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Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Vote on Kansas quarter design surprises high school officials

April 25, 2004

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— Some high school administrators said they were caught by surprise when they found out their students were supposed to vote this week on the design for the new state quarter.

Students are expected to vote for one of four designs for the quarter that will determine the face Kansas will present to the rest of the nation on its currency. It's part of an effort to commemorate each state on a quarter. The Kansas quarter will be issued next year.

The Legislature decided last year that high school students would choose the final design. Lawmakers said the election should be in the last week of April to avoid conflict with testing in May.

High school principals across the state didn't receive an e-mail from the Kansas State Department of Education about the election rules until Thursday afternoon.

School officials were asked to distribute paper ballots during the first period on Monday, although voting also could be done Tuesday or Wednesday. All results are to be forwarded to the state by Friday.

No full-scale voting on the quarter is planned at Hutchinson High School or in the city's private schools.

"I guess they'll do it without us," said Ralph Vogel, superintendent of Central Christian School in Hutchinson.

No firm plans for a vote were in place at South Barber High School in Kiowa.

"I saw something about it, but I didn't see how we were to do this," Principal Monty Thompson said Friday afternoon. "If I can find it, we will probably have kids vote on it."

Vicki Buening, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' director of constituent services, acknowledged there had not been much time for schools to prepare.

Some high schools will participate, such as Fairfield High School near Langdon.

"I'm going to put together something for each teacher to read," said Principal Al Petz.

At Little River High School, Principal Lonnie Moser said students would be given the option of voting.

Moser didn't have a design preference.

"To me it's a quarter, and I'm going to spend it," he said.

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