Reports this week indicate that some educators in the Topeka school district have had illegal access to data that identifies students from low-income families. This is legally protected as confidential.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that principals and other educators were able to see the data through the district's student information platform called PowerSchool. The data is used to determine which students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
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.
Officials do not expect a special election in Topeka to result in a legal battle because it didn’t reverse the outcome of a Republican primary for the Kansas House.
Shawnee County officials Wednesday certified the results from the special election. It was held Tuesday for a single polling place in Topeka where some voters received the wrong ballots in the Aug. 7 primary election.