I am a firm advocate of Kansas public education. Having received a public education in Wichita, and with two children currently in USD259, I understand and respect the hard work and professionalism of Kansas teachers. That's why in 2019 I voted to constitutionally fund our schools, and end the cycle of litigation once and for all. While this vote was a good step towards a better education for our children, we must ensure this money makes it into the classroom, where it will benefit the student the most.
While public education is a state constitutional requirement, private education provides for choices and competition to thrive in places like Wichita. I will support the expansion of public/private partnerships for both Early Education and Higher Education. Access to high quality public, private, or home-based education is the difference between a good student and a great scholar. We need more great scholars.
By 2020, over 71% of Kansas Jobs will require a post-secondary degree. This means we need to continue to prepare students to be college-ready by the time they graduate high school. We also need to respect that not everyone is going to be ready or willing to go to college. It is expensive. Public education must prepare students for the workforce and their careers. Employers are seeking applicants with “soft skills” like integrity, respect, and selfless service. We can develop incentives for schools to re-imagine the classroom by seeking out businesses and nonprofits to work with public schools to expand internships, shadow programs, required community service, and to invest in vocational programs for the workforce of tomorrow. The value of hard work is something that every generation needs to experience to understand it is key to the American Dream.