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S&P leaves Kansas' rating unchanged, stable outlook

Peter Hancock

Not all credit rating services are seeing a gloomy outlook for the state of Kansas in light of a recent court ruling about school finance. Standard & Poor's confirmed last week that it has not changed its credit rating outlook for Kansas in light of the decision in Gannon vs. ...

Moody's calls school finance ruling a negative credit factor for Kansas

Peter Hancock

Moody's Investors Services is calling last week's court ruling on school finance a negative credit factor for Kansas. "Although subject to appeal, this ruling is credit negative for Kansas (Aa1 negative) and underscores challenges the state faces as it tries to offset revenue losses from the income tax cuts it ...

1966 Revisited

Peter Hancock

Pardon me while I brush the dust off my hands and clothes, but I've been down in the basement of the News Center digging through what used to be called the newspaper "morgue," which is where we keep copies of every edition the Journal-World has ever printed. Thank goodness for ...

Fourth grade reading; third grade retention

Peter Hancock

Gov. Sam Brownback threw out some statistics in his [State of the State address][1] Tuesday night that might have caught some people by surprise. Among them was this: "29 percent of Kansas fourth-graders can’t read at a basic level." That figure is based on a somewhat controversial premise: the 2011 ...

School finance and the Kansas Constitution

Peter Hancock

Immediately after a three-judge panel issued its decision in the Kansas school finance lawsuit Friday, statements and pronouncements started flowing out of the statehouse about separation of powers, legislative authority and out-of-control courts stepping beyond their bounds. "The Kansas Legislature, not the courts, has the power of the purse," Gov. ...

Former Senate Education chair to switch parties

Peter Hancock

Jean Schodorf, former chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, announced on Facebook Sunday that she will officially switch her party affiliation to Democrat on Monday. Schodorf, who is from Wichita, was one of several moderate Republican senators who were defeated in the Aug. 2 primaries by conservatives backed by the ...

Education deans, KSDE to meet on teacher prep programs

Peter Hancock

Officials at the Kansas State Department of Education will meet in March with deans from various schools of education to discuss a recent report calling for big changes in the way colleges prepare new teachers for entering the profession. Scott Myers, KSDE's director of teacher education and licensure, plans to ...

Private, for-profit career and tech ed; Draft science standards released

Peter Hancock

Last week I wrote a story that appeared in our "Education Focus" section about the [Lawrence school district's plans to expand career and technical education][1] opportunities. A reader quickly called my attention to a statement that overgeneralized the current state of CTE programs in the community. What I should have ...

Draft science standards to be released Tuesday ... they say

Peter Hancock

The second and final public draft of the [Next Generation Science Standards][1] is set to be released on the writing organization's website on Tuesday. At least that's what they're saying today. The long-awaited draft was originally scheduled for release in mid-November, but officials said that was delayed when Hurricane Sandy ...

It's FAFSA time again

Peter Hancock

Parents who've been through this before probably need no reminder. But if this is the first year you've had a child about to graduate high school with plans for going to college, now is the time to start preparing to fill out your [online FAFSA form][1]. That stands for Free ...

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