Schools and education

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.
Highway Patrol, local law enforcement to target high schools for seat belt use
11:07 a.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
Beginning Monday, Kansas Highway Patrol troopers and local law enforcement will be extra vigilant patrolling around high schools and targeting motorists driving without seat belts, according to a news release from the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.
Public can comment online about Kansas education standards
08:09 a.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:11 p.m.
Kansas education officials have created an online tool to allow the public to comment about math, reading and writing standards.
Free State High School Honor Roll for fall 2014
February 19, 2015
Free State High School has annouced its fall semester Honor Roll. Students must attain a 3.5 GPA or greater to qualify.
Kansas attorney general appeals school finance ruling
05:07 p.m., February 18, 2015 Updated 08:27 a.m.
Kansas filed a widely expected appeal Wednesday of a ruling that found the state isn’t spending enough money on its public schools to provide a suitable education.
Poorest schools would lose Title I funding under GOP-backed bill
06:34 p.m., February 16, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
The U.S. House is expected to vote next week on a long-awaited bill to overhaul No Child Left Behind. It includes an overhaul of the Title I program, which targets aid to districts with the highest concentrations of poverty, by allowing some of the most affluent school districts to share in that money. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence teachers, students, parents like new classroom model
February 15, 2015
The Lawrence school district has 150 blended learning classes in which students work more independently with laptops and tablet devices. Reviews from teachers, students and parents are positive. By Elliot Hughes
Perry Lecompton High School Honor Rolls
February 13, 2015
Perry Lecompton High School has announced its first semester Honor Rolls for the 2014-2015 school year.
Lawrence school district accepting applications for Finance Advisory Council
February 12, 2015
The Lawrence school district is accepting applications to join its Finance Advisory Council.
Kansas moves to narrow teacher, school board negotiations
February 10, 2015
Negotiations between teachers and school boards may be drastically narrowed as the Kansas Legislature looks for greater efficiency.
Lawrence school board opposes moving local elections to November
February 9, 2015
Lawrence school board members approved a resolution Monday saying it opposes moving local elections to November.