Sedgwick County legislative candidates Thursday took questions about early childhood policy and priorities at a forum hosted by the Sedgwick County Early Childhood Coordinating Council.
Sixteen candidates attended the forum on the Heartspring campus in east Wichita. They answered questions on preschool standards, child abuse prevention, childcare costs, early intervention, funding and health care.
The Kansas Board of Regents will vote Thursday on a budget request that includes about $45 million in additional funding for improvements and raises for employees.
The increases are targeted at a variety of areas. Nearly $3 million would go to improve the University of Kansas Medical Center and $5 million to strengthen the College of Architecture at Kansas State University.
The proposal also includes more than $7 million for employee pay raises. That would be a 1 percent raise for all employees of the state universities.
A new report for Kansas public schools shows that students slipped in their performance on standardized tests during the past school year.
Deputy Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander says officials are studying why the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading and math fell slightly in the 2011-2012 school year.
The figures from the Kansas Department of Education were presented yesterday to the State Board of Education.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is coming to Kansas this week.
He has two stops in the state Tuesday. Duncan will be holding a town hall meeting at Emporia State University. He’ll also deliver a speech in Topeka.
Duncan will make a stop in Topeka at the Brown v. Board of Education historic site on Tuesday. Dave Smith is superintendent there. He says Duncan is on a cross-country tour of places with connections to public education.
The No Child Left Behind Act was designed by President George W. Bush’s administration to improve failing schools. But since its passage, several states have sought exemptions from the program, which implements national educational standards.
Kansas received one of those waivers last week, but state Board of Education member Walt Chappell says there’s no real advantage to being waived from the requirements of the program.