Vote for Candidates who support Public Education and Student Rights
Even though the Federal government contributes only about 10% of funding for public schools, it is influential in shaping education policy. Under the 45th President, federal oversight has been significantly weakened by initiatives to reverse a growingly assertive federal role that was supported by the Obama administration. Trump administration officials unilaterally launched actions aimed at weakening enforcement of student rights and civil rights in public schools. Furthermore, secretary of education, Betsy Devos, has openly promoted the privatization of public schools through vouchers, continually calls for deep cuts to federal funding, rolls back protections for vulnerable children, and completely disregards their safety and the safety of educators during a global pandemic.
Barbara understands how important education is to each child, and as a U.S. Senator, she will work to:
- Support and value teachers through higher pay and better benefits;
- Expand access to quality early childhood and childcare programs;
- Ensure every student has the opportunity to receive a high quality K-12 education no matter who they are or where they live;
- Work to make higher education more affordable and accessible for everyone;
- Expand availability of trade, technical and job training programs.
Providing an excellent public education for every child is our responsibility as leaders. It is vital to each and every one of our communities. I fought poverty and homelessness as a youth. Getting an education saved my life, it enabled me to rise above my challenges, and even now, it is the reason I am able to support my children. Investing in education is investing in our communities.
- STRENGTHENING OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
A strong public education system is how our children thrive in a rapidly evolving world. As Mayor I’ve worked closely with our schools, I know how to have those conversations and how to bring a wide range of opinions to the same table. One thing I hear over and over again – a strong public education system is built with strong teachers supported by their communities. Our teachers are underpaid while being put in charge of some of the most important work our country does. Let’s invest in America’s teachers, let’s listen to them and work with them to find the best way to educate our children.
- INVESTING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Early childhood education has been proven again and again to be vital for success later in life. In 1971 Congress Passed the Comprehensive Child Development Bill with bipartisan support, it was vetoed, but a lot of those policies hold up even now. The idea was to invest in childcare using federal funds while leaving it up to the states to distribute the money locally. Early education is critical for success in the future, it’s also critical for our communities today. When we provide early education we enable parents to work without worry. When we provide early education we show our babies that their community cares about them. When I get to Congress I’m going to bring those ideas back to the forefront. Investing in our youngest means investing in our communities.
- BUILDING UP TRADE AND TECHNICAL PROGRAMS
Like most states, Kansas is suffering from a shortage of skilled labor. We must do a better job providing opportunities and incentives for our high school graduates to enter into skilled trade, apprenticeship, and technical training programs. As Mayor of Topeka, I expanded access to technical education programs in a historically underserved area of the community in partnership with our local university. We are already seeing those changes come to life in our city. Investing in these programs will not only benefit the economy by filling the labor gap, but also provide opportunities for workers to learn a specialized trade, earn stronger wages, and own small businesses in their communities.
Kansas Democrats Fight for Public Education
Kansans value education, and investing in all public education levels has been, and always will be, a top priority for Kansas Democrats. Our children and communities depend on quality schools led by licensed, dedicated educators who have successfully completed teacher education programs.
Prosperity and job creation in the 21st century depend on funding quality public schools, vocational training, community colleges and universities in Kansas. A well-educated and appropriately trained workforce relies on that quality education which can only be provided by attracting and retaining the very best teachers.
Chronic underfunding has taken a toll on our schools. Kansas teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in the nation, leading to record shortages teachers statewide. Assessment scores have fallen dramatically, and now fewer than 40% of our students are rated as on track to be prepared for college or a career after they graduate from high school.
That’s why Kansas Democrats believe there is no higher priority for our tax dollars than funding our state’s vital public education institutions.
· Fighting to fully fund public education as required by the Kansas Constitution.
· Ending tax breaks for corporations that fund private school scholarships.
· Reinstating due process for public school teachers.
With steadfast support from Kansas Democrats, our state’s public schools proudly educate ALL students –
· Regardless of social or economic status.
· Without racial, religious, or cultural prejudice.
· Whether or not they have special physical, psychological and intellectual needs.
The fight for school-funding fairness is not yet over!
Kansas’ Republican legislators continue putting forth proposals like At Risk Funding and Vouchers for Public Education, risking our children’s education. Kansas Democrats, on the other hand, continue fighting against proposals like these so that no tax credits will be expanded for organizations providing scholarships for private schools.
Kansas Democratic Platform Seeks to Support Public Education
Education is a core value of Kansans; therefore, investing in public education at all levels has been, and always will be, a top priority of Kansas Democrats. The success of our children and our communities depends on quality schools with educators who have successfully completed teacher education programs and are licensed through the Kansas Department of Education. A quality education depends on attracting and retaining quality teachers. The success of our economy depends on a well-educated and well-trained workforce.
Therefore, Kansas Democrats support full funding for public education as required by the Kansas Constitution; an end to tax breaks for corporations that fund scholarship money that goes to private schools; and reinstating due process for public school teachers.
Prosperity and job creation in the 21st century depend on funding quality public schools, vocational training, community colleges and universities in Kansas. There is no higher priority for our tax dollars, and there is no greater commitment for Kansas Democrats.
When Kansas Republicans passed Sam Brownback’s reckless tax plan in 2012, they blew a giant hole in the state budget. Ever since then, Republicans have tried to fix that hole by taking needed resources away from our school children. Budgets passed by our Republican Legislature and signed by Governors Brownback & Colyer mean Kansas schools currently receive 13% fewer dollars, adjusted for inflation, from the state than they did in 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This low level of support violates our state Constitution, and the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that the school funding provided by our Republican legislature is inadequate to properly educate students.
This chronic underfunding is taking a toll on our schools. Kansas teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in the nation, leading to a shortage of almost 1,500 teachers at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Statewide assessment scores have fallen dramatically, and now fewer than 40% of our students are rated as on track to be prepared for college or a career after they graduate from high school.
Democrats voted to end the failed Brownback/Kobach tax experiment and start to restore funding to public schools.