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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…

Lawmakers want to expand eligibility for free community college in Kansas

Less than a year into offering free community college for Kansas students in some high-demand fields, the state legislature is proposing adjustments to expand access. While 663 students received the Kansas Promise Scholarship during the first semester of the new program, according to an early 2022 report to the Kansas Legislature, nearly 75% of those who applied didn’t receive an…

‘Black Friday in August’: Kansas lawmakers hope to pass new school tax holiday

To compete with neighboring states, some Kansas legislators want to host a back-to-school sales tax holiday. Under a proposal in the Kansas Senate, SB 432, school-related sales of clothing, clothing accessories, school supplies and instructional materials, art supplies, computer software, school computers and computer supplies would be exempt from sales taxes for four days in August. …

Vaccine mandates, teacher pay and scholarships: Kansas education bills to watch

Kansas legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills regarding K-12 and higher education in 2022, covering topics such as teacher pay, COVID vaccines and course materials. The Kansas Legislature went into session Jan. 10 and lawmakers will likely continue to add new legislation to the list.  The mix of education-related legislation also includes some…

Why Wichita USD 259 is fast-tracking repairs to this 99-year-old high school

Wichita East High School students and teachers are back to class for the spring semester, but some of them are returning to different classrooms. After discovering structural issues in the building’s science wing in the fall, school officials are shuttering the wing’s 18 classrooms until repairs can be completed. Teachers from those classrooms are continuing…

School lunch is a food and people business. Wichita USD 259’s challenge is finding either.

Rows of racks in Wichita USD 259’s vast School Service Center on Hydraulic Street in northeast Wichita are the second-to-last stops before distribution to the district’s dozens of schools. In the adjacent industrial kitchen, pizzas roll through conveyor-belt ovens, while enormous mixers pipe mashed potatoes into a machine that seals the food into large plastic…

Wichita teens want a bigger voice in meeting their mental health needs

Editor’s note: We updated this story on Dec. 20 to show that Truc Dao and Andrew Le are director and vice director of Students Empowerment, respectively, and members of ICTeens in Mind. One of the things Truc Dao has relearned in 20 months of high school during the pandemic is how to catch her breath.…

How you can snag a spot for your student at one of Wichita’s magnet schools

Students are wrapping up the fall semester at Wichita USD 259, but enrollment for the 2022-23 school year is already starting for the district’s 24 magnet schools. The district’s magnet program offers schools that focus on subjects like science, leadership and performing arts, with some specializing even further into fields like aerospace engineering and health…

A KU Wichita Pediatrics pilot program brings health care into schools, and it’s keeping students in class

Editor’s note: We updated this story on Dec. 8 to clarify that Krista Weaver is an advanced practice registered nurse. On Dec. 9, the story was updated to clarify that KU Wichita Pediatrics operates the school-based clinics. There’s no telling who or what Krista Weaver will see every day in her classroom-turned-clinic in Haysville USD…

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