Highlights/Results from the KCKPS Literary Festival
KCKPS Kidzone Director Daryel Garrison Receives 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award
New KCKPS Video Highlights District’s Outstanding Features
KCKPS Officer Orlando Singleton Receives 2017 Consensus Civility Award
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Board of Education - Election Results
Coronado Middle School's Dress for Success Day
Coronado Middle School's Dress for Success Day

Kansas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Kansas Kids

February 11, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: David A. Smith, chief of communications and governmental affairs, (913) 744-5104

Kansas Supreme Court has once again ruled in favor of Kansas school children. In a ruling today, in the Gannon vs. State of Kansas school funding case, the court found that Kansas SB 7, more commonly known as the block grant bill, creates inequity between school districts and is unconstitutional.

Here are some of the key points in the decision:

  • SB 7 does not cure the inequities found in the Gannon decision.
  • The Court is giving the legislature until June 30, 2016, to correct these inequities.
  • If the legislature does not cure the inequities in SB 7, then the entire school funding system is unconstitutional, and schools will not be able to open in August.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has once again reinforced the constitutional requirement for equity in school funding across the state,” said Dr. Cynthia Lane, superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS). “Through this decision, the Supreme Court is making clear that the opportunity for a quality education must be available to all Kansas children, regardless of the zip code in which they live. This is good news, not only for students in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, but also for students and communities across the state.”

KCKPS was part of a group of school districts which went to court after the Kansas Legislature, in March of 2015, passed a block grant bill which cut an additional $50 million in funding for schools across Kansas, and froze funding levels for schools for the next two budget years. These reductions were on top of the cuts that school districts across the state have seen for the past seven years. The Shawnee District Court ruled SB 7 unconstitutional in June 2015, and the state appealed to the Supreme Court.

District officials are still evaluating the impact of the decision, and will need to wait to see how the legislature will implement the court’s order. Nevertheless, the decision is good news for the 22,000 children in KCKPS.

History of School Finance Litigation

KCKPS was a lead plaintiff in the original lawsuit filed in 2010 in Shawnee County District Court, which argued that the legislature was providing constitutionally inadequate levels of funding for schools in Kansas. A three-judge trial court ruled in January 2013 for the plaintiffs, finding that the cuts reduced per-pupil expenditures far below a level “suitable” to educate all children under Kansas’ standards.

To remedy the funding shortfall, the judges ordered that per-pupil expenditures be increased to $4,492 from $3,838, the level previously established as suitable. Rather than comply, the state appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court, which ruled funding levels unconstitutional. In 2015, the legislature passed and the Governor signed a block grant bill, which froze funding levels for two years, and eliminated equalization for capitol outlay. It was this change that was appealed up to the Supreme Court, which divided the case into two parts, equity and adequacy. The court heard arguments on the equity portion in November, and issued its ruling today. Oral arguments in the adequacy portion of the case are not scheduled until this spring.

This is not the first time the state has been involved in litigation for providing inadequate funding to schools. In 1999, school districts filed suit in the District Court of Shawnee County, Kansas, alleging the financing system established by the state Legislature did not meet the Kansas Constitution's requirement to “make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state.” The court ruled in favor of the schools in that case, which also went to the Supreme Court. In 2005, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling.

The complete Gannon decision can be viewed online at http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2016/20160211/113267.pdf .

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

KCK Board of Education Honors Students of the Month for March

March 27, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

March Students of the Month.

Joshua Quinones, 5th grade

New Stanley Elementary School
Nominated by: Cindy Moore, Brandy Treaster, Teachers and Miriam Torres, ESL Aide

"What can I say about Joshua? He is a great student. He comes to school every day with a smile on his face, ready to take on the challenges of the day. He strives to learn something new each day. Joshua does not complain or give up when he is presented with something new or challenging. Joshua's peers look up to him as well. He is dedicated to his schoolwork and puts in 100% all the time. Joshua is a member of our school's Safety Patrol. He comes to school a little early and stays a little late to fulfill his commitment. Joshua has a bright future and his possibilities are endless!!"
-- Sincerely, Cindy Moore, Brandy Treaster, Teachers, and Miriam Torres, ESL Aide

Juan Tirado Garcia, 11th grade

J.C. Harmon High School
Nominated by: Steve Howard, Teacher at J.C. Harmon High School

"I first met Juan last summer, and had the pleasure of having him on our cross country team. His energy and natural leadership skills made the decision easy to name him the captain. I found it interesting that he had made a commitment to get involved in sports during his junior year, once he had made his grades, developed a work/study skills that would maintain his high academic standards. Juan is an honor roll student, and taking college credit courses. His list of in/outside school activities is remarkable! Leadership 20-20, Bio-Science Academy, Math & Science Saturday Academy, KU Talent Search, not to mention the band, Pep Club, & Student Council. It is my privilege to write this recommendation."
-- Sincerely, Steve Howard, Teacher & Coach

