Every Kansas child should have access to a quality education that not only meets their individual needs but also embraces their specific talents and interests. The key to providing an education that is relevant to every child is collaboration, innovation, and local control. Local school board members, local administrators, local teachers, and local parents know what’s best for the children in their community. It’s important they be given the flexibility they need to help every child succeed.
SECOND TERM GOALS: Kansas has seen a dramatic increase in career/college readiness over the last two years. Yet we still have a growing demand for skills and knowledge that our current workforce is unable to meet. We can and must do better.
My goal over the next four years is for 85% of high school graduates to have successfully:
1. Earned an industry recognized technical certification
2. Been accepted into a higher education institution without remediation
3. Joined the military.
Here is my plan to achieve that goal:
Improve Kindergarten Readiness:
• Promote safe, stable, and nurturing relationships to ensure children have strong healthy starts.
• Promote high quality community-based, school-based, and faith-based early learning experiences through public-private partnerships.
• Support effective transitions into school for at-risk populations, including voluntary, full-day kindergarten.
Excellence in K-12 Achievement and Innovation:
• Implement an innovation grant program to increase student participation and achievement on AP and ACT exams.
• Form a STEM Advisory Council to increase communication and collaboration, between K-12 and businesses that rely heavily on employees with expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math with a focus on expanding internship opportunities for students.
• Incentivize participation in the Kansas Academy of Math and Science for high achieving students.
• Enhance local control by protecting school districts from excessive state and federal regulations.
• Continue investing in rural districts.
• Increase the percentage of state funding that goes to the classroom.
• Provide flexibility for local administrators to reward their highest performing teachers, particularly those with a high percentage of at-risk students.
• Oppose involuntary consolidation of rural schools.
Excellence in Higher Education
We accomplished several goals during my first four years including:
• Increased funding for the Kansas Regents system by $50 million in the last 4 years.
• Provided funding for key projects such as the NBAF, National Cancer Center, Polymer Research Center, National Institute for Aviation Research, ESU Honors College, FHSU Information System Engineering program, PSU’s Center for Technical Education, WSU Technology Transfer facility, and the new KBI crime lab at Washburn.
• Increased coordination between higher education and K-12 for Career and Technical Education.
SECOND TERM GOALS: My goal over the next four years is for 60% of the adults in Kansas to have obtained either a degree or technical certification from a world-class post-secondary institution. This will allow them and their families to thrive in the Kansas economy of the future. Here is my plan to achieve this goal:
• Increase higher education attainment by improving retention and graduation rates.
• Improve economic alignment by responding to business and industry expectations for graduates and technical program quality; reducing workforce shortages in high demand fields; and enhancing the role of university research in supporting the economy.
• Continue to provide stable funding for our universities, community, and technology colleges.
• Improve the regional and national reputations of our Regents’ institutions by:
- Increasing the number of certificates and degrees awarded.
- Increasing the proportion of federal research dollars received by our research universities.
Increasing private giving to universities.
• Continue improving rankings for the higher education in Kansas.
Support Kansas Families
We accomplished several pivotal goals during the first term:
• Stopped the increase in the rate of children living in poverty.
• Assisted 7,239 individuals who had been receiving government assistance find new employment in one year.
• Trained more than 500 child welfare professionals about human trafficking rings, making Kansas a national model for trafficking prevention.
• Brought the Jobs for America’s Graduates program to 25 Kansas high schools to keep at-risk students in school through graduation.
We know the key to lifting people out of poverty is not dependence on the government. The key is independence. And we know the path to independence is a job, an education, and a strong family. When you apply for government assistance in Kansas we also encourage you take advantage of services that will help you find work or receive training that makes you more employable.
SECOND TERM GOALS: We have stopped the increase in the rate of children living in poverty. Unfortunately, however, the rate has not decreased significantly and there is still more work to do. Here is my plan to support Kansas families:
• Always support a culture of life.
• Continue implementing the recommendations of the Child Poverty Task Force.
• Expand the Jobs for America’s Graduates Program by another 25 districts.
• Partner with programs that assist residents of high-poverty neighborhoods with the specific challenges of their communities through training, support, and grassroots leadership development.
• Identify innovative, evidence-based mentoring programs to assist struggling families escape poverty.
• Provide childcare coverage to single parents furthering their education.