Aug. 31, 2016
I am thrilled this 2016 election year to see so many smart, passionate people involved and stepping up to run for office and the many more who are working hard to support candidates. These are high-stakes races this year and I am hopeful that we will see positive outcomes from this significant effort.
I would like to take this opportunity to share some information about the State Board of Education race. It is apparent, as I am calling constituents, that many people are unclear about the boundaries of the State Board districts, in which district they reside, who their representative is, and the duties/responsibilities of the position. I am happy to report, however, that every person, with whom I have spoken, wants to learn more and how he/she can support a pro-public education candidate. This is a partisan race and I am running as a Democrat. The incumbent is Steve Roberts, a Republican from Overland Park.
State Board of Education District 2 includes:
Johnson County: Cities: Fairway, Lake Quivira, Leawood, Merriam (part), Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Overland Park (part), Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee (part), Westwood and Westwood Hills;
Townships: Aubry (part) and Oxford (part)
Wyandotte County: Cities: Bonner Springs, Lake Quivira
Senate districts 7, 8, 10 and 11. Here is the link for voters to check individual districts:
There are 10 members on the SBOE, serving 4 year terms with overlapping or staggering terms. General powers of the board include: adopting and maintaining standards, criteria, and guidelines for: school libraries and educational materials (with the exception of textbooks,) course of study and curriculum, accreditation of schools including elementary and secondary, public and nonpublic, certification of administrators, teachers, counselors, school nurses, and supervisors of school districts and of the state Dept. of Ed and of teachers and administrators of nonpublic schools. The current Commissioner of Education, appointed by the board, is Dr. Randy Watson.
The legislature is obligated to “provide for a SBOE which will have general supervision of public schools, educational institutions and all the educational interests of the state, except educational functions delegated by law to the state board of regents.” (Provisions From the Constitution of the State of Kansas, Article VI.)
Some only think of the role of the State Board of Education when conservatives make an attempt to repeal evolution from our science standards. That is only one example of the importance of having elected board members who truly represent voters. I encourage you to learn more about the race and my positions by visiting my website and facebook page. If a strong public education system is important to you please take the time to like my facebook page and sign up for my e-mails at my website.