Celia Llopis-Jepsen / KCUR/Kansas News Service

Feds Pave Way For Kansas To Get Hundreds Of Millions For Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has thrown its weight behind a Kansas school plan that aims for much higher rates of math and reading proficiency by 2030. Initial feedback from the federal agency on Kansas’ 90-page blueprint for closing achievement gaps had been lackluster, forcing the state to revise it.

Read More

Up To Date

The Lethality Of Loneliness

Everyone feels isolated every now and then, but a former surgeon general says chronic loneliness is making Americans more violent, more prone to addiction and less satisfied at work.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

In Kansas City School Accustomed To Loss, Fatal Shooting Of 9-Year-Old Causes Anguish

Children at Ingels Elementary School in the Hickman Mills School District are used to seeing empty desks. Ingels is a “high churn” school, meaning students transfer in and out frequently during the school year. Often they depart with no notice, leaving their supplies behind and the school staff scrambling to determine their whereabouts. But the empty desk in Angelica Saddler’s third-grade classroom this week is different. Its occupant, Dominic Young Jr., should be practicing his math, working...

Read More
file photo / Kansas News Service

Over the decades, Republicans and Democrats both made it hard for the public to know what goes on in the Statehouse. But in the wake of a Kansas City Star series highlighting the lack of transparency, some members of both parties are pushing for change.

Recent days have seen a flurry of activity.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Today, when mentally ill Kansans land in a psychiatric hospital or behind bars, they lose Medicaid coverage. When they’re freed, the daunting chore of signing up for government health coverage starts from scratch.

Now, a push gaining steam among state lawmakers would merely pause that coverage, keeping care and critical medications ready for mental health patients when they get out.

Grian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

A proposed merger between two of Kansas’ biggest electric utilities drew little criticism, or praise, during a public hearing Monday night in Topeka.

Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light, want to  create a new company worth about $15 billion. It would serve more than 1.5 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. The combined company would also have one of the largest portfolios of renewable energy in the country.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

The Brownback administration may soon throw in the towel on a plan to lock a more restrictive version of Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program in place for another five years.

A top Republican lawmaker in talks with Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, the administration’s point person on extending that privatized Medicaid program known as KanCare, said the effort to create a longer-lasting version referred to as KanCare 2.0 appears in jeopardy.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / KCUR/Kansas News Service

The U.S. Department of Education has thrown its weight behind a Kansas school plan that aims for much higher rates of math and reading proficiency by 2030.

 

Initial feedback from the federal agency on Kansas’ 90-page blueprint for closing achievement gaps had been lackluster, forcing the state to revise it.

Frank Morris / NPR and KCUR

It’s a time of low unemployment across the Midwest, leading to a labor shortage that’s stunting the growth of urban and rural businesses. Given that Donald Trump campaigned on a staunchly pro-business platform, one would think he’d have instituted policies benefiting everything from high-tech startups to huge dairy operations.

In reality, lots of companies are still looking for help, especially businesses that rely on immigrant labor. That could be places like meatpacking plants, produce-harvesting operations or landscaping and construction companies —work that many Americans would turn their nose up at — or tech startups looking for coding experts.

“Any time there’s change, change creates uncertainty,” says Kyle Averhoff, who owns Royal Dairy east of Garden City, Kansas. “So, I think you just see people that are looking for answers of what the future looks like.” 

Palmer and Silvey
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Just days into the 2018 legislative session, after 13 years of service in the General Assembly, Kansas City Republican Senator Ryan Silvey was out of the statehouse and beginning a six-year term on the Missouri Public Service Commission. Silvey had frequently clashed with Governor Eric Greitens, and in this Statehouse Blend Missouri "exit interview," Silvey acknowledges that the governor may have nominated him partly to eliminate a "thorn in the side." 

file photo / Kansas State University

A pay gap that left Kansas professors trailing their peers for more than a decade grew wider last year.

A new report from the Kansas Board of Regents confirmed that the state pays its academics less than the public colleges and universities they compete against.

“We’re not surprised because we’ve been at the bottom for so long,” said Brian Lindshield, the faculty senate president at Kansas State University.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

In the fight between the Jackson County Legislature and County Executive Frank White score one, at least for now, for lawmakers.

In a two-page ruling, Circuit Judge George Wolf made it clear that White and the county executive's office is to stay out of "the day-to-day supervision of the administration of the COMBAT tax and COMBAT Commission."

Lasse Fuss / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri’s plans for fixing a stretch of Interstate 70 in Kansas City are now public; the only hang-up now is a lack of funding.

A final environmental impact statement released Wednesday by the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Kansas City District spells out plans for I-70 just east of downtown KC. It addresses the stretch of highway between Troost Avenue near the downtown loop and Blue Ridge Cutoff near the Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums.

Major problems include deteriorating roads and bridges, traffic delays and merging issues.

Pages

Central Standard

'I, Tonya'

A former competitive figure skater is part of our Screentime panel on 'I, Tonya,' the new film that shines a light on Tonya Harding's story. Plus: we discuss class, gender and abuse on the ice rink.