Education

KCUR 89.3 covers education issues across the Kansas City region and in Kansas and Missouri. 

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School Board Tries to Win Back Superintendent

Aug 25, 2011
School board President Airick Leonard West, flanked by members Crispin Rea (left) and Joseph Jackson (right). Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross/KCUR.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City school board members are still hoping to convince John Covington to remain as superintendent, even while he's reiterated his intent to leave. And parents and observers are still reeling from his surprise resignation Wednesday.

While school board members deliberated on how to proceed, parent leader Jamekia Kendrix said that now, more than ever, the community needs to be involved in the education of the district's students.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Missouri school Superintendent John Covington submitted his resignation Wednesday, after a two-year tenure in which he closed about half the district's schools. Board member Arthur Benson also resigned.

School board president Airick Leonard West announced Covington's resignation at the beginning of Wednesday night's board meeting. Benson says Covington gave his reasons for resigning in a closed session with the board. The board has not yet accepted the resignation.

MU Bulges Despite Tuition Hikes

Aug 22, 2011
photo by schooldesign.com

Columbia, MO – As fall classes open today at University of Missouri's Columbia campus, enrollment has set a series of records.

Overall enrollment is 33,318 students, a number that is 4.1 percent higher than last fall. There have never been as many Hispanic or black students and the freshman class is also at a record high.

Photo from flickr.com user NinJA999 (used by KCUR under a Creative Commons License.)

KANSAS CITY, MO – A recently-signed Missouri law caught the attention of techies and teachers around the country this week. The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act takes effect on August 28, 2011. It was named after a woman who says she was sexually abused as a child by a teacher in Missouri. Most of the bill sets up tighter safeguards for identifying predatory teachers or school personnel, and preventing them from moving to other districts. .

Local Colleges Go Smoke-Free

Aug 1, 2011
Photo by Elana Gordon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thousands of students in Kansas City will have less options to light up when they get back to school this semester. New tobacco policies take effect this week at two local community colleges.

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Starting today, Metropolitan Community College, or MCC, is going completely tobacco free. The school's banning the use of cigarettes and other products, like chewing tobacco, on all five campuses. The one exception, you can still smoke inside your car.

Revitalizing Eastern KC's Urban Core

May 11, 2011
Urban Studies and Design / UMKC

In this episode of Central Standard, a plan for the future of East Kansas City from UMKC Urban Planning and Design students , who have been collecting data about abandoned and demolished homes. Hear how senior Andrew Clark has been working with community leaders like Teola Powell to create a plan for neighborhoods like Key Coalition, including plans for Urban Agriculture.

Urban Ed Gets Million Dollar Boost

Apr 25, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Universities hunger to be able to give out news that UMKC did today. It's received a million dollar grant from the Sprint Foundation for the School of Education.

Web Block Denied at Oak Park H.S.

Mar 28, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO. – American Civil Liberties Union has told the North Kansas City School District to stop blocking educational websites dealing with gay, lesbian and transgender topics. It has given the district until April 4th to respond.

The school district stand this afternoon is, there is no intentional blocking.

At start of a national campaign to learn the scope of the web filtering practice, ACLU acted on a student complaint from Oak Park High School.

Judge Turns Back Local School Fund Suit

Mar 11, 2011

Kansas City, KS – A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of Shawnee Mission Schools parents trying to raise more local money to counter Kansas cuts in education funds.

Seventeen parents failed to get an injunction that would've allowed them to step around a cap on property taxes for local schools.

Kansas Fed Ed Suit: Only the Judge Knows

Feb 21, 2011

Kansas City, KS – A Federal District Judge in Kansas City, Kansas promises a ruling in two to three weeks on a fight over local funding of public schools. The ruling due by mid March deals with how much local money can be raised to pay for Kansas schools.

Multiple sides in the lawsuit weighed in, including the governor's lawyers and several school districts which don't want power to raise more education money than a cap allows.

Three Fires Fought in Kansas City School

Feb 11, 2011
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck(click to enlarge)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thirty eight times since the current school year started, fire alarms have been sounded for Southwest Early College Campus in Kansas City. Fourteen were actually fires. Today there were more.

Fees Drop on College Savings Program

Feb 8, 2011
Photo by Steve Bell. Click to enlarge.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel visited Missouri campuses yesterday touting a large reduction in administrative fees for the state's college savings program... known as MOST.

At his stop at UMKC, Zweifel rattled off the big numbers, percentage points and statistics, emphasizing that the fees would be reduced by 44 percent. But he called for staff help when asked how much that would benefit an individual saver.

They concluded that the individual saver will see fees reduced by $25 for every $10,000 saved.

TOPEKA, Ks. – Early Head Start provides child care and education for infants and toddlers in low-income families. It currently serves more than twelve hundred children in fifty counties across Kansas, but it's been targeted for elimination by Governor Sam Brownback.

