Schools and education

Loveland, Harmon win school board primary, will face off in April 7 general election
March 3, 2015
Mary Loveland and Marcel Harmon, the two candidates with experience serving on the Lawrence school board, beat out their two other opponents in Tuesday’s primary election for a two-year term on the district’s governing body.
2015 primary election results: Soden, Rasmussen, Boley, Riordan, Herbert, Schumm moving onto April general election
Loveland, Harmon advance in school board race
07:00 p.m., March 3, 2015 Updated 08:47 p.m.
Lawrence voters showed up at the polls Tuesday to narrow down a full field of candidates for Lawrence City Commission and school board seats. Follow along with updated results.
Kansas Supreme Court deciding whether to take school finance appeal
March 3, 2015
A three-judge district court panel has postponed a hearing in the school finance lawsuit while the Kansas Supreme Court decides whether to take up an immediate appeal in the case. Meanwhile, the Shawnee Mission school district has filed a motion to intervene in the case. By Peter Hancock
Vote in today’s primary elections! 9 percent turnout reported at 3 p.m.
01:27 p.m., March 3, 2015 Updated 04:45 p.m.
About 9 percent of registered voters had cast ballots in the local primary election as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Douglas County Clerk Jameson Shew. The Lawrence City Commission primary and the USD 497 school board primary drew 4,584 of 63,952 registered voters to the polls as of 3 p.m. Another 925 had cast advance ballots. Polls close at 7 p.m.
After-school health and fitness program at Liberty Memorial continues to grow
March 3, 2015
When Michel Loomis, then a teacher at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, co-founded a physical fitness after-school program in 2009, all it had to work with was a big gym.
Kansas Supreme Court sets deadline for school finance motions
09:48 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Plaintiffs in the ongoing school finance lawsuit have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file a motion stating whether they want the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the latest lower court order, or if they want the case to stay in the hands of a three-judge panel which has been asked to reconsider its last decision. By Peter Hancock
District, teachers begin negotiations for 2015-16 school year
08:51 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Teams for the Lawrence school district and the local teachers union met Monday to begin negotiations for teacher contracts for the 2015-16 school year.
Veritas Christian School Honor Roll
March 2, 2015
Veritas Christian School has announced its first semester Honor Roll for the 2014-2015 school year.
Kansas school funding plan aimed at ending budget surprises
March 1, 2015
Top Republican officials in Kansas who hope to eliminate a budget deficit while sustaining personal income tax cuts are working on a plan to overhaul the state’s system for funding public schools in a way that would prevent unanticipated demands for new spending.
Free State High School ready to return to international robotics competition
05:19 p.m., February 27, 2015 Updated 10:38 p.m.
Two students helped rebuild Free State High School’s robotics program, which was dormant for several years. The club now has about 20 active members and is ready to return to the FIRST Robotics Competition, a prestigious tournament.
Kansas House, Senate pass teacher collective bargaining compromise
11:26 a.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 11:01 p.m.
The Kansas House and Senate passed nearly identical bills Thursday dealing with contract negotiations between school districts and teachers unions.
School board candidates discuss budget cuts, Common Core at forum
February 25, 2015
The four candidates competing for a two-year term on the Lawrence school board found little to argue about Wednesday night when they gathered to outline their positions on various issues.
Kansas House rejects bill limiting teacher negotiations; passes compromise alternative
04:46 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
The Kansas House rejected a bill Wednesday that would have eliminated the exclusive right of teachers unions to negotiate contracts with school districts. Instead, it advanced a bill reflecting a compromise worked out between the state’s major education groups over what issues should be negotiated between teachers and school districts. By Peter Hancock
Local day care closes after allegations of improper punishment, force-feeding
04:34 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
A Lawrence child care agency closed Friday after Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials alleged the owner had multiple violations, such as prohibited punishment, leaving young children unattended and force-feeding a small boy, going back to May 2014.
Free State High program will include female students after ACLU raises concerns
03:25 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
A mentoring program at Lawrence’s Free State High School will now include female students after the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas raised concerns that the program was reserved for males and violated Title IX.
Kansas lawmakers consider cutting funding for Parents as Teachers
08:53 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 09:23 a.m.
