Nope. It's a standard Arm kernel build with the added driver for the GPU (and maybe another, can't remember). It's the rootfs that needs some extra libraries (the OGL, OVG ones for example) for acceleration.
When I need a new kernel on my desktop (pretty much never) I just get the latest one from Ubuntu. Fully tested, and working. Much easier. But then, I don't buy lots of gadgets I need to plug in. Just like most Raspi users I expect.
I don't know if the distributions building for the Pi will be creating the full set of driver modules. On Android, the module set is pared down to a pretty sparse set. If a student wants to use something like a webcam or dvb-t dongle that isn't in the included set, a build will be needed. Some older hardware, which may be available in someones junk box, is no longer built by default in some distributions. In that case, just getting a different kernel from the distribution wont solve the problem.
Fedora already has kernel build instructions up for ARM, including how to setup the cross build toolchain on x86/x86_64 machines. If anyone's interested, you can just point them to the Fedora ARM Wiki, here: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/.....ctures/ARM