Schools and education

Boys & Girls Club looking at building teen center near Lawrence schools’ College and Career Center
January 24, 2015
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence is exploring the possibility of building a new teen center on the property that will house the Lawrence school district’s College and Career Center.
Lawrence schools might offer KU courses in math, English
January 24, 2015
At its Monday meeting, the Lawrence school board will be asked to approve of a partnership that would allow students to take Kansas University classes at Lawrence High and Free State High.
Beeson files for Lawrence school board
06:21 p.m., January 23, 2015 Updated 10:26 p.m.
Jessica Beeson, the director of alumni and community engagement for Kansas University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has emerged as another candidate in the April 7 election for the Lawrence school board.
Kansas attorney general asks court to clarify school finance ruling
January 23, 2015
Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the three-judge panel handling the school finance lawsuit didn’t explain what facts it relied on in its ruling that said current funding for schools is unconstitutional. He is asking the panel to revise its Dec. 30 opinion, which will delay any review by the Kansas Supreme Court. By Peter Hancock
School funding plan’s effects on property taxes uncertain
03:44 p.m., January 23, 2015 Updated 10:26 p.m.
Kansas legislators from both parties say they’re not sure how Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s school-funding proposals would affect the power that local districts have to raise local property taxes.
Lawrence School District continues to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
09:25 p.m., January 22, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
The Martin Luther King Community Choir sang praises to their namesake Thursday night in the auditorium of Lawrence High School. As they sang the audience began to clap and chime in. “Equality and unity. This is what I think of when I think of the king,” the choir sang. “Freedom and liberty, is the legacy of Martin Luther King.”
Loveland, Spurgeon file for Lawrence school board two-year seat
January 22, 2015
Kelly Spurgeon, a program consultant at the Kansas State Department of Education, and Mary Loveland, a former board member of 20 years, both filed for the lone two-year term that is up for grabs in the April 7 election.
Brownback budget cuts K-12 education, holds higher education funding flat
05:29 p.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
Higher education officials feel relieved that Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal does not call for cutting any of their funding. But K-12 schools would lose more than $100 million through a sweeping change in the funding system that threatens to complicate the ongoing school finance lawsuit. By Peter Hancock
School efficiency panel suggests forming 2 new committees
January 14, 2015
Kansas lawmakers have agreed to consider two bills that would create new commissions to find ways to operate schools — as proposed by a task force appointed to identify efficient ways to spend school funds.
Group embarks on project to make schools more accessible by foot, bicycle
08:15 p.m., January 14, 2015 Updated 10:12 p.m.
More than 60 percent of elementary and middle school parents in Lawrence believe their child’s school does nothing to encourage students to walk or bike to class, health officials said Wednesday.
Kansas education board elects new leadership
05:33 p.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 10:07 p.m.
The Kansas State Board of Education chose Wichita Republican Jim McNiece as its new chairman and Topeka Democrat Corolyn Campbell as vice-chair for the coming year. They will be in charge of steering the board through a tumultuous year that will include battles in the Legislature over school funding and the transition to a new system of accrediting schools. By Peter Hancock
Douglas County’s first mail-ballot election sees high voter turnout
04:05 p.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 10:02 p.m.
Early returns for Douglas County’s first mail-ballot election show a higher-than-expected voter turnout, officials said.
Lawrence student one of two Kansans chosen for national Senate Youth Program
January 13, 2015
Stefan Petrovic, a junior at Lawrence High School, has been selected to participate in the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C.
Lawrence school board election: Three more declare candidacy
01:08 p.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
Three more candidates have filed to run in the April 7 election for the Lawrence school board, bringing the total to six.
Plenty of Lawrence students want to bike, walk to school, study says
January 12, 2015
About 15 percent of K-8 students in Lawrence public and private schools walk or bike between home and school, which is practically identical to the nationwide rate. But there is a sizable demand among students to do more of it, area health officials said Monday.
