Johnson County pro-education groups encourage voters to retain Supreme Court justices

Pro-education advocates held a press conference at the courthouse in Olathe Tuesday. Photo courtesy Stand Up Blue Valley.
Pro-education advocates held a press conference at the courthouse in Olathe Tuesday. Photo courtesy Stand Up Blue Valley.

As the 2016 campaigns enter their final days, a group of pro-education Johnson County activists are urging voters to retain all of the state Supreme Court justices on this year’s ballot.

The move comes as allies of Gov. Sam Brownback have stepped up efforts to oust four justices who have frequently ruled against initiatives favored my more conservative legislators, particularly on school finance issues.

Representatives of Stand Up Blue Valley as well as Game On for Kansas Schools and Johnson County Educators gathered on the steps of the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe Tuesday for a press conference highlighting their position on the issue.

“Extremist legislators and Governor Brownback have made it their mission over the last four years to defund our public schools,” said Erica Massman, one of the Stand Up Blue Valley founders. “Johnson County voters who love our schools have finally said enough is enough. But one of the most important ballot issues Nov. 8 is the retention of our Kansas Supreme Court justices. Our Kansas constitution provides for public schools to be funded by the state. The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld that responsibility. And extremists who still wish to defund our schools are trying to unseat justices so Brownback can appoint new ones.”

Judith Deedy, the executive director of Game On, echoed those sentiments.

“We have watched as Governor Brownback and his allies in the legislature complained bitterly about rulings to adequately fund education for nearly 500,000 children in Kansas public schools,” said Judith Deedy, Executive Director of Game On. “As parents, we are grateful to have one branch of government that can’t be bought or bullied and we will vote yes to retain our justices.”