surrounded by a wave of decriminalization and legalization that’s swept most of the U.S.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

Newly installed Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer described his state Wednesday as vibrant but with trouble spots, telling lawmakers he plans to tackle its problems.

Colyer promised to reform the state’s struggling foster care system, improve its privatized Medicaid program, open government activities into clearer public view and help more Kansans find jobs.

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.

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