U of M Tuition Freeze Melting

Jan 26, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The cost of a college education in the University of Missouri system will be going up if curators vote Thursday and Friday of this week to follow recommendations of hikes ranging up to 6.6 percent.

Interim system President Steve Owens points to a 7 percent cut in state appropriations, a $42 million drop off, when he talks about the proposal to increase in-state fees and tuition.

Janet Saidi reports from Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. –

University of Missouri system President Gary Forsee is stepping down to care for his ill wife.

School officials announced Friday that the former Sprint Nextel chairman and chief executive is resigning immediately. He has been
on an extended leave of absence since early December following his wife Sherry's cancer diagnosis.

Forsee has been president of the four-campus system since February 2008.

Kansas City, KS – Plans are moving forward to develop a school of public health in Kansas. As Bryan Thompson reports, the proposal from the University of Kansas now has the support of the Kansas Board of Regents.

 

Columbia, Missouri – President Obama signed into law yesterday a measure that will set new, expansive nutrition guidelines in the country's public schools. As Harvest Public Media's Jessica Naudziunas reports, the new law will get produce from local farms.

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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act will shape new public school food offerings to help encourage healthier choices in vending machines and school lunches.

Kansas City, MO – Almost daily polls show a tough uphill battle for Democrats for this election. It's a sea change from the enthusiasm for Obama two years ago, which was especially strong in younger voters. KCUR's Alex Smith recently spoke with some Democratic organizers at UMKC about the changes they've witnessed working on the front lines.

Kansas City, MO – These first months back at school have brought more worries than usual to parents and students in the Shawnee Mission School District. Many parents are already wondering where their children will be heading to school next year. That's because the superintendent has proposed closing five schools and reassigning attendance boundaries for next year. KC Currents intern Anthonia Akitunde went to one of the first in a series of townhall meetings about the proposal.

Kansas City, MO – The United States Department of Education awarded the Kansas City Missouri School District $13.6 million for a new merit pay program for teachers. Officials say the district's proposal was one of the top five in the country.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Missouri School District drew national attention this spring when it shuttered 26 schools to deal with declining enrollment and a $50 million dollar deficit. Along with the down-sizing, the superintendent promised an educational transformation for the district's students.

Kansas City, MO – Historically black colleges and universities were founded in the United States during a time when segregation and Jim Crow excluded blacks from higher education. Today, there are 104 HBCUs, representing just 3% of the nation's colleges and universities. Yet they graduate nearly 30% of African Americans who earn undergraduate degrees.

This past February, President Barack Obama gave HBCUs a boost: a 5% increase in federal funding and an executive order to strengthen the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Leaner Spending for JoCo

Aug 12, 2010

Olathe, KS – The Johnson County Kansas budget for next year cuts 159 jobs and reduces spending by $15 million. As passed by unanimous vote today , the spending plan does not raise taxes

Income will not equal outflow in 2011 and the county will need to draw on its reserves.

Springfield, Missouri – As kids get ready to stuff their backpacks with school supplies and head into to a new school year, their teachers and administrators might be getting some financial relief from the federal government.

The U.S. House has passed a $26 billion jobs bill to protect 300,000 teachers and other nonfederal government workers from layoffs.

From the Sumner Writing Project, LLC. website.

Funkhouser School Office Plan Back To Committee

Apr 30, 2010
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, Mo. – Mayor Mark Funkhouser saw his plans for an office of school support sent back to committee yesterday.

The underlying theme of most objections seemed to be unwillingness to let a vote for a study of creating the office be taken as a vote for the office as conceived by the mayor and the his proposed "schools first" program. Council member Cindy Circo went so far as to suggest that the main purpose of the office was to enhance the Funkhouser's reelection chances.

First Small Step For "Schools First" Plan

Apr 22, 2010

Kansas City, Mo. – Mayor Mark Funkhouser got a start on his "schools first" initiative Wednesday.

The city council finance and audit committee approved a resolution to designate a School Support and Public Engagement person at City Hall.

That person would be responsible for coordinating with all schools and school districts in the city - for example, to coordinate information on snow removal and school closings and to get the word out on recreational activities the city already offers for young people.

Giant Expansion Of KU Edwards Campus

Apr 21, 2010
photo by tv.ku.edu

Overland Park, KS – University of Kansas is expanding its Overland Park Edwards Campus by more than half, with a 75,000-square-foot building for science and technology, business and engineering.

Kansas City, Mo. – Westport High School is slated to close this spring after 103 years. KCUR's Walt Bodine attended classes there in the 1930s, when the school was relatively new, and affluent. A violent crime near a student hangout close to the school changed his life, and put him on the career path he's been on ever since. KCUR's Frank Morris spoke with him about his time at Westport High, starting with the impression that struck him, when he walked in the door for his first day of classes.

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