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Top Of The Morning News: Friday, January 6, 2012

  • Kansas City Schools Called “Worst In Nation”; Mayor Focuses on District Takeover
  • Nixon Takes Back Higher Education Funding Proposal
  • Feds Reject Kansas Waiver
  • Children’s Book Becomes Opera

Kansas City Schools Called “Worst In Nation”; Mayor Focuses on District Takeover

The depiction of city schools as “among the worst in the nation” by the U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Kansas City’s mayor made bold headlines, but it slipped quietly aside as the mayor briefed the City Council.  Mayor Sly James said Duncan encouraged him to continue with his plan to replace the school board.   And Thursday, with City Council members, the mayor dove into his proposal to personally direct operation of the District, cautioning that politics must stay clear.  More details here.

Nixon Takes Back Higher Education Funding Proposal

A proposal has been scrapped by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to borrow money from Missouri’s state universities to help balance the state’s budget.  The idea was floated last month, in which $106 million in reserve funds from five of Missouri’s largest universities would be used to shore up the Department of Higher Education’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.  That sparked an outcry from both university officials and lawmakers.  Read more here.

Feds Reject Kansas Waiver

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has rejected a request from Kansas to gradually phase in one of the new requirements of the federal health care law.  The decision means consumers who buy individual health insurance policies can expect to see lower premiums, expanded benefits, or even cash rebates.  Find out more here.

Children’s Book Becomes Opera

A new opera, co-commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is based on Lois Lowry’s The Giver - a popular but controversial novel about a dystopian society.  Listen to the story here.

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