education

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Kansas' former education commissioner is hoping to bridge the divide between how schools teach and what businesses need from their workers.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Diane DeBacker was appointed late last year to the new executive director of business and education innovation position at the Kansas Department of Commerce. Her job is meant to bring education voices into the department.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Kansas lawmakers are facing an even tighter deadline to pass a new school finance law this session, after an attorney for the state encouraged them to finish their work on the topic less than two months into the coming 2018 legislative session.

Asked Monday by lawmakers what legal staff need to help make the state’s case, Arthur Chalmers urged them to aim for the start of March for handing off a new school finance bill rather than sometime closer to the date the Kansas Supreme Court set for filing the state’s arguments.

Courtesy photo

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer continues to shape top levels of Kansas government amid anticipation that the U.S. Senate may soon confirm Gov. Sam Brownback for an ambassadorship at the State Department.

Josh Harbour / Garden City Telegram

Children who come from low-income families, have disabilities, aren’t white or don’t speak English at home appear to be disproportionately paying the price of Kansas’ teacher shortage, according to an analysis by the Kansas News Service.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A special Kansas legislative committee on public school funding is having its first meeting next month to start work on a response to a state Supreme Court order to boost funding.

The committee is scheduled to convene Dec. 4 at the Statehouse.

The Supreme Court ruled in October that state aid to public schools remains constitutionally inadequate even with a new law phasing in a $293 million increase over two years to make it $4.3 billion annually. The court directed lawmakers to enact a new law before July.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

The top education official in Kansas on Tuesday proposed allowing more schools to hire educators who don’t qualify for teaching licenses under the state’s current system — and signaled he would support changes to state regulations if needed.

Flazingo Photos / Flickr, Creative Commons

Applications are being accepted to fill an open seat on Wichita's Board of Education.

Barbara Fuller resigned last week due to moving out of District 3, which includes large portions of southeast Wichita.

Milken Educator Awards

A teacher in Maize was recognized Thursday with an award described as “the Oscars of Teaching." The Milken Educators Award celebrates innovative teachers across the country.

Teacher Heidi Albin received the award during a school assembly at Complete High School Maize. About 60 students attend the school that's meant to help those at-risk from dropping out.

Principal Kristy Custer said Albin stands out because of her innovation.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Kansas’ approach to implementing a federal law on equity in education would fail to promote achievement for thousands of students the law was meant to protect, civil rights advocates say.

Kansas legislative leaders plan to spend $400,000 to get help in drafting a new public school funding law, including separate lawyers for the House and Senate.

The five top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature agreed on the plan Tuesday. The two Democrats present at legislative leaders' meeting called it a waste of money and opposed it.

The House and Senate each would spend $100,000 to hire its own attorney. The entire Legislature has had a single attorney previously.

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