Top Morning News 2.20.13
Kansas senator expecting announcement on NBAF; Action expected on school funding formula; Gas explosion destroys restaurant in KC.
Sen. Roberts Anticipates NBAF 'Breakthrough'
The stalemate over federal funding for a state-of-the-art animal disease laboratory at Kansas State may soon be over.
Panel OKs School Amendment
A Senate committee is scheduled to take action on a proposal to redefine how Kansas determines funding amounts for at-risk students.
Districts currently receive additional state funds based on student qualification for free or reduced-priced lunches. The policy is based on research indicating that students living in poverty frequently need extra help to succeed in school.
The bill on the Senate Education Committee calendar Wednesday would keep that policy in place for students in kindergarten through third grade. From fourth to 12th grade, funds would be awarded for students based on their performance on standardized tests.
Supporters say the change will direct funds toward students who demonstrate a need based on achievement. Opponents say poverty is still the best indicator of school struggles.
Gas Explosion And Fire At Kansas City Restaurant
Firefighters with cadaver dogs were searching early this morning at Kansas City's Country Club Plaza shopping district. JJ's restaurant at the Plaza was flattened last night by a natural gas explosion and massive fire.
According to the latest update from the Kansas City Star, at least 16 people have been injured.
The explosion and fire started around 6 pm. Fire fighters were able to get the gas shut off around 8 pm.
Westar To Help Customers With Energy Assistance Program
Westar Energy advisers will be in Wichita Wednesday for an outreach program. They'll help low-income Kansans fill out applications for help with their home energy costs.