Kansas News Service

The Kansas News Service produces essential enterprise reporting, diving deep and connecting the dots regarding the policies, issues and and events that affect the health of Kansans and their communities. The team is based at KCUR and collaborates with KMUW and public media stations across Kansas.

The Kansas News Service is made possible by a group of funding organizations, led by the Kansas Health Foundation. Other funders include United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Additional support comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Erica Lynn / flickr Creative Commons

One of the most common ways for high school students to earn college credit — and, by extension, reduce the cost of college — is to pass an AP exam.

But fewer Kansas students are graduating with a passing grade on an Advanced Placement exam compared to their peers in other states.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Even before releasing their results, consultants hired to guide Kansas lawmakers to a school funding plan that meets legal muster endured a grilling on Friday.

How, wondered lawmakers, would the consultants reach their conclusions on how much money school districts need to help students succeed academically? Why do the consultants seem to be excluding the overhead — non-classroom expenses of running schools — from their study? And what about criticism of work they’d done in other states?

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File Photo

Sen. Pat Roberts says the level of federal subsidies for crop insurance will dominate this years farm bill discussion. Roberts, who chairs the Senate agriculture committee, talked about the issue on Friday.

At a farm convention in Kansas City, Roberts said a federal budget deal that included protections for dairy and cotton farmers against catastrophic losses could make passing a farm bill simpler.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas lawmakers head into the next stretch of this year’s legislative session after advancing bills offering tax breaks to some smaller businesses, compensation to people thrown in prison unjustly and a welcome mat to industrial chicken growers.

The bigger, harder questions before them remain unanswered. Since gaveling out on Thursday, they're taking off a few days.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas House has voted to toughen penalties for so-called swatting pranks that use false police reports to draw law enforcement to an address.

Flickr: Nick Varvel

The Trump administration remains unlikely to back off its plans to ease Obama-era restrictions that make it harder for utility companies to burn coal.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Questions about a private company’s efforts to win a lucrative prison contract from former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration have lawmakers looking to close a loophole in state lobbying laws.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

A call sets it off.

One of Kansas’ two foster care contractors learns another child has landed in state custody. It has four hours to pick the kid up.

Workers phone other child placement agencies listing the specific needs for a particular child. Family members are found and called.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have forged a compromise to allow more access to video from police body cameras and vehicles.

Legislation debated in the Kansas House Wednesday followed recent shootings by police in the state.

The bill says people in the videos or their families must be given access to the recordings within 20 days.

In the past, it could take months for families to see a video and find out what happened in a fatal police shooting.

Republican Rep. Blaine Finch said this plan would give families a definite timeline.

Wichita East High School / Facebook

Alayna Nelson, a sophomore at Wichita Northwest High School, grew up hearing stories of repeated mass shootings on the news.

“Every single time this happened I always wanted to do something about it,” Nelson said.

Now, Nelson and other students in her generation are taking action against gun violence.