Lawmakers convene amid budget crisis, school finance suit
04:40 p.m., January 12, 2015 Updated 10:10 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers began the 2015 session Monday facing a mounting budget deficit and a school finance lawsuit that could make the budget problems even worse. But legislative leaders appeared generally optimistic on the first day of what is scheduled to be a 90-day session. By Peter Hancock
Near completion, new system for instructing students with cognitive disabilities to ‘radically change education’
January 11, 2015
A project funded by one of the largest research grants in Kansas University history that aims to change education for students with severe cognitive disabilities is nearing completion. By Elliot Hughes
Kansas lawmakers open session amid budget shortfalls
January 11, 2015
Kansas legislators open a critical annual session Monday that will require them to wade through massive budget shortfalls and deal with a court mandate to boost spending on public schools.
Kimball, Ingram, Frye file for Lawrence school board
05:04 p.m., January 9, 2015 Updated 09:55 p.m.
Two incumbents and one would-be newcomer have filed for one of the five Lawrence school board seats to be filled in the April 7 election.
South Middle School teacher wins statewide Horizon Award
January 9, 2015
The Kansas State Department of Education on Friday awarded Laura Hochman, an English language arts teacher at South Middle School, with the Horizon Award, which recognizes exceptional first-year educators.
Lawsuit filed after Kansas public schools receive fake bills for textbooks
02:27 p.m., January 8, 2015 Updated 10:37 p.m.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey-based company that sent false invoices for textbooks that were never purchased to over 300 Kansas public schools, including those in Lawrence.
Filing deadline for Lawrence school board election approaching
04:47 p.m., January 7, 2015 Updated 10:27 a.m.
So far only one candidate has filed to run for one of the five Lawrence school board positions that will be decided in the April 7 election. The filing deadline is noon Jan. 27.
Privacy law reduces student participation in Kansas drug survey
01:22 p.m., January 7, 2015 Updated 09:50 p.m.
An amendment to a new privacy law has sharply reduced the number of students participating in an annual survey that measures substance abuse, potentially hurting efforts to fight drug and alcohol use among young Kansas residents, according to mental health officials.
LHS and FSHS debate teams prepare for state tournament
05:56 p.m., January 6, 2015 Updated 09:48 p.m.
Lawrence and Free State high schools will send seven varsity teams to compete in the Kansas 6A state tournament competition in Derby in mid-January, with several of them heading on to other prestigious tournaments as well.
Lawrence Superintendent Doll answers questions about mail-ballot election on local option budget
05:36 p.m., January 6, 2015 Updated 09:40 p.m.
On Wednesday the school district will send out the materials for the first mail-ballot election in Douglas County, which will decide if the district can maintain its local option budget at its current level and retain about $1.4 million in funding. Voters have until noon Jan. 27 to return, not postmark, their ballots to the Douglas County clerk’s office, 1100 Massachusetts St. The mailing comes with a postage-paid envelope to return the ballot.
K-12 efficiency panel issues final report, recommends regular audits on ‘best practices’
03:59 p.m., January 6, 2015 Updated 10:02 p.m.
A task force appointed by the Kansas Legislature issued its final report Tuesday, including a recommendation that school districts undergo regular audits to determine if they are complying with certain “best practices.” But some conservative members of the panel said the report didn’t go far enough, and they’re expected to issue their own minority report. By Peter Hancock
Results from Lawrence walk-and-bike-to-schools study to be released Jan. 14
January 2, 2015
A community meeting by four city and county organizations will discuss the results of Lawrence’s first data collection on walking and biking to and from schools.
Kansas school finance ruling could pave way to overhaul formula
January 1, 2015
A three-judge panel on Tuesday declared current funding for public schools in Kansas unconstitutional. But rather than ordering lawmakers to increase funding by a specific amount, the court actually left the door open for a variety of options, including an overhaul of the school finance formula, which Gov. Sam Brownback and many Republican leaders have said they want. By Peter Hancock
Critics of Kansas science standards appeal ruling
December 31, 2014
A nonprofit group that contends science standards for Kansas public schools promote atheism has appealed a federal judge’s dismissal of its lawsuit against the guidelines.
Reactions to Kansas school finance ruling vary across political spectrum
04:53 p.m., December 30, 2014 Updated 10:53 p.m.
Advocates for public schools generally applauded Tuesday’s court ruling that said current funding for K-12 education is unconstitutional. But others criticized the ruling, which is certain to be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. By Peter Hancock