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After decades of court battles, is Kansas school funding functional?

Kansas’ K-12 school funding strategy has been shaped by lengthy court battles over whether the state provides enough money to adequately educate all students.  The result is a system that takes into account school size and numbers of bilingual and “at-risk” students, among other factors, when distributing funds to schools.  As a new school year…

Pandemic learning: Federal money allows Wichita Public Schools to invest in summer programs

More than 2,800 students participated in the daylong summer programs that ran through June. Participating students in kindergarten through eighth grade regained knowledge they had lost, according to pre- and post-summer school assessments of their math and language skills. And nearly all parents of participating children felt teachers were well-prepared and made the experience fun…

Retaining early-career teachers key to addressing shortage in Wichita

Teacher shortages fueled by retirements and teacher burnout continue to plague school districts across the country. Wichita Public Schools began the 2022-23 school year on Aug. 15 short 100 teachers. That represents about 2.5% of all positions, better than the statewide vacancy rate of 4%. The causes of the shortage are baby-boomer retirement, increased stress…

Local students receive community college scholarships through Kansas Promise

When Melissa Farrar enrolled in WSU Tech’s nursing program, she paid for her first semester out of pocket. Then she heard other students talk about the Kansas Promise Scholarship, which offers free community or technical college to students pursuing degrees in high-demand fields. Through this scholarship, Farrar’s past two semesters have been paid in full.…

Kansas rural families, parents of toddlers face a shortage of licensed child care providers, report says

Kansas is facing a severe shortage of licensed child care providers, according to a recent report released by state and nonprofit agencies. Estimates show that less than half of the “potential demand” in the state is being met. The 2021 Supply Demand Report released Thursday covers the challenges child care providers have faced during COVID, the diminishing…

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