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.
There is now a new mobile app to help connect parents, students and community members to Wichita Public Schools. In a release Monday, the district said the goal of the new app is to streamline information about students and schools.
Users of the app will have the ability to keep up with news from the school district and their school, calendars, ParentLink notifications, student grades and attendance, My Payment Plus and Speak Up.
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.
Kansas legislators said Wednesday that a two-week tour of the state's public colleges and universities provided a good exchange of information ahead of their 2014 session.
Members of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees finished the tour at two campuses of the University of Kansas in Kansas City, Kansas, and Lawrence. The fact-finding trek began October 22 and included visits to each of the state's six universities, a community college and technical school.
A group of Kansas lawmakers will begin visiting college and university campuses this week to talk budget issues. The visits come in the wake of nearly $50 million in budget cuts over two years passed by legislators.
Lawmakers have said they want to talk to university officials about efficiency and how they spend money.
Gov. Sam Brownback, who opposed the funding cuts, says he wants lawmakers to learn more about the role of higher education in Kansas and the impact of the cuts.
The Kansas Board of Education reviewed new federal rules Tuesday on food sales in schools slated to take effect next year.
The healthy snack requirements govern the kinds of food items that can be sold to students during the school day. Kansas already has requirements in place that in many cases meet or exceed the new federal rules.
Cheryl Johnson, the director of child nutrition and wellness at the Kansas Department of Education, told the board that much of the work in Kansas will be creating exemptions for certain activities, such as fundraising bake sales in schools.