Education

Courtesy Eric Hammond

The last day of classes at Wichita’s Southeast High School is tomorrow, and there’s nostalgia in the air as teachers pack up and prepare to move from the current school at Edgemoor & Lincoln to their new building in east Wichita.

History and government teacher Eric Hammond says Southeast is a busy place.

"There's boxes galore," he says. "Boxes everywhere."

He, along with other staff and students, are moving. Hammond has been teaching at Southeast High School for six years.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas' state universities are calling for tuition increases of up to 5 percent, at least for now.

The schools submitted their tuition proposals Wednesday to the governing Kansas Board of Regents. But those came before Gov. Sam Brownback signed a budget bill Wednesday afternoon that cuts higher education funding by 4 percent, 1 percent more than the universities had expected.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools voted unanimously to reduce the district's spending by $18 million for the 2016-17 school year.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Wichita Public Schools Board of Education is holding a special meeting tomorrow to discuss the district’s 2017 budget. The administration is recommending that the board approve several cost-saving measures, including either closing or outsourcing all of the city’s adult learning centers.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Universities in Kansas have until October 1 to draft concealed weapons plans to comply with a new Kansas Board of Regents policy passed this year.

Concealed weapons will be allowed on university campuses beginning July 1, 2017. Schools can bar the weapons in certain buildings under the rule, but only if they add security measures, such as electronic wands or metal detectors.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Gov. Sam Brownback has until Thursday to sign a budget passed by the Kansas Legislature two weeks ago. He'll need to find nearly $200 million in savings in order for the budget to be balanced. One of the options on the table is to cut a portion of spending to the University of Kansas and Kansas State. KMUW's Sean Sandefur sat down with Wichita State President John Bardo to talk funding higher education. 

Wichita Public Schools is not the only district preparing for a possible shutdown due to the pending state Supreme Court decision on school funding: Hutchinson Public Schools also has a plan in place.

The district’s superintendent says a small skeleton crew would be allowed to work to monitor district facilities.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Supreme Court justices had some pointed questions for an attorney representing the state in a lawsuit over school funding. At issue is whether lawmakers have done enough to reduce funding disparities among school districts.

Justice Dan Biles expressed frustration that lawsuits over education funding have been going on for years and the latest solution from lawmakers appears to be just a one-year solution.

“How many years do we operate unconstitutionally before we say the music’s got to stop and we got to quit dancing?” Biles said.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

At a meeting last night, members of the Wichita school board tentatively agreed to look toward finalizing savings for the district by eliminating certain hazardous bus routes and changing the start times for several schools.  KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that an additional proposal could change the calendar for the next school year and possibly outsource custodial services. 

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Without a constitutionally equitable school finance system, public schools across Kansas will not be able to operate beyond June 30. That’s because of a state Supreme Court ruling requiring legislators to make funding more equitable between school districts. Hearings on the matter are scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools met Monday night and discussed the potential shutdown.

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