Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Education
12:14 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

KNEA Files Suit Over Kansas Teacher Due Process

The state's largest teachers' union has filed a legal challenge to a law that makes it easier to fire teachers.

The bill eliminates a due process hearing that guaranteed most teachers a chance to appeal a dismissal.

The Kansas National Education Association's attorney, David Schauner, says lawmakers included policy changes and appropriations in the same bill, and the Kansas Constitution doesn't allow that.

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Government
12:07 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Feds Charge Kansas With Fraud Over Public Pensions

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission says Kansas violated federal law in 2009 and 2010 by not disclosing enough information when selling state bonds. The same announcement also says that while Kansas committed fraud, the state has taken steps to fix the disclosure issues.

The announcement says that when Kansas was selling bonds, the state didn't properly disclose the projected deficit in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS. 

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Politics
12:42 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Orman Collects 10,000 KS Signatures For Senate Run

Orman speaking at an event at the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Olathe businessman Greg Orman says he has enough signatures to appear on the Kansas ballot as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate. Orman says his campaign has collected more than 10,000 signatures. He says that number shows many Kansans are tired of the current political system.

"Kansans are looking for an option, they're looking for an alternative. They want people who are problem solvers, not just engaged in the old partisan fighting. They want problem solvers, and I think that’s the message of our campaign,” says Orman.

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Politics
12:43 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Interviews Provide Insight Into Bob Dole's Career

Bob Dole speaking at an event this year at the Dole Institute.
Credit Stephen Koranda

The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has made hours of interviews about Bob Dole's Senate career available online. The announcement coincides with the former Kansas senator's 91st birthday. Stephen Koranda reports.

You can now go online for videos and audio of high-profile people talking about Bob Dole's nearly 3 decades in the U.S. Senate. Here's former president George H.W. Bush.

"I, as president, had to have strong leadership that would be supportive of my programs in the Senate. And Bob Dole proved to be a great leader on that,” says Bush.

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Education
10:53 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Efficiency Group Considering KS School Spending

A commission will be working over the coming months to look for possible ways Kansas schools could more efficiently use tax dollars. The group is made up of former lawmakers, education officials and members of advocacy groups like the Kansas Policy Institute.

Those on the commission don't always see eye-to-eye on education issues.

The group elected former advertising executive and Wichita Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sam Williams to head the commission. He says he'll be working to get everyone on the same page.

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Government
11:17 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Tuesday Is Last Day To Register To Vote For KS Primaries

Tomorrow is the final day for Kansans to register to vote or update their address before the Kansas primary election on August 5th. As Stephen Koranda reports, there’s also still time to provide missing citizenship documents that are keeping voter registrations from being processed.

Anyone who's registering to vote for the first time in Kansas needs to provide a document proving that they're a U.S. citizen. Andrew Howell is Shawnee County’s election commissioner.

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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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