The primary issue that feeds our communities, our economy and inevitably our future is public education, and it should be supported – not destroyed by the very people elected to protect it. Moreover, the teachers who care for our children in elementary school, deal with them in middle school, and launch them in high school should be respected and treated with gratitude, not disparaged. I am eternally grateful to the teachers who helped shape Laurie and Katie, many of whom we keep in touch with still today. Throughout their schooling, I was active in the Shawanoe, Trailridge, and Shawnee Mission Northwest PTA and PTSA.

I will support independence from Topeka when it comes to education funding and policy, specifically with regard to increased local control over our own funding destiny, as well as curriculum development and employment policies. The Kansas Constitution includes  “suitable provision for the finance of education,” and when I raise my hand to protect that Constitution, I vow to oppose efforts to undermine this fundamental priority for our state.

While I support more funding for our schools, my support is not blind. We must get more dollars to the classroom and ensure we are achieving optimal outcomes from this valuable investment in our future.

The three-legged stool of taxation – property, sales, and income – is horribly out of balance, as we have seen in our property tax bills and grocery store receipts. It’s time we took a pragmatic and reasoned approach to taxation that reflects Kansas Common Sense.

  • Topeka’s attack on local governments has forced 86 of 105 counties to raise property taxes to maintain essential services such as filling potholes, plowing snow, and retaining police officers.
  • Did you notice a shift when you filed your taxes in April? Our state taxes may have gone down, but that makes our gross income higher. As a result, we are sending more money to Washington, DC. Thanks but no thanks.
It’s time Kansas makes national news for good reasons:

  • Our schools are still among the best in the country.
  • Our institutions of higher education turn out top talent and create a skilled workforce for Kansas businesses.
  • Our communities are named to Top Ten lists for businesses, families, and young people.

 

But that’s not what the world sees. I’ll oppose legislation that wastes legislative time and taxpayer dollars:

  • Legalized discrimination (2014 HB 2453)
  • Guns in public buildings and classrooms (2014 HB 2578)
  • State administration of Medicare (2014 HB 2553)
  • Allowing parents to exempt their kid from vaccinations (2012 HB 2094)
  • Strip teachers of due process rights (2014 HB 2506)
  • Repealing renewable energy standards for energy production (S Sub HB 2014)
  • Change the Kansas Constitution, making it harder to adequately fund schools (2012 HCR 5006)