Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

Stephen Koranda

The galleries in the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas are closed for renovation, but that doesn't mean the end of art programs. Some of it has been pushed out on to the streets of Lawrence. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, the Spencer Museum may be closed, but it's still keeping art in the public eye.

The Spencer's renovation is not just a couple coats of paint or new carpet. KU's art museum is getting a major overhaul. On this day, cranes are setting up scaffolding. They’ll be cutting holes in the exterior wall to install massive windows.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, flickr Creative Commons

Kansans will have a chance to weigh in today on a proposed electricity rate increase from Westar Energy. The Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, will hold a public hearing in Topeka.

The plan would raise electricity rates and the monthly fixed fees paid by customers. The hearing is a chance for members of the public to ask questions and share their opinions on the proposal.

    

The Kansas Corporation Commission will hold public hearings this week on a plan from Westar Energy to increase electricity rates. As Stephen Koranda reports, the hearings are a chance for Kansans to learn more about the increase and share their opinions on the plan.

Flazingo Photos, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Labor says there were thousands of jobs created in the state last month, but as Stephen Koranda reports, the monthly labor report wasn’t all good news.

Alberto G., flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education is working to rewrite the rules for evaluating student test scores. Kansas revamped standardized tests last year, and board members are working this summer to update the so-called “cut scores.”

Kansas Board of Education member Deena Horst says they should be setting high goals for students to be considered proficient.

“We want our students to be able to run with the best, if not be the best,” Horst says.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Board of Education has narrowly approved a plan that would loosen some teaching requirements for six Kansas school districts. The 6-4 vote will allow the districts to hire people who have expertise in a subject but who lack a teaching license.

Supporters of the change include Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia Lane, who says this will give administrators more flexibility in hiring for hard-to-fill teacher openings.

Weho City, flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas will now offer state health insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of state employees.

ncd.gov

At a meeting in Topeka today, the National Council on Disability will hear how the state’s managed care program for Medicaid has been working. The state privatized the health care system, now known as KanCare, several years ago. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the council advises the president, Congress and the federal government on disability issues.

The National Council on Disability held a similar meeting in 2013 in Kansas, which helped produce a series of recommendations for managed care programs. Now, they’re working to update the report.

Stephen Koranda file photo

A ruling last month in a Kansas abortion lawsuit could have sweeping implications in the state. Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks blocked a new abortion restriction from taking effect because he said the Kansas Constitution includes a protection for abortion rights.

That came as a surprise to the group Kansans for Life, which pushed for the new abortion restriction. Jessie Basgall, an attorney with the group, disagrees with the judge’s assertion.

Stephen Koranda file photo

In just over a month, the state of Kansas could be borrowing $1 billion to inject into the state’s pension plan, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. A group made up of the governor and legislators has given final approval to the plan. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the money would be given to KPERS to invest.

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