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Kathleen Sebelius on Education

Democratic KS Governor


Protect and strengthen public schools after years of neglect

She came to office on a pledge to protect education and strengthen Kansas schools after too many years of neglect from the Kansas Legislature. And on public education, Governor Kathleen Sebelius has delivered.

Once an active PTA member whose two grown sons are products of Kansas public schools, Governor Sebelius has been an outspoken advocate for parents, teachers, and taxpayers - and for continuing Kansas’ time-honored commitment to public education.

Source: Campaign website, www.ksgovernor.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

Education First: Target additional $300M where most needed

My Education First plan will provide an additional $300 million to Kansas schools over the next three years. It’s a responsible plan that targets additional resources to where they are most needed: teachers; early-education programs, including all-day kindergarten; and at-risk students who need our help to succeed. It invests $10 million in Smart Start programs across the state. Early learning programs are among the best investments we can make in the future.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature , Jan 12, 2004

Minimize the need for college tuition increases

It’s critical that we do more to sustain our institutions of higher learning. Because of our difficult financial times, we have failed to keep a promise made to the state’s colleges and universities to provide funding to retain key faculty and minimize the need for tuition increases. My proposal fulfills that promise.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature , Jan 12, 2004

Review district finances and bring efficiency

I propose we create a school audit team in the Division of the Budget to review district finances and help schools become more efficient. I expect these reviews, which have been successfully launched in Texas, Virginia, and a handful of other states, will provide that confidence to taxpayers and parents. I believe they’ll help Kansas school districts streamline their management and business practices so that more dollars reach the classroom and fewer are spent on unnecessary layers of bureaucracy.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature , Jan 12, 2004

Pay teachers adequately and provide them with health care

In exchange for additional resources, we must also demand that school districts be good employers. We must demand that they adequately pay teachers and provide them with the health coverage that other public employees enjoy. We know that health insurance is a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Providing it to teachers will keep talent in Kansas classrooms.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature , Jan 12, 2004

Increase state funding instead of local property taxes

Sebelius called for increases in the base per-pupil state funding. “Legislative increases have not kept pace with inflation,” she said, “which forces the school districts to fall back on local property taxes to finance their budget.” The problem is those property taxes vary statewide & some school districts are receiving much more funding than others. “Quality education should not be an accident of geography,” she said. “It should be funded at the state level.”
Source: Kansas State eCollegian, “Sebelius Discusses Issues” , Oct 7, 2002

Offer every parent Charter Schools and public school choice.

Sebelius adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Create World-Class Public Schools
Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in America. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing, low-income students.

To close this achievement and opportunity gap, underperforming public schools need more resources, and above all, real accountability for results. Accountability means ending social promotion, measuring student performance with standards-based assessments, and testing teachers for subject-matter competency.

As we demand accountability, we should ensure that every school has the resources needed to achieve higher standards, including safe and modern physical facilities, well-paid teachers and staff, and opportunities for remedial help after school and during summers. Parents, too, must accept greater responsibility for supporting their children’s education.

We need greater choice, competition, and accountability within the public school system, not a diversion of public funds to private schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers. With research increasingly showing the critical nature of learning in the early years, we should move toward universal access to pre-kindergarten education.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC2 on Aug 1, 2000

Other governors on Education: Kathleen Sebelius on other issues:
KS Gubernatorial:
Sam Brownback
KS Senatorial:
Jerry Moran
Pat Roberts

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011