As we do each election cycle, Kansas public school teachers who are members of KNEA gathered in committees across the state to begin the process of interviewing candidates for state offices. Our interviews were focused squarely on issues related to strong public schools and student success. Kansans have voted, but long before election day Kansas teachers became involved. In their soul, teachers believe it is their responsibility to stand for their profession, for learning, and most importantly for their students.
Teachers will be in their classrooms teaching after the election. We will continue to invite the Governor to include teachers and all educators, in any and all policy discussions related to public schools. As an organization, we pledge to be available to work with the Governor and the Kansas Legislature moving forward.
Nearly 25,000 public school teachers, higher education educators, administrators, para professionals, retired educators and pre-service students comprise our association. We believe it is our duty to advocate for those who sometimes have no other voice speaking on their behalf, Kansas students. Our members understand that this responsibility does not end with one election. Moving forward, we ask our members and all public school supporters to remember the following:
First- Do what you do best everyday, teach and support your public schools and students.
Second- KNEA members and public school supporters should remain engaged. The outcome of one election does not bury the issues we must confront in order to continue to ensure quality public schools in Kansas.
Third- Once the rhetoric has died down, reality in Kansas classrooms means that educators, community leaders, elected officials and students will need to work closely together to overcome obstacles and achieve success. KNEA will lead the effort to organize and move Kansas public schools forward. We hope you will join us.
Kansas NEA has been a public education leader and advocate for more than 150 years. We don’t bathe in the glow of our successes for too long, nor do we shrink from challenge. Educators teach students who will create and someday fill the jobs that fuel the Kansas economy. Educators are professionals who are accountable and driven to provide opportunity, protect our most cherished asset, and lay a foundation for the future.
We’ve raised our hands for public schools in Kansas and now we ask YOU, parents, leaders, students and teachers to join us as we continue to advocate for the future of Kansas and the students who will shape it. On behalf of Kansas NEA members, educators and students, I thank you for your effort and challenge you to keep advocating for quality public schools for every Kansas student.
Mark Farr, president, KNEA