High-school juniors and seniors in Kansas can attend classes at the state's community and technical colleges at no cost, and school districts do not have to pay fees either. Lawmakers passed the provision in 2012, and already they are seeing a positive trend. In just one year, enrollment jumped from 3,870 students to 5,800.
Silver Lake High School in Kansas has launched a student-operated bank that will give students in the banking and finance class an opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. School staff members and students will be able to open accounts at the bank, which already has more than 40 accounts on file. Silver Lake Bank helped launch the project and will provide guidance and support for students.
The Kansas state House Education Committee voted against a proposal to opt out of the Common Core State Standards that were adopted in 2010. Critics of the standards object to the cost of the transition, citing the need for more technology to administer the tests, teacher training, along with new textbooks and other materials. However, supporters say there always are costs associated with updating curriculum standards, and that changing course would mean that money already spent had been a waste.
Statewide math and reading standards have become a highly political matter in Kansas. The board of education is contending that any decision about standards should fall to the board and not lawmakers, who have proposed a bill that would do away with the board's plans to adopt Common Core State Standards. The board recently sent a letter to the governor and lawmakers attempting to clarify who can make decisions about state education standards.
The Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would establish the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The facility, intended to become a regional hub for adult stem cell research and treatment, will focus on producing clinical-grade stem cells from adult tissues, cord blood and other such materials. Embryonic stem cells would not be allowed at the facility.