Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Voters changed state board

October 19, 2006

In a recent newspaper story, the governor called for a constitutional amendment stripping the Kansas State Board of Education of most of its powers, making it an advisory board.

Let's consider all that has happened in the last year before we start changing the Kansas constitution.

A year ago, the conservatives were in firm control of the board. By the time the candidate filing deadline passed, an unprecedented 16 candidates filed for five board positions. All four conservative seats up for election in this cycle had strong moderate Republican and Democratic challengers. In the August primary, two conservatives lost, one survived with less than a majority, and only received a comfortable majority.

The governor is correct that taxpayers, business owners, and parents must hold the board accountable. They have. In the upcoming general election, the board is guaranteed at least a 6-4 majority of moderates. Jack Wempe and I are running very strong campaigns against the remaining two conservatives so that we can achieve a strong 8-2 moderate majority that is flip-flop proof, and will allow at least four years of stability and real progress for public education in Kansas.

I believe the new board will quickly fix the science standards, find an experienced commissioner of education, and will be anxious to start working on the real problems of making sure that public education in Kansas allows our kids to complete successfully in a global economy.

Don Weiss

Democratic candidate for Kansas State Board of Education

District 3

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