A group of local public school advocates will again be making the trip from Merriam to Topeka by foot this month as a way to raise awareness of the funding struggles Shawnee Mission and other schools face under current state policy.
Started by Merriam mom Heather Ousley four years ago, the walk has grown into one of the group’s largest displays of support for better school funding. Ousley is married to Merriam Rep. Jarrod Ousley.
“We walk because our kids are worth it — all our kids,” said Heather in a release announcing this year’s dates. “And we refuse to let them down.”
In addition to the route starting in Merriam, there will also be groups walking from Manhattan and Emporia this year.
In Johnson County, the walk will kick off with a rally at Chatlain Park, 63rd Terrace and Carter Avenue in Merriam, at 8:15 a.m. Friday. The Johnson County walkers will then start Saturday with a rally at Eudora Elementary School in Eudora, and will hold another rally when they reach Lawrence. On Monday, all of the walkers from across the state will gather across from Topeka High School in the morning and walk to the capitol for their final rally.