Sydney Riley, 5th grade

Welborn Elementary School
Nominated by: Stacey Chatmon, Teacher and Jamila Harris, Counselor

"Sydney is the student's student. She is an advocate for fair treatment of ALL students. She models what it means to be bully-free. She always stands up to other students who are bullies by reporting bullying incidents to teachers and administration. She encourages the victim to stand up for themselves and be honest. She also tries to befriend the bully knowing they often don't have friends. She is an Honor Roll Student, Student Council, Safety Patrol, and Battle of the Books participant, all while battling with some health issues. Yet she perseveres through her daily battles and school work never complaining about her struggles. Sydney is a model student that we want to recognize."
-- Sincerely, Stacey Chatmon, Teacher & Jamila Harris, Counselor

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

Wondering How to Pay for College? 
Attend One of These Financing College Events

February 4, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Parents/guardians of seniors in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming “Financing College” events. The focus will be on technical schools, two-year and four-year colleges. Five different sessions will be held across the district to provide assistance with the completion of FAFSA applications, college financial aid, and more.

Sessions dates and times are as follows:

  • Thursday, February 11, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Washington High School, 7340 Leavenworth Road
  • Tuesday, February 23, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at J.C. Harmon High School, 2400 Steele Road
  • Thursday, February 25, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Wyandotte High School, 2501 Minnesota Ave.
  • Monday, February 29, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St.
  • Tuesday, April 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St.

The events are being sponsored by the KCK Network for College Opportunity. For more information, contact Lori Hewitt, KCKPS Diploma+ program specialist, (913) 627-2685, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

Students to March in Honor of Cesar Chavez

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2014

Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Students to March in Honor of Cesar Chavez

Students at Caruthers Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas will be participating in a mock protest march at 10:10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 8 to emulate the 1965 march lead by Mexican American labor activist Cesar Chavez. The mock demonstration is a part of a lesson commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month.

This year marks the 10th year for this event, organized by third grade teacher Lisa Young. The annual event provides students with lessons in history, literacy, and communication.

Chavez was a migrant worker who fought for the rights and fair treatment of migrant workers. He became a voice for all workers.

Caruthers students will create picket signs (with sticks donated by the local Home Depot) in their classes with slogans used by Chavez such as “Si, se puede” which means, “Yes, it can be done” and “huelgas” which is the Spanish word for “strike.”

Students have written essays about the march, and what it means. One student wrote, “I thought it was fun because it really made me feel blessed because we have freedom and they didn’t have freedom.” Another wrote, “I got to experience what it was like to be Cesar Chavez – to fight for my and other people’s freedom.”

Young started the march during her first year as a teacher at Banneker. Two classes participated that year. With passing years, more classes got involved by watching and then joining in. Today, all students participate.

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

KCK Board of Education Honors Students of the Month for January

January 30, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

January Students of the Month.

Ixel Castillo

"Ixel is a student in Mrs. Echol's 1st grade. She is a new student to New Stanley and was enrolled in a half day Kindergarten program last year. Over the last few months she has become a great reader and writer. She has gained so much confidence with in herself and is making so many successes academically. She is very excited about learning and always tries her best. She has become a great friend to others at New Stanley. She has gone out of her way to make a new student in her class feel welcome. What I love most about her is the excitement I see when she is learning".
-- Sincerely, Keri Landry, ESL/Intervention Teacher

Jennifer Siguenza

"Jennifer Siguenza is a 7th grade student at Rosedale Middle School. Jennifer is a wonderful student, daughter, sibling, musician, and person. She is what every teacher wants in a student. Whatever she does, she fully commits to it. 'Quit' is not in her vocabulary. Jennifer has straight A's and is what every teacher wants in a student. She treats everybody with respect, and she is well liked by her peers and her teachers. She is a leader in the school, and has influenced many people in a positive way.”
-- Sincerely, Carl Perico, Natalie Alewine, Zach Davies, Lacey Ditsworth, Tim Dorian Jr., Megan Green, Gage McGarry, Adrianne Miller & Regina Stevens, Teachers

Kimberly Escobar

"Kimberly Escobar embodies KCKPS's ambitious attitude toward education achievement. She has successfully overcome adversity from a very young age to become one of the top students at Wyandotte. She persevered and continued to learn new, important, and life-changing things that perhaps have only recently begun guiding Kimberly in momentous ways. Among her accompishyments is her # 1 class rank status in the class of 2015, her 4.15 GPA, numerous college credits, and much more. She is a top rate student in a top 10 district!"
-- Sincerely, Visual Arts Community of Wyandotte High School

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242