You know that soccer mom who jogs by your house every morning? The other day she went right up to your son’s third grade teacher and stripped her naked of the due process rights she’s had for the last 57 years here in Kansas.
And that guy who was smiling and joking with me in the checkout line at the grocery last Saturday? He lit a firebomb, taped a tax credit for private school supporters on it, and flung it through the window of a first grade classroom in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Kansas House Republicans have outlined a plan that fully funds aid to poor school districts... but ties the money to policy changes that expand parents' choices on where to send their children to school.
The bill provides an additional $129 million dollars to poor school districts, in compliance with a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in an education funding lawsuit.
State lawmakers are resuming their talks about education funding.
A Kansas Supreme Court ruling last week said the state has created inequalities between schools districts and that lawmakers violated the Kansas Constitution by cutting funds that help equalize school district budgets.
The group that filed that lawsuit, and some lawmakers, say the solution is to restore more than $100 million dollars in education funds.
Democratic House Representative and governor candidate Paul Davis says Kansas has fallen short.
Room and board costs at Kansas' six public universities would increase next year under a proposal before the state's Board of Regents.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that under the proposal, the traditional arrangement of two residents per room and a typical meal plan would increase 2.5 percent next year at the University of Kansas.
A state official says Kansas schools are becoming better prepared to respond to natural and man-made disasters but will need more resources to keep improving.
Bob Hull, director of the Kansas Center for Safe and Prepared Schools, told lawmakers Thursday that shrinking federal grants have limited the state's ability to help schools prepare for tornadoes or violent intruders.
Hull says that schools are conducting more drills and risk assessments. But he adds that more money is needed to build safe rooms and provide crisis training.
A special legislative committee is opening two days of hearings to review the Kansas school finance system and study the practices of neighboring states.
The meetings Wednesday and Thursday also include a discussion of staffing changes by school districts and how they compare to neighboring states. Policy analysts are expected to also discuss trends in school choice programs nationwide.
The committee is led by Republican Kasha Kelley, chair of the House Education Committee, and Republican Senator Steve Abrams, a former State Board of Education member.
Education officials say new math and English testing that will be recommended next month to the Kansas State Board of Education will be aligned with new curriculum standards and give more flexibility to student testing.
The changes were outlined during a meeting Wednesday in Topeka. Education commissioner Diane DeBacker will recommend that the board approve using the Smarter Balance tests in grades three through eight. She says high schools will have flexibility in what type of assessment they use.