Schools and education

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
Kansas court orders more state spending on schools, suggests at least $548 million more per year
12:31 p.m., December 30, 2014 Updated 10:53 p.m.
A state district court panel has ruled that Kansas isn’t spending enough money on its public schools to provide a suitable education for every child.
Rise in homeless students continues in Kansas
10:53 a.m., December 30, 2014 Updated 02:56 p.m.
The number of homeless students in Kansas public schools continues to increase, with about a thousand more homeless students last year than the previous year, according to state education officials.
Kansas school funding, water plans on Brownback’s agenda for 2015
December 28, 2014
Gov. Sam Brownback says he’ll ask lawmakers again next year to overhaul the state’s school finance system. He also wants to come up with a long-term funding plan for water projects across the state, and that is likely to involve asking local communities to pick up a share of the cost. By Peter Hancock
Legislative leaders want school finance overhaul
01:00 p.m., December 23, 2014 Updated 02:53 p.m.
Republican leaders of the Kansas House and Senate said Tuesday it’s time to overhaul the state’s school funding formula, but they said there are not yet any solid proposals for doing that. A three-judge panel is currently weighing whether the state is putting enough money into public schools. Their ruling is expected before the Legislature opens its 2015 session Jan. 12. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence schools, Douglas County prepare for first mail-ballot election
December 20, 2014
After Jan. 7, about 53,000 registered voters in Lawrence can expect to find envelopes in their mailboxes from the Lawrence school district.
Lawrence High ESL teacher wins teaching award, $5,000
December 17, 2014
The Lawrence Schools Foundation on Wednesday presented a $5,000 check and the Dedication to Education award to Lawrence High School English as a second language teacher Heather Lee.
Free State High School mourns loss of science teacher
December 15, 2014
The Free State High School and Lawrence school district communities are mourning the loss physics and chemistry teacher Brad Simon.
Kansas school efficiency panel reaches few agreements for new legislation
December 15, 2014
A task force set up by the Legislature to study ways schools can be more efficient agreed on only one bill to recommend to the Legislature next year. That would set up a process to define the new standards laid out by the Kansas Supreme Court to determine whether the state is adequately funding public schools. But the group was sharply divided on other proposals such as encouraging districts to consolidate administrative services, forcing them to spend down cash reserves, and limiting the scope of collective bargaining. By Peter Hancock
Weapons in Lawrence schools: mostly accidents, show-and-tell
December 13, 2014
After about four months of class, Lawrence schools staff has learned of 10 inappropriate objects and one weapon at school this year. The whole-year average over the past three years was 11 inappropriate objects and three weapons, according to data from the district and the Kansas State Department of Education. School officials are not worried about safety inside their buildings, they say, because it is rare that students carry these objects with bad intentions. By Elliot Hughes
City, Topeka district settle on school officers
08:14 a.m., December 12, 2014 Updated 11:00 a.m.
The school district and city of Topeka have agreed that 10 city police officers will work in district schools for the rest of the current school year, dropping to seven next year, after the city’s new police chief said not enough officers were patrolling the streets.
School district fund balances to be targeted, education group says
December 10, 2014
A group that lobbies on behalf of Kansas public school boards told its members Wednesday that legislation will likely be introduced in the Legislature next year aimed at limiting their ability to maintain cash carry-over balances in many of their funds. By Peter Hancock
District passes new attendance boundaries
December 8, 2014
Probably no one left Monday’s Lawrence school board meeting having achieved their ideal, but all parties involved seemed content.
Prairie Park art educator named Lawrence Master Teacher
December 8, 2014
When art teacher Darin Fischer quickly left the assembly space at Prairie Park Elementary School Monday afternoon just to grab something from the school’s office, he thought it was a bit odd that someone followed him and made sure he wouldn’t be long.
Wichita school aims to prove physics is for everyone
December 6, 2014
There’s a physics revolution in the works at North High School in Wichita, and science teacher Hannah Kelderman couldn’t be happier. In the past, physics — the branch of science that deals with properties of matter and energy — was for “those kids,” Kelderman says as she makes air quotes with her fingers. Next year, North High aims to have at least 80 percent of juniors enrolled in either regular, honors or Advanced Placement physics, which would more than double the number of students who will have at least some exposure to the principles of motion, energy, heat, light, electricity and sound.
Lawrence school officials make adjustments to proposed boundary changes
December 3, 2014
The 11-member team tasked with recommending new attendance boundaries to the Lawrence school board is going in several new directions, but also staying the course in other areas.
Liberty Memorial Central student disciplined for bringing pocket knife to school
December 2, 2014
Liberty Memorial Central Middle School filed a police report Tuesday after a student was found to have a pocket knife at school.
Lawrence school board’s Boundary Advisory Committee meeting rescheduled
December 1, 2014
The Lawrence school board’s Boundary Advisory Committee meeting originally scheduled for this evening has been moved to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the district office, 110 McDonald Drive.
Lawrence school program coordinator finalist for national award
November 30, 2014
You never know where you’re going to find Stacie Jackson at Kennedy Elementary School. She may be dining at her desk with a student who’s having trouble at school or home, listening as the grade schooler shares his challenges.
Kansas taps Alaska students to help spot test glitching
November 29, 2014
Kansas students will try again to overload the state’s online platform for mathematics and reading tests, this time with the help of schools in Alaska.
New Kansas education chief wants focus on ‘whole student’
November 27, 2014
Randy Watson has been an unconventional leader during his time as superintendent of the McPherson school district, shunning the state’s annual student assessments and becoming one of the first “innovative” school districts freed from a host of state laws and regulations governing public education. On July 1, he will take over as the next Kansas Education Commissioner, leading the state agency that supervises all other public schools in the state. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence school district schedules additional meetings on boundary changes
November 26, 2014
The Lawrence school district has scheduled three meetings during the first week of December to hash out school boundary changes.
Lawrence High senior aces ACT
November 25, 2014
Lawrence High School senior Brian Chang scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, according to the Lawrence school district.
Lawrence school district to consider alternative attendance zone changes
November 24, 2014
The Lawrence school district is going back to the drawing board on several proposed changes to school attendance boundaries. At the school board meeting Monday, the Boundary Advisory Committee, tasked with recommending new boundaries to the school board, agreed to evaluate several alternative options after parents raised various concerns.
School funding suit complicates Kansas budget fix
November 23, 2014
Even before state courts decide whether Kansas spends enough money on its public schools, a lawsuit over education funding is complicating efforts by legislators and Gov. Sam Brownback to close the state’s projected budget shortfalls.
Lawrence High student to march in Macy’s Thanksgiving parade
November 22, 2014
Thousands of people take part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and this year, at least one of them will have been plucked right out of Lawrence.
Lawrence school board to discuss attendance zone changes
November 22, 2014
The Lawrence school board will host a discussion on the proposed changes to attendance zones for elementary and middle schools at its meeting Monday.