Kan. Board, Lawmakers Meet For Talk On Schools

Oct 17, 2013

Kansas legislators and the State Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss the status of public education, and to find common ground.

The Statehouse meeting included the 10-member state board and members of the House and Senate education committees.

Most of the discussion focused on how Kansas can spend education dollars more efficiently while also boosting student achievement.

Kansas spends more than $3 billion dollars annually on K-12 education.

WSU, Emporia State Strike Dual Degree Deal

Oct 16, 2013

A new agreement will allow students to start science and math degrees at Emporia State University and finish them at Wichita State.

University leaders signed the agreement Tuesday.

It allows students to spend their first three years at Emporia State and their last two at Wichita State.

Students completing the so-called "3+2" program will have earned bachelor of science degrees in mathematics or physics from Emporia State.

They'll also have bachelor's degrees in any of several engineering fields from Wichita State.

In the Kansas Supreme Court hearing on school funding this week, justices had some pointed questions for the attorneys.

At issue is whether the state should increase education spending. But how much can we gather about the possible outcome of the case from the questions and comments made by the justices?

Here’s just one example from the oral arguments:

When Justice Eric Rosen pointed out that the state had agreed to increase education funding in a past lawsuit.

“Essentially, it stands before me in my eyes as a broken promise,” said Rosen.

Wichita State University is hosting a career conference emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for young women.

The Expanding Your Horizons conference for middle school girls is in its first year.

The students can participate in workshops like "Polymers, Polymers Everywhere!," "Clean Air is Always in Fashion," and "The Slime is ALIVE!" The girls will also meet role models in science disciplines.

Kan. On Defensive Over School Funding Before Court

Oct 9, 2013

Several Kansas Supreme Court justices said Tuesday the state has broken its funding promises to public schools.

But they acknowledged that the current funding guidelines might not be feasible for the state, long-term.

The court will decide whether to uphold a lower-court's ruling from January. It ordered the state to increase school funding by at least $440 million a year.

A state law enacted in 2006 set the state's base funding for public schools at $4,492 per student, but the current base state funding is $3,838 per student, or nearly 15 percent less.

Enrollment Drops At Kansas Community Colleges

Oct 7, 2013

Enrollment is down this fall at the 19 community colleges in Kansas.

A new report by the Kansas Board of Regents says statewide community college enrollments are down more than 3.8 percent. That's a drop of nearly 3,100 students from last fall.

Kansas City Community College experienced the largest decline of 911 students from last fall.

The Board of Regents' head count is based on the first 20 days of the fall semester. Enrollment may go up as students sign up for a second eight-week schedule and for online courses.

Kansas Education Official Responds To 'Misinformation'

Sep 20, 2013

State Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker says she's sending a "friendly" letter to the state Republican Party this week to correct what she and other education leaders say is misinformation about Common Core standards for reading and math.

DeBacker's letter is in response to a resolution adopted by the Kansas GOP state committee last weekend, calling for the state to withdraw from Common Core.

Some state officials are wondering if all Kansas students should be required to take the ACT college readiness exam.

Kansas School Officials Look To Address Data Concerns

Aug 14, 2013

Kansas education officials are seeking to calm concerns about the student data that is being collected as the state switches to new education standards.

School Districts Getting Paid For Successful Tech Students

Jun 26, 2013

The state is rewarding Kansas school districts for trying to get students certified in technical education specialties.

Gov. Brownback presented $703,000 in checks to 111 districts Tuesday.

The state awards districts with $1,000 for each student who completes a technical education program and earns certification through a state vocational or technical college.

The funds are part of a program the state launched in 2012 to increase the number of certified technicians to meet industry demands.