Top five K-12 education stories of 2008

We’re counting down the top five stories on various topics today as part of an annual recap of the top stories of the year we’ll do later this month. Join the conversation by letting us know what we missed or what stories you think are important by posting a comment, below.5. More than 2,000 absent Tuesday in Lawrence Public Schools after KU National Championship win.I know some might disagree that this is a top five story, but I think it’s pretty interesting that so many kids missed school the next day. Sixth graders know how to party, I guess.4. School district works on $1.5 million in improvements.
From fire alarms to the new Lawrence High bus lane, a lot of infrastructure work was done on the inside of almost every school in the district. This also included a new entrance at Cordley Elementary and a new vestibule at Southwest Junior High.3. A string of high-level administrative retirements
Randy Weseman, the superintendent who served for 8 years, Bruce Passman, the deputy superintendent, and Mary Rodriguez, the chief operations officer, all will leave the district at the end of this year.2. School tax election decision stands as approved.
The local option budget added $679,000 to the district’s budget. The election was too close to call initially, but the provisional ballots led to a slim victory for the district. The school board wanted to money to help with teacher salaries.1. Board approves athletic facilities.
This story will be ongoing through the new year, but getting new athletic fields for both high schools has been controversial to say the least. While many are pushing for equity between Lawrence High and Free State, the Centennial Neighborhood Association has filed suit against some of the work at LHS and the Lawrence Virtual School site. But, the work continues at both sites and operations and facility planning division director Tom Bracciano has high hopes that the work will be done in time to have spring sports (baseball and soccer) break in the new turf.