Education

Education
12:35 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Brownback Signs School Funding Overhaul Into Law

Credit alamosbasement, flickr Creative Commons

Republican Governor Sam Brownback has signed a $4.1 billion plan to overhaul Kansas' school funding system.

The governor signed the bill into law Wednesday during a private ceremony in the presence of GOP leaders.

It scraps the current formula for determining state aid and replaces it with "block grants" to school districts based on their current aid. The grant system will be in place for two years while the Legislature develops a new formula.

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Education
12:46 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

State House Committee Rejects Proposed Ban On Common Core Standards

Credit Alberto G, flickr Creative Commons

The House Education committee has rejected a proposed ban on using multi-state Common Core academic standards in the state's public schools.

On Friday, the committee voted 10-7 against the bill, that would prevent any school district or official from giving "any measure of control" over academic standards to any group outside Kansas.

Common Core foes opponents are split over whether to pursue softer language for the bill to help it advance.

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Education
1:50 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Slowing Enrollment In Kansas Schools Shows Economic Recovery

Credit tanakawho, flickr Creative Commons

The number of students who enrolled in the Kansas higher education system dropped slightly in 2014, especially among older, non-traditional students which officials say indicates economic recovery.

The overall enrollment at Kansas public institutions, including community colleges and technical schools, fell 2.5 percent from the 2012-2013 academic year to the following one.

The Kansas Board of Regents met last week to discuss enrollment at the state's schools.

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Education
6:57 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Kansas Senate Passes Bill Scrapping School Funding System

Senate President Susan Wagle speaks during debate on the bill.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A bill that scraps the school funding system in Kansas has passed out of the Legislature and is heading to the governor’s desk for consideration.

The Senate voted 25-14 to concur with a bill that had previously passed the Kansas House. As Stephen Koranda reports, it would temporarily create a block grant system while lawmakers write a new funding formula.

Supporters of the bill say it has $300 million in new funding and gives Kansas schools more flexibility.

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Education
4:49 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

KS House Abandons Reconsideration Of Block Grants Bill

Credit Stephen Koranda

Last week, House lawmakers narrowly passed a controversial bill that would scrap the current school funding system in Kansas and replace it with block grants. Some opponents of that plan had been hoping for a do-over on the vote, but as Stephen Koranda reports, the chamber’s rules shut down that possibility.

Some critics of the bill had hinted they would try to reconsider the funding formula vote on Monday. That would give them a second crack at the issue. But it became clear the chamber’s rules would block the move, so the idea was abandoned.

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Education
1:47 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Kansas House Committee Advances Block Grant Bill

Ron Ryckman Jr. speaks to reporters after the committee advanced the bill.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Lawmakers in the Kansas Legislature are fast-tracking a major overhaul of the state’s school funding system. The bill would toss out the current finance formula and replace it with a series of block grants, which would last for two years as lawmakers write a new funding formula. As Stephen Koranda reports, the bill has been approved by a committee and is now headed to the full Kansas House.

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Education
1:38 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Debate Continues On Kansas Bill To Repeal In-State Tuition For Children Of Illegal Immigrants

An effort to repeal a 10-year-old law that gives the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition is alive in the Legislature. But as Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, the measure remains bottled up in a committee.

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Education
1:19 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

UPDATE: Kansas House Panel Approves GOP Leaders' School Funding Plan

Credit Paradox 56, flickr Creative Commons

Updated Story:

A Kansas House committee has approved a plan from top Republican lawmakers to overhaul how the state distributes aid to public schools.

The House Appropriations Committee's voice vote Tuesday sends the plan to the full House for a debate that could occur later this week.

The committee voted despite bipartisan criticism that it is moving too quickly. GOP leaders unveiled the plan only last week.

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Education
11:24 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Report: New Proposal Cuts Money For Poorest School Districts, Protects Wealthiest

Credit Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons

A proposal for changing how Kansas public schools are funded appears to cut money from most of the state's poorest school districts while protecting the wealthiest.

The Topeka Capital-Journal examined the effect of a Republican plan to replace the state's existing per-student formula for distributing its money to 286 school districts, which is currently designed to ensure that poor districts don't fall behind wealthy ones.

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Education
1:39 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Newest Kansas Justice Won't Sit In On Education Funding Case

Credit Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Supreme Court's newest justice and the only one appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback has removed himself from hearing an education funding lawsuit.

The court said Thursday that Justice Caleb Stegall wouldn't participate. Stegall declined to comment through the court's spokeswoman.

An attorney for four school districts suing the state said in December that Stegall should not sit with the high court on the case because Stegall represented Brownback in unsuccessful settlement talks in 2013.

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