public education

The Kansas Senate Minority leader has raised questions about the chairman of the state Senate Education Committee's decision to send education bills to other committees for consideration.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, says Education Committee Chairman Sen. Steve Abrams has bypassed his own panel with some education bills, including a charter school bill and a measure overhauling teacher licensure.

Governor Sam Brownback, school officials and other community organizations will announce a plan on Thursday to improve reading proficiency among grade-school students.

The governor will share more details at a Boys and Girls Club center in Topeka.

School officials from Chetopa, Galena, and Pittsburg as well as representatives of the University of Kansas and the Kansas Enrichment Network will join him.

This year, Governor Brownback proposed legislation to hold back students who were not proficient in reading.

A Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen said during a hearing Tuesday he worries about "constant litigation" if the court sides with school districts that have sued the state to increase public education funding.

A state law enacted in 2006 set the state's base funding for public schools at $4,492 per student each year, but the current base state funding is $3,838 per student, or nearly 15 percent less. In 2010, a lower court ruled that the state must boost its annual spending on public schools by at least $440 million a year.  That lawsuit followed one filed in 1999. 

Visa Trouble May Force 6 Topeka Teachers To Leave Kansas

Aug 8, 2013

Some foreign-born teachers working in Topeka may have to return to their home countries.

Topeka's school district started recruiting teachers from overseas eight years ago; the district was struggling to fill positions in special education, secondary math and science.

The U.S. Department of Labor rejected the permanent residency applications of six of those Topeka teachers. The department rejected the argument that the district encountered a shortage of qualified teachers willing to take the positions.

WSU Supporter Velma Wallace Leaves $6 M To Wichita State

Jul 3, 2013

Wichita State University says the late Velma Wallace has left $6 million in an estate gift to the school's foundation. She died last July at the age of 95.

Velma had supported Wichita State in many ways, including the Wallace Scholarship Program for years. Both she and her husband, Cessna Aircraft Executive Dwane Wallace, who died in 1989, loved and supported WSU.

State Board Of Education Adopts Science Standards

Jun 11, 2013

The Kansas state school board has approved new science standards for public schools.

The Maize School District has decided to stop doing random drug tests on students who participate in extra-curricular activities.

Maize's School Board recently voted to eliminate the testing after hearing reactions from school administrators and students. The suburb just west of Wichita had conducted the random tests on students from grades 7 through 12.

A spokeswoman says the district has spent almost $31,500 on the program since it began in 2007.

Bills before the state House and Senate would allow charter schools greater freedom and funding opportunities in Kansas.

Now, Kansas has 15 charter schools; they're publicly funded but generally operate independently of school districts. The state had 37 charter schools three years ago, but many closed for financial reasons.

Hazardous waste clean up in Salina; New teacher evaluation system in the works; Vehicle fatalities up in Kansas; Dry conditions continue to affect winter wheat.

Extension Sought In Settlement For Salina Site

Officials from Salina and the federal government want more time to finalize a proposed financial settlement for cleaning up contamination at a former Air Force base. 

Education funding is a leading issue for many Kansans this election year and when voters go to the polls Nov. 6 they will be choosing between vastly different philosophies on how to create and maintain effective, efficient K-12 public schools.

Funding for public schools in Kansas has been a hot topic in the state legislative races this year, and for good reason.

Despite major cuts, more than half of the state’s budget is still spent on public schools.

Yet performance has been lackluster in many districts and among the state’s minorities.