Education is around 50% of the state budget, because of that people sometimes view education as only a liability. I believe we need to change our way of thinking and view it as one of our greatest assets. I want to restore value and respect back to our education system. I will be a governor who brings a greater unity between the state and education system.
Kansas Can Education Redesign
With technology constantly progressing, the need for skilled workers is essential. Future jobs are going to require greater skill, and it’s imperative that we give our children the best opportunity to succeed after high school. That’s why I support Kansas Can’s Education Redesign. It centers on the student rather than the system and involves more partnership with the student’s family, community and local community colleges. While the student is in K-12, the program focuses on the individual plan of study specific to each student, with the goal to send students to a post-secondary school. With around 48,000 jobs not filled in Kansas it is important that we have students pursue postsecondary education, whether it be a technical school or a four-year school; they are both important to filling the needs of employers.
We need to add inflation to the $525 million bill Governor Colyer signed to put into the schools. I believe then we will be able to get this matter out of court and fund our schools adequately. I believe we can fund our schools with online sales tax and sports betting without raising our property, income, or sales tax. After a national school finance consultant, Dr. Lori Taylor, conducted a study on Kansas schools, she said that they are operating at an efficiency level she has not seen anywhere else. Kansas ranked nationally around 31st in spending per pupil, but ranked 10th on a wide spectrum of student measures. We do well with what we put into our education system. Let’s bring value and respect back to our teachers and schools.
We are losing our teachers to Missouri and Nebraska, and young people are not pursuing teaching anymore. After visiting with many school administrators across the state, nearly everyone had a teacher shortage. We need to build a competitive field again for our teachers and make sure they feel valued and supported. Teachers in Kansas have done an exceptional job teaching our kids and often spend their own money on our kids in the classroom. It’s time we show value and respect by supporting them.
I would look at decriminalizing crime penalties for recreational marijuana, but do not support full legalization. Colorado now has the highest youth rate on marijuana, and I don't believe that's what we want for our kids.
I am open to looking into regulated science-based medicinal marijuana as a safer alternative to opioids for treating things such as seizures, terminal illnesses or end-of-life care.
I am in favor of industrial hemp for our farmers. Hemp could spur many economical benefits for agriculture and manufacturing in Kansas because it can be used in more than 25,000 products. It also could be a great alternative to many farmers out west, as hemp is believed to require less water than some crops. Hemp does not contain enough THC levels to get you high like marijuana.
I believe we should expand Medicaid. Traveling through rural Kansas I found that they need Medicaid expansion for their hospitals and nursing homes. With hospitals being a bedrock-economic driver for many smaller communities, the state is missing out on nearly $5.3 billion federal dollars that could be used for reimbursing them. Nearly 82 percent of Kansans are in favor of Medicaid expansion, according to a study done by the American Cancer Society. Additionally, the Kansas house and senate already approved this bill, but the previous governor vetoed it.
When Louisiana expanded Medicaid, it had a $1.85 billion direct economic impact and created 19000 new jobs.
Advocate of Life
My personal belief is that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. I believe that we should protect and advocate for the unborn. Being pro-life carries into every aspect of life. I believe we should advocate for life in other areas as well, making sure we do our best to address issues such as suicide, human trafficking, and making sure our foster kids are taken care of. Being a foster parent for many years and helping raise many youth, this is important to me.
As an avid hunter and fisherman in Kansas, I understand the importance of the 2nd Amendment. I believe all law-abiding citizens should be able to bear arms for hunting, sport and personal protection; yet I also know there are many who have not been trained to handle firearms. Handling any weapon requires respect of its power and education of its use. As a part of keeping our communities safe, I believe more educational programs should be implemented for the use of a sidearm.
After talking with many farmers and ranchers, the undocumented immigrants are important to filling the workforce shortages. They have become family and assets to many of our farmers. While I’m for safe and secure boarders, I believe we need to work toward granting legal working status to those who register with the state, continue to work and uphold our laws, and pay taxes. We need to treat immigrants as human beings and be fair.
In keeping with my pro-life values, I believe the dreamers who were brought here by their parents illegally, should be given the opportunity to obtain citizenship.
With over 48,000 jobs that we’re unable to fill, it’s imperative that we support Education Redesign, which focuses more on the students’ future career. Having a skilled workforce is essential for our economy growth and in attracting businesses. Education Redesign offers a healthy balance of technical training and 4-year college, and gets our students started on it in K-12. With a skilled workforce partnered with our good infrastructure we will set the climate for businesses to come here.
As of right now I support the three-legged stool tax approach, income tax, sales tax, and property tax. When you take one away it puts pressure on the others. I think taking our income tax out is partly why we see our high sales tax and property tax. Right now we’re in position where we need to sit tight and adjust our taxes when we know we have sufficient funds to carry out our service; however, I am always for cutting taxes in a responsible manner. I ultimately think Kansas needs to grow. Kansas is fifth in the nation for people moving out. We’re not going to be able to cut taxes if we don’t start growing. I will promote Kansas to help it grow.