Schools and education

Elected Education Officials
State Board of Education
  • Janet Waugh, (D-District 1)
    715 N. 74th Kansas City, KS 66112; (913) 287-5165
  • Carolyn Wims-Campbell, (D-District 4)
    3824 S.E. Illinois Ave., Topeka 66609; (785) 266-3798
  • Kansas Board of Regents
    1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 520
    Topeka, KS 66612; (785) 296-3421
  • Arthur Edwin “Ed” McKechnie, chairman, Arcadia
  • Tim Emert, vice chairman, Independence
  • Christine Downey-Schmidt, Inman
  • Mildred Edwards, Wichita
  • Juana "Janie" Perkins, Garden City
  • Fred Logan Jr., Leawood
  • Dan Lykins, Topeka
  • Robba Addison Moran, Hays
  • Kenny Wilk, Lansing
  • Lawrence School Board
  • Kristie Adair
    4924 Stoneback Place, 66047; 785-840-7989
  • Rick Ingram, president
    1510 Crescent Road, 66044; 864-9819
  • Shannon Kimball, vice president
    257 Earhart Circle, 66049; 840-7722
  • Randy Masten
    934 W. 21st St., 66046; 760-5196
  • Keith Diaz Moore
    1738 Barker Ave., 66044; 856-1402
  • Adina Morse
    1549 Alvamar Court, 66047; 785-856-0843
  • Vanessa Sanburn
    765 Ash Street, 66044; 785-856-1233
  • Administration

  • Rick Doll, superintendent
Lawrence would lose $1.7 million from school finance changes
April 14, 2014
The Lawrence school district would lose an estimated $1.7 million in spending authority if changes in the school finance law approved by the Kansas Legislature become law. But part of that could be recovered by raising local property taxes. Gov. Sam Brownback has not yet said whether he will sign those changes into law. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence students qualify for speech nationals
April 14, 2014
Lawrence and Free State high schools qualified two more students each to the national speech and debate tournament, which will take place this summer in Overland Park. That brings to eight the total number of local students going to nationals this year. By Peter Hancock
Annual variety show Foundation Follies set for Friday
April 14, 2014
Teachers and administrators with Lawrence Public Schools will sing, dance and entertain crowds Friday at the annual variety show fundraiser, the Foundation Follies.
Math, reading tests results may not go public
April 14, 2014
Kansas education officials are considering not releasing the results of annual state math and reading tests after computer problems and cyberattacks have plagued the administration of this year’s exams.
School board to review legislative actions
April 13, 2014
The Lawrence school board will review recent actions by the Kansas Legislature dealing with school finance, teacher tenure and other education policies. The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the district administration building, 110 McDonald Dr. By Peter Hancock
Education Commissioner DeBacker resigns
01:47 p.m., April 9, 2014 Updated 03:24 p.m.
Kansas Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker submitted her resignation Wednesday to the Kansas State Board of Education. She has led the agency since 2009. By Peter Hancock
Bugs still being worked out of new testing system, KU says
April 8, 2014
Officials from Kansas University’s Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation say that after getting off to a rocky start, the new online system that administers state assessments appears to be working normally now. By Peter Hancock
Kansas state school board reluctant to bless ‘innovative districts’ plans
April 8, 2014
Kansas State Board of Education members say they support the improvement efforts underway in two districts that have been designated “public innovative school districts.” But they said they also think the law is unconstitutional and they are continuing to seek legal opinions on that question before moving forward. By Peter Hancock
Attorneys concerned about Kansas school package
April 7, 2014
Lawyers for parents and school districts at the heart of the Kansas school funding battle have concerns about the plan approved by lawmakers to address a state Supreme Court ruling.
Free State journalism teacher achieves ‘Master’ status
April 7, 2014
Laurie Folsom of Lawrence Free State High School has achieved Master Journalism Educator status from the Journalism Education Association.
Kansas teachers to take lessons from Statehouse back to classrooms
April 6, 2014
Hundreds of teachers converged on the Kansas Statehouse last weekend, hoping to deter lawmakers from passing a law to repeal their tenure rights. Among them were many social studies teachers who plan to share the experience with their students to help them understand how the state and national governments work. By Peter Hancock
House, Senate pass school finance bill; awaiting Brownback’s signature
07:55 p.m., April 6, 2014 Updated 11:02 p.m.
The Kansas House has voted 63-57 in favor of the school finance bill, which is now awaiting Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature. Earlier Sunday, the Senate voted 22-16 in favor of the bill that includes repealing teacher tenure rights. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate Democrat complains of ‘possible open meetings violation,’ will ask DA to investigate
April 6, 2014
Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka says GOP leaders violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act by calling an unscheduled conference committee meeting at 3 a.m. after nearly everyone had left the Statehouse. He plans to ask the Shawnee County District Attorney to investigate. By Peter Hancock
House rejects school finance plan
April 6, 2014
The Kansas House has rejected a school finance bill that would have restored equalization aid for poor districts, but also would have eliminated teacher tenure and provided tax credits to benefit private and parochial schools. By Peter Hancock
Tentative agreement reached on school finance
10:49 p.m., April 5, 2014 Updated 10:49 p.m.
