education

Wichita State University

Wichita State has achieved a milestone in research funding.

The university announced this week it received $104.5 million in grants and other awards for research and development during the 2018 fiscal year.

 

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Wichita Public Schools welcomed hundreds of new teachers to the district at a new staff orientation Thursday morning.

The new teachers were greeted at Wichita Northwest High School with cheerleaders, a photo booth and a marching band.

“I am very excited to be starting the school year,” said Mike Flaigle, who will teach sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet.

The number of vacant teaching positions in the district has been cut in half, from more than 100 last year to 54 this year.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Wichita’s school board heard the first draft of the district’s $686 million budget Monday night.

The new budget represents an increase of $43 million over last year's budget. Of the new money, $25 million is locked in for funds like KPERS while the remaining $18 million exists in the more flexible general, supplemental and weighted funds.

The main driver of the larger budget is increased state aid. Higher property values also helped. The mill levy rate is also being lowered with the new budget.

The increased funding is a break from years of shrinking budgets.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

In negotiations with the local teachers union, Wichita Public Schools is offering a compensation package for teachers representing a 4.7 percent increase. That would be an additional $2,350 for the average teacher's salary. 

Twin Valley USD 240 / Facebook

Seven school districts across Kansas will launch with redesigned curriculums and schedules this fall.

The redesigns are part of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project, an initiative by the Kansas State Department of Education to improve performance.

Wichita’s former Metro-Boulevard Alternative High School is re-opening Friday as an art gallery and studio space.

The new Studio School has 16 art studios, a meeting space, an art gallery and a commercial kitchen.

The new Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools district superintendent says he wants to increase graduation rates and make sure every student is reading at grade level by second grade.

But Charles Foust will have to make those gains with a budget that the Kansas Supreme Court found doesn’t live up to the “adequate” standard set in the state constitution.

photo illustration / Kansas News Service

On Monday, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a ruling that effectively said the state’s public schools could open in the fall. Yet the same decision left local district officials on Tuesday and beyond with continued, long-term uncertainty.

The high court’s decision could lead to continued fighting over school funding and the topic will likely serve as political fodder in state elections.

Kansas teachers have lost their second attempt to get tenure back for thousands of educators through the courts — but say they will continue their battle at the Legislature.

“So this is a disappointment,” teachers union spokesman Marcus Baltzell said of the decision handed down by the Kansas Supreme Court Friday. “But it's just one step."

Friday’s decision from the state’s highest court was unanimous.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Andon Shriver comes to the Mulvane Public Library every Monday and Tuesday. On this afternoon, he’s reading a poem book from the "Bad Kitty" series.

"Meow, hello, what do we have here?" the third-grader reads aloud.

He stumbles over a word here and there, but his audience today – a 12-year old cocker spaniel named Barney – doesn’t seem to mind. He simply listens.

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