Thursday, August 11, 2016

Winter is Coming...

Back in June KASB started our annual summer legislative tour in Olathe. There was a great turnout of candidates and board members. After the meeting, a group of candidates were standing around discussing how to hydrate and maintain electrolyte levels while knocking on doors in the summer heat.

That conversation registered with me: These folks were serious about their support for public education. I was reminded of the old Carnegie Hall joke with a twist: How do you get to Topeka? Knock, knock, knock…  Who knew that electrolytes win elections?

After the August 2 primary election, we found out that the hard work paid off for many of these folks. Their passion for education motivated them and their supporters to work harder than most of us can imagine. It drove them to knock on scores of doors every night. Most of you who are reading this know candidates - and their supporters - who support public education. These parents, educators, school leaders, students and grandparents all deserve our thanks. There is no way I can thank them all, but with your help we can let them know we appreciate them.

But now we come to the part where - just as in a movie or TV show - the characters have accomplished a goal and begin to lose sight of the big picture. For "Game of Thrones" fans (SPOILER ALERT) the trope appears when the Wildlings and Black Watch unite for a battle, and immediately thereafter kill our hero, Jon Snow.

School leaders need to step up now and maintain the positive, unified message of support for public education. There is no Red Witch to bring us back if we turn on each other as the November election and further court challenges present themselves. Winter is coming, and so is the opportunity to write a school finance formula that focuses on the Kansans Can vision of helping all kids be successful.