Briefly noted: Denning, Ryckman hint at starting over on K-12 funding negotiations; SMSD bio tech teacher honored by Stanford; House fire in Shawnee displaced elderly man, dog

Jim Denning (center) at a candidate forum ahead of the 2016 election.

Denning, Ryckman hint that legislature may start over on K-12 formula. In a meeting with Blue Valley School District leaders in Johnson County Monday, Republican House Speaker Ron Ryckman of Olathe and Republican Sen. Majority Leader Jim Denning of Overland Park said the may be looking to start from scratch on a K-12 funding formula because they don’t believe the state can afford the adjustment for inflation that the supreme court said would make the formula constitutional. “What I told the group is that I don’t want to make a commitment that the state can’t fulfill,” Denning told the Wichita Eagle’s Jonathan Shorman. ” And you can put anything in statute to get out of town and then when the state can’t produce that kind of funding, then you get accused of breaking your promise.” Incoming Gov. Laura Kelly said she does believe the state, which has seen its tax revenues coming in above estimates, can afford the estimated $90 million a year it would take to make the inflation adjustment. [Republican leaders said to consider remaking Kansas school funding plan — Wichita Eagle]

Biotech teacher Brenda Bott receives Stanford University Teacher Tribute. Brenda Bott, who serves as the coordinators and instructor for the Shawnee Mission School District’s Biotechnology Signature Program, has received a Teacher Tribute honor from Stanford University. Bott was nominated by Erin Smith, the SM West graduate who has postponed her start at Stanford to take a two-year Thiel Fellowship to focus on further developing her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis technology. [Shawnee Mission Teacher Honored by Stanford, Recent Shawnee Mission Graduate — Shawnee Mission School District]

House fire in Shawnee displaces elderly man, dog. Shawnee fire officials say a house fire the displaced an elderly man and his dog Monday evening was likely started by combustibles sitting near an active space heater. Fire investigators found that a smoke alarm inside the home was missing a battery. “The Shawnee Fire Department, through a partnership with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office, provides free
smoke alarms and hearing impaired smoke alarms to our citizens,” Fire Marshal Corey Sands said after the fire. “Please contact your local fire department if you need smoke alarms and or hearing impaired smoke alarms.” The fire is estimated to have caused $45,000 in damages. The man and his dog are staying with family.