Gov. Sam Brownback's new budget proposals would phase in a $76 million increase in aid to public schools over two years. He would would also use $77 million in revenue from state-owned casinos to help fund teacher pensions.
Butler Community College leaders are considering a proposal to ban smoking and tobacco on all of its campuses. A task force presented its findings last week to the college's Board of Trustees. The board could vote on the issue in March.
Butler currently bans smoking inside campus buildings, but smoking is allowed outside 25 feet from the buildings. Bill Rinkenbaugh, one of the school's vice presidents, estimates the college would spend between $25,000 - $30,000 on signs and educational materials to implement the ban.
About a dozen Kansas colleges have banned tobacco.
According to Education Week's annual rankings, Kansas' public schools are 37th in the country.
The publication released its 2013 "Quality Counts" rankings today, and Kansas' overall grade was a C. The state received a B minus for its standards, assessments and a category called "chance for success." Kansas earned an A for early childhood education, but an F for "college readiness." The rest of the categories were mixed, with Kansas getting a D+ for K-12 achievement, a B+ for workforce readiness, and an A minus for school accountability.
A Kansas official says school districts are concerned about more than just the resources needed to provide their students with a suitable education.
Deputy Education Commissioner Craig Neuenswander finished testifying today in the trial of a lawsuit over how Kansas funds its public schools. He was called by attorneys for the 54 school districts whose lawsuit claims Kansas has been spending too little to satisfy the state constitution’s requirement for providing a “suitable” education. He said schools want to make sure students have the knowledge they need to be productive.