House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative agreement on school finance Saturday afternoon. The deal would send more equalization money to poor districts and increase funding for local option budgets, but would also do away with K-12 teacher tenure and authorize two forms of indirect vouchers for private and parochial schools. By Peter Hancock
Senate agrees to more money for schools; insists on vouchers, eliminating tenure
April 5, 2014
In the first round of conference negotiations on school finance, Republican senators agreed to most of the additional money for schools that the House approved. But they are insisting on provisions to eliminate teacher tenure and offer indirect forms of publicly funded vouchers for private and parochial schools. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence High School student wins all-expenses paid trip to Germany
April 5, 2014
A Lawrence High School student has been awarded an all-expenses paid study trip to Germany this summer.
House passes school finance bill on strong bipartisan vote
06:55 p.m., April 4, 2014 Updated 10:28 p.m.
A school finance bill advanced in the Kansas House with bipartisan support today, setting the stage for conference committee negotiations with the Senate. But the two chambers are far apart on policy issues that conservative Republicans want to attach to the bill. By Peter Hancock
School finance update: House panel advances “clean” bill; Senate conservatives add more amendments
April 4, 2014
The House budget committee advanced a school finance bill with full funding for “equalization” aid to poor districts, and few cuts to other education spending. But conservatives in the Senate advanced a bill that would defund Common Core standards and testing, provide corporate tax credits for private school scholarships and eliminate teacher tenure. By Scott Rothschild and Peter Hancock
Senate votes to defund Common Core standards
April 3, 2014
The Kansas Senate voted 27-12 Thursday to prohibit the state or any school districts to spend money implementing the Common Core standards in reading and math. The amendment was added onto a school finance bill that contains money to comply with a recent Supreme Court ruling about equity in school funding. By Peter Hancock and Scott Rothschild
Lawrence school officials growing impatient with state tests
02:16 p.m., April 3, 2014 Updated 04:06 p.m.
Lawrence schools reported continuing problems with administering state reading and math tests Thursday in the wake of cyberattacks against a new online testing system developed at Kansas University. Superintendent Rick Doll has advised principals to cancel further testing if the problems continue. By Peter Hancock
Finance bills would complicate Lawrence’s bond construction plans
April 2, 2014
School finance bills now pending in the Kansas House and Senate would eliminate money the Lawrence district was counting on to help pay for and equip new facilities being financed with the recent $92.5 million bond issue. The bills would also force cutbacks for Lawrence’s two virtual schools. By Peter Hancock
Kansas assessment tests hit by cyberattacks
April 2, 2014
Kansas schools that have been struggling to administer new math and reading assessment tests now have to deal with apparent cyberattacks on the testing system, according to state education officials.
School finance bills advancing in Legislature
April 1, 2014
The House and Senate budget committees worked late into the night Tuesday hammering out school finance bills aimed at addressing a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling. Legislative leaders hope to finalize a bill before the end of the week. By Peter Hancock
Parents, teachers walk for Kansas schools
March 31, 2014
Despite sore feet and windy weather, five parents and teachers have completed a 60-mile walk from Johnson County to the Statehouse to show support for Kansas public schools.
Lawrence-area students earn trip to speech and debate nationals
March 31, 2014
Lawrence High School’s Haley Luna and Free State High School’s Hannah Moran both qualified to the national speech and debate tournament this summer in congressional debate. Luna qualified in the Senate division while Moran qualified in the House competition. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House committee chairman resigns amid GOP disputes over school funding
March 31, 2014
The chairman of the House budget committee resigned Monday amid disagreements among Republicans over a school finance bill. Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, resigned his post as the panel opened hearings on a new bill that more closely resembles a bill by Senate Republican leaders. By Peter Hancock
School finance to dominate final week of regular session
March 29, 2014
With one week remaining in the 2014 regular session, Kansas lawmakers will focus heavily on school finance proposals aimed at responding to a recent state Supreme Court ruling. The House will consider one bill that would tie increased funding to policy changes favored by conservatives, while the Senate will look at two proposals that would partially pay for the increases with cuts in other parts of the K-12 education budget. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence quilter, area students hope to follow Mandela quilt to international exhibit in South Africa
March 29, 2014
The result of two months of work, in which nearly a dozen students and a longtime Lawrence quilter had a hand, will soon be boxed up and shipped across the Atlantic. Now, those who produced the quilt hope to find a way to follow it to South Africa. By Stephen Montemayor
Kansas House passes student data privacy bill
March 26, 2014
A bill to protect the privacy of data that schools collect on individual students sailed through the Kansas House on Wednesday. But supporters had to beat back amendments, including one requiring students to show proof of citizenship when they enroll. By Peter Hancock