On November 6th, Democrat Laura Kelley defeated Republican Kris Kobach and Independent Greg Orman in the race for Kansas Governor.
Sam Brownback, Kansas’ Governor from 2011 to 2018, made massive cuts to Kansas schools with his “Tax Experiment,” the purpose of which was to decrease income taxes. This tax cut dramatically decreased the funding for schools across the state.
Kelly and her supporters campaigned hard, and the effort paid off. She was elected the 48th governor of Kansas, and will take office January 14th, 2019.
One of Kelly’s reasons for running in the election was the need to fix Kansas schools.
“Kansas public schools have been severely underfunded over the past eight years,” Kelly says. “Class sizes grew, programs were cut, and experienced teachers are fleeing the state. I intend on fully funding K-12 schools and make sure Kansas students and educators have the support and resources they need to succeed.”
As the next governor, Kelly has the chance to make changes to the way education has been viewed in Kansas’ government.
“I will make our schools a top priority again. Instead of focusing on doing the minimum, we will plan and innovate. We will expand pre-K programs, fully fund our K-12 schools and add a cost of living index to keep us out of court,” she said. “We will also invest more in career and technical programs and create new public-private partnerships that connect businesses with skilled young people.”
The current Governor-Elect has a personal connection to Kansas education.
“My two daughters received a world class education in Kansas due to great schools and teachers. They attended public school in Topeka and graduated from Topeka High. I want to make sure every child has the same opportunity my daughters did,” she said.
Kelly has been involved in education all of her life.
“Fighting for kids has been my lifelong mission. Right out of high school, I went to work at a camp that served disadvantaged adolescents,” she said. “When I became a recreation therapist, I worked with children battling severe mental illness.”
She believes that education is vital for everyone.
“I’ve worked to make sure every Kansas child has the support they need to succeed – no matter where they live. If we come together, we will make sure Kansas has the best schools in the nation so our children can be ready for the jobs of the future,” she said. “Our economy is changing, and Kansas must continue to modernize our public schools to compete. By investing in our schools, we can make sure our students get the education the need to compete.”
Kelly’s passion for education has gotten her to where she is now.
“I actually first ran for office because my state senator voted to slash funding for our schools. Parents, teachers and business owners get it. They know that great schools are the key to a bright future for our kids and growing economy.”
For more information, visit Laura Kelly’s website at https://www.laurakellyforkansas.com/issues/kansas-schools/.