A Kansas House committee has recommended cutting all funding for the Parents as Teachers program, which would end the program.
Kansas lawmakers resume battle over immigrant tuition
04:15 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers are again debating a bill to repeal a 2004 law allowing undocumented immigrants who otherwise meet residency requirements to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and Universities. The bill would affect 651 students currently enrolled in the state’s Regents universities, community colleges and technical schools. By Peter Hancock
School board approves 4-year capital improvements plan
08:05 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:58 p.m.
The Lawrence school district will spend about $12.5 million out of its capital improvements plan on facility repairs and purchases on furniture and equipment in 2015, and a total of $45.5 million through 2018. A capital improvements plan is adopted every year.
Lawrence superintendent testifies against a bill to repeal Common Core standards
02:25 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll told a legislative committee Monday that a bill to repeal many of the state’s education standards, including the Common Core standards for reading and math, would have far-reaching, unintended consequences. “You don’t kill a mouse with a shotgun,” Doll told the House Education Committee. “This shotgun approach that is advocated in this bill would literally gut many of our educational programs, placing school districts in the impossible position of making local decisions for students that are in direct conflict with the law.”By Peter Hancock
School board questionnaire: Mary Loveland
February 22, 2015
Mary Loveland, 66, is a homemaker who served on the board from 1987 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2011. She has worked as an organizer for youth sports leagues and served on boards for the Kansas University Alumni Association and the Kansas Memorial Union. She has been a resident of Lawrence for 38 years.
School board questionnaire: Norine Spears
February 22, 2015
The Journal-World sent a seven-question survey to each school board candidate running for the lone two-year term. Four people filed for that seat. The March 3 primary election will whittle the field of candidates down to two for the April 7 general election.
School board questionnaire: Kelly Spurgeon
February 22, 2015
The Journal-World sent a seven-question survey to each school board candidate running for the lone two-year term. Four people filed for that seat. The March 3 primary election will whittle the field of candidates down to two for the April 7 general election.
School board questionnaire: Marcel Harmon
February 22, 2015
The Journal-World sent a seven-question survey to each school board candidate running for the lone two-year term. Four people filed for that seat. The March 3 primary election will whittle the field of candidates down to two for the April 7 general election.
School board candidate profile: Norine Spears
February 22, 2015
While in elementary school, Norine Spears remembers riding in a car with her mother and heading door to door collecting money to buy land for a new middle school in her home town.
School board candidate profile: Kelly Spurgeon
February 22, 2015
Now vying for a position on Lawrence’s school board, Kelly Spurgeon said he would be comfortable being held accountable in that office. “That’s what a board member does,” he said. “That’s part of the service and leadership.” At the heart of any issues facing Lawerence’s schools, Spurgeon said he’s a pragmatist rather than an ideologue. And while he doesn’t presume to know or understand all the area’s problems, he said he’s prepared to listen to the needs of the people.
School board candidate profile: Marcel Harmon
February 22, 2015
Marcel Harmon’s involvement in schools started in 2009 with ad-hoc advocacy groups and volunteer advisory boards for the district. By 2011, he was on a statewide council, the Kansas Next Generation Science Standard Review Committee. That kind of résumé got him appointed to the Lawrence school board last September after another member resigned. Six months later, his term is already expiring, and he’s decided to come back for more and run against three opponents for the lone two-year term available in this spring’s election.
School board candidate profile: Mary Loveland
February 22, 2015
After a four-year hiatus, Mary Loveland is ready to return to the Lawrence school board. She is a 20-year veteran who served from 1987 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2011.
2015 Lawrence school board election: candidate profiles and questionnaires
February 22, 2015
Get ready for the 2015 Lawrence school board primary election on March 3 by reading up on the four candidates for the two-year term and comparing their answers to a Journal-World questionnaire. Stories by Elliot Hughes and Conrad Swanson
Kansas House panel passes strict reform to school wage talks
03:59 p.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Kansas school boards would have the power to tell teachers that are not members of unions to “take it or leave it” in salary negotiations under a bill endorsed by a state House panel Friday.
Candidate forums scheduled in advance of city commission, school board primaries
12:44 p.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
Candidate forums for Lawrence City Commission and school board candidates have been scheduled for next week, in advance of the March 3 primaries.