Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Education
12:44 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Kansas Board Of Education Votes Not To Release Test Scores

The Kansas State Board of Education has voted not to release scores from a new standardized test. The computerized math and reading test for public school students was plagued with problems. As Stephen Koranda reports, glitches and cyberattacks disrupted testing for many students, so the results may not be valid.

The test was developed by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, known as CETE. Board member John Bacon, from Olathe, says taxpayers need to know they’re getting their money’s worth.

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Government
12:24 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

KS Statehouse Visitors Can Now Carry Hidden Guns

A visitor to the Kansas Statehouse going through security.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Visitors with a concealed carry permit can now bring handguns into the Kansas Statehouse. The change took effect this week, and Statehouse security officers have a process in place to determine who's carrying in the Capitol. Stephen Koranda reports.

Visitors with a firearm will need to provide their concealed carry permit and a photo ID. Kansas Capitol Police Officer Stephen Crumpler says staff will screen the person for other weapons and use a system to double-check that the concealed carry permit is valid.

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Education
12:08 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas Board of Education OKs Teaching License Changes

The Kansas State Board of Education has approved changes that will allow people with career experience -but no education degree- to teach in public schools. As Stephen Koranda reports, the changes will allow people with real-world experience to teach subjects including math, science and technical education.

The new regulations were prompted by a bill passed earlier this year by the Kansas Legislature, although the Board of Ed had already been considering some new rules. The changes easily passed on a 9-1 vote. That majority included board member Steve Roberts.

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Government
12:59 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Schodorf Unveils Proposed Voting Changes

Jean Schodorf holds a voter registration form during a news conference at the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state has unveiled her proposal to revamp some voter registration rules. Kansas law requires proof of citizenship documents for people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas, and that requirement has put around 19,000 voter registrations on hold. Stephen Koranda reports...

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Education
12:37 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

KS Universities, Colleges Sign Transfer Agreement

A new agreement signed by universities and community colleges in Kansas can help students earn associate degrees. The program is aimed at helping students who transfer from a community college to a university.

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Politics
12:36 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Debate about Kansas Finances Previews Fall Election

A routine financial meeting last week at the Kansas Statehouse turned into a heated exchange between Republican Governor Sam Brownback and some Democratic lawmakers.

The two sides sparred over the state's financial policies.

As Stephen Koranda reports, the meeting previewed many of the arguments that are likely to be repeated on the campaign trail this fall.

The State Finance Council met for what has become an annual event: The state of Kansas borrows money to help manage cash flow during the year.

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Community
12:14 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Concealed Firearms To Be Allowed in Kansas Capitol

Visitors with a concealed weapons permit will be allowed to bring guns into the Kansas Statehouse starting in July.

As Stephen Koranda reports, that comes after a group of legislators chose not to regulate carrying concealed guns in the Capitol.

A Kansas law grants the Legislative Coordinating Council the authority to bar concealed weapons in the Statehouse. But at their meeting, the council did not take up the issue.

That means concealed carry in the Statehouse will be allowed next month.

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Education
12:19 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Kansas Regents To Vote On Tuition Increases

The Kansas Board of Regents will consider proposed tuition increases at a meeting this week. Breeze Richardson, with the board, says this will be the final step in the process. Universities have spent the last few months developing and submitting their proposals.

“Those proposals were brought forth at last month’s meeting," Richardson says. "And then the final proposals will be presented tomorrow and voted upon.”

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Education
12:11 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

State Board Of Regents Starts On Budget For Higher Education

The Kansas Board of Regents is in the early stages of writing a budget request for the state’s higher education system. On Wednesday, they’ll start discussions on the spending plan they’ll submit to Governor Sam Brownback.

Breeze Richardson, with the board, says they'll be writing a two-year budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

She says this is only the second time the board will write a two-year budget in recent memory, and it requires a little more forethought.

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Crime and Courts
12:05 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Kansas Judges Gather for Annual Conference

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss
Credit Stephen Koranda

Judges from across Kansas met in Topeka to brush up on their judicial knowledge as part of an annual conference.

This year, judges also heard a presentation on the judiciary in Nazi Germany.

They heard how small compromises by judges in areas like civil liberties eventually increased and helped the Nazi party grow in power and eventually carry out crimes against European residents.

Marcus Appelbaum, with the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, says there are lessons modern judges can take from the example.

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