Kansas News Service

KMUW's Kansas News Service reports on health, education and politics across the state. The service is a collaboration between KMUW, KCUR and Kansas Public Radio.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday signed a bill creating a task force to examine the Kansas foster care system.

The number of children in the Kansas foster care system has set records in recent years, passing 7,100 in April. The death of an abused boy in Kansas City, Kansas, also raised concerns about whether the system was protecting children.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

In his 26 years at Meade Unified School District 226, a 400-student district southwest of Dodge City, Superintendent Kenneth Harshberger has watched the educational landscape change.

Teachers are harder to recruit — even for elementary jobs, which were traditionally easier to fill.

“The first time I tried to hire an elementary teacher 25, 26 years ago, we had over 100 applicants,” he recalled. “Now I can’t get five applicants.”

Sen. Pat Roberts' website

Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s version of the Obamacare replacement bill.

Nevertheless, he supports it.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback has until Sunday to take action on the Kansas budget approved by lawmakers. His decisions could prompt action on the ceremonial last day of the legislative session.

It’s likely Brownback will sign the budget, but he can block specific items with his line item veto power. Lawmakers also have the power to override those decisions with a two-thirds vote.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Hensley says some line item vetoes could draw override attempts. Those would come on the ceremonial last day of the session, which is Monday.

BRYAN THOMPSON / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

When evening falls, Brian Hunt makes his way to a comfortable chair in a sunroom on the south side of his house near La Cygne, Kansas. But he’s not settling in to relax. He’s going to work.

Kansas News Service/File photo

The Kansas Supreme Court has set a schedule for the latest chapter in the seven-year lawsuit that accuses the state of underfunding public schools.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Safety concerns continue to prevent recertification of Osawatomie State Hospital, although a recent inspection didn’t find any evidence of the patient violence that prompted federal officials to decertify it in late 2015.

Staffing shortages and concerns about security and patient safety prompted the initial order. Certain they had addressed those issues, state officials appeared confident the state-run psychiatric hospital would pass muster.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The cost of higher education in Kansas continued to swell last week, carrying on a long-running trend in which universities rely increasingly on tuition and fees to operate.

This fall, a full-time semester at the University of Kansas will cost nearly $2,000 more than a decade earlier. The increase at Kansas State University has been similar.

Also over the last decade, the state’s spending per student at Kansas Board of Regents universities has slid.

kscourts.org

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is calling on the state Supreme Court to move quickly and sign off on a new formula for funding K-12 schools. On Monday, the court will set a calendar of hearings.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law the state’s new school funding formula, which increases aid to schools by $284 million within two years.

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