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

Courtesy Kansas State Department of Education

Fourteen schools in seven school districts across Kansas will work this year on revamping the way they serve children, with the goal of becoming statewide models for overhauling primary and secondary education.

The education department is branding the effort to re-envision schools as Kansas’ version of “a moon shot,” referring to the U.S. race to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.

WLADYSLAW / WIKIMEDIA-CC

Kansas’ private tuition tax credit program doubled in size during the 2016-17 school year and appears likely to expand again after lawmakers voted to enhance it this session.

Suzanne Heck, courtesy Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Two Democrats in the Kansas Legislature want to know more about why Gov. Sam Brownback appointed the same individual to two high-level positions, allowing him to collect two paychecks since 2014.

Bryan Thompson / Harvest Public Media

Record wildfires scorched south central and southwest Kansas in the last two years. The Kansas Legislature will investigate whether the state is equipped to fight such large fires.

According to the eight lawmakers pushing for the audit, in 2016 the Kansas Forest Service had about $1 million to spend on stopping wildfires – just a fraction of the budgets in better-prepared states.

Ranchers lost millions of dollars in fencing and livestock in 2016 and 2017.

Clark and Comanche counties alone saw more than half a million acres burned this spring.

Michael Coghlan, flickr Creative Commons

A state senator is pushing for a legislative investigation of recent uprisings and disturbances at a 1,500-inmate prison near Wichita.

Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, on Monday proposed having legislative auditors look into incidents at the El Dorado Correctional Facility on at least four separate days in May, June and July.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday touted his credentials and passion for helping the Trump administration mitigate religious persecution around the globe.

Kansas News Service/File photo

A fresh legal challenge to the state’s 2014 elimination of teacher job protections has reached the Kansas Supreme Court, close on the heels of a separate lawsuit that proved unsuccessful six months ago.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Hackers who breached a Kansas Department of Commerce data system used by multiple states gained access to more than 5.5 million Social Security numbers and put the agency on the hook to pay for credit monitoring services for all victims.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

This story was updated on Wednesday at 11:42 a.m.

Attorneys for the state and the Legislature faced a barrage of questions from skeptical Kansas Supreme Court justices Tuesday scrutinizing the Legislature’s school finance plan.

alamosbasement / flickr Creative Commons

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse shows about 44 percent of Kansas students continue onto college or technical education within two years of high school. In response, the state is asking schools to improve their numbers.

Education commissioner Randy Watson says the number of Kansas students going onto college is good compared to other states, but that 44 percent figure, is too low.

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