Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for office address ahead of this summer’s primary elections. Based on the input we received, we developed three-item questionnaire for Republican candidates running for the Kansas State Board of Education.
We’ll be publishing the candidates’ responses to one item per day each day this week. Today we’re publishing the candidates’ responses to item two:
Do you believe Kansas’s K-12 public school system is over-funded or under-funded? Why?
Kansas schools are not over-funded, and whether they are under-funded is a matter of perspective. If you’re the parent of a special needs child, where the department is only required to be funded at 92%, and funding still falls below that threshold, it would be hard to say our schools aren’t underfunded, let alone adequate or over-funded.
Kansans need to prioritize what we want our schools to do – what we want our kids to get out of their time here. Schools and teachers are asked to do much more than they were even 10 years ago. For example, our increasing (and rightfully so) emphasis on social-emotional and mental health of students….a consistent priority I hear from parents. Our schools adequately resourced to manage this and are teachers equipped at every level, in every classroom environment? Not to mention the challenges COVID-19 presents from a health, financial, and pedagogical perspective.
Funding must also take into account most education funds are not transferable from one fund to another. Because computers and desks didn’t get as much wear-and-tear as a normal year and don’t need to be replaced, doesn’t mean you can move the overage into improved health care benefits for teachers.
At the bottom line is our priorities as a state – what is it worth to educate those who will lead when we are gone, those who will create businesses, teach, heal, and protect? I support funding and local control to meet our highest and best goals for Kansas kids and the future they hold.
Did not respond.
Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item three:
Should evolution be taught in Kansas public schools? Why or why not?