Sam Brownback

Stephen Koranda, File Photo

A temporary block grant system for education in Kansas is set to expire next year and lawmakers are planning to write a new school funding formula to replace it. How much money a new formula provides per student could be one of the major issues of contention.

Mark Tallman, with the Kansas Association of School Boards, says Kansas does well on most education measures, but his group is studying the states that perform even better.

Universities in Kansas have been taking steps to absorb state funding cuts. As Stephen Koranda reports, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University are adopting different approaches.

KU announced this week that there would be positions left unfilled and targeted budget cuts, including some significant reductions to certain programs. At K-State, the strategy is a little different: Spokesperson Jeff Morris says K-State officials gave all departments an equal cut of just under 4 percent.

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Kansas artists and arts organizations won’t have the access to grant money that they have had in previous years. That’s because the National Endowment for the Arts has said that state lawmakers did not allocate enough money to qualify for the grants, which are managed by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.

Kansas is now ineligible for close to $800,000 in matching funds from federal and regional arts supporters.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

As the nation gained jobs during the month of July, Kansas lost them. At the same time, the state's unemployment rate also moved higher.

The number of jobs in Kansas fell by 5,600 in the month of July. The state labor department says most of those jobs – 4,600 – were in the private sector.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

In the face of growing criticism from health care providers, Gov. Sam Brownback says he wants to restore Medicaid cuts made in July to help balance the state budget. But the governor says he wants to raise a tax imposed on hospitals to do it.

Brownback says when lawmakers return to Topeka in January he will ask them to raise the hospital tax to generate the money needed to restore $56 million in cuts to KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is sticking to his talking points. In a rare informal conversation with Statehouse reporters late last week, Brownback said the results of the recent primary election aren’t causing him to re-think his positions on tax cuts, school finance and Medicaid expansion.

Gov. Sam Brownback says the death of a Kansas lawmaker’s son at the Schlitterbahn water park should prompt a review of the state’s amusement park inspection laws.

“I think they ought to be reviewed, and I would assume and hope that the Legislature would spend significant time looking at the issue," Brownback says. "And we will as an administration after you get past the sheer tragedy of it.”

Parks are now required to inspect their rides at least once a year. Records of those inspections are then subject to random state audits.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is asking state agencies and universities to think about how they’d handle a 5 percent budget cut.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A new survey from Fort Hays State University shows Gov. Sam Brownback and the state Legislature are still unpopular with many Kansans, while the congressional race in the 1st District is a dead heat.

Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature continue to be unpopular, and the primary race in the 1st Congressional District is in a dead heat, according to a new survey from the Fort Hays State University Docking Institute.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

When you’re a Republican, and the governor is a Republican, and the governor has a low approval rating, running for office can be tricky. In a state Senate race in Topeka, both Republicans are trying to keep their distance.

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