State of Kansas Archives: on Education

Kris Kobach: End in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

Kobach pointed to a 2004 law that allows people who entered the country illegally to pay in-state tuition at Kansas universities if they've lived in the state for at least three years and have graduated from a Kansas high school. "We are also the only state in the five-state area that rewards illegal immigration by giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens when our own students are barely able to afford college. The price of college is going up and up and up," Kobach said. "The universities tell us, oh, they have to keep on increasing tuition, they have to keep on taking more from the taxpayer in legislative spending. But they give away hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain what is a subsidy to illegal aliens. It's unfair. It's unreasonable, and it will stop when I'm governor."

Only 686 illegal immigrants took advantage of the in-state tuition program in 2016, mostly for community college.

Source: Kansas City Star on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Jun 8, 2017

Wink Hartman: Solemn state responsibility to ensure education resources

Kansas children are our state's most treasured resource. The most fundamental and solemn responsibility of our state government is to educate the next generation of Kansas leaders. Most importantly, we need to properly prepare the workforce of today for the jobs of tomorrow. There is perhaps no greater example of the dysfunction in state government than the issue of education funding. Families, teachers and students are constantly facing an uncertain future and that must change. If elected, I will work with parents, educators and legislative leaders to ensure that every Kansas student has the resources they need, the stability they desire and the education they deserve to sufficiently prepare them for the jobs of the 21st Century.
Source: 2018 Kansas governor campaign website May 2, 2017

Ron Estes: Oppose government telling us how to educate our children

I will never support the Federal Government? taking power further away from We the People. From our second amendment rights, to the education of our children, to our right to worship as we choose, our liberties must be protected from those who would use power to tell us what to believe and how we educate our children.
Source: 2017 Kansas House campaign website Apr 11, 2017

Ron Estes: More visibility for Learning Quest college savings program

As State Treasurer, Ron identified creative ways to increase the visibility of the Learning Quest college savings program, such as sending Learning Quest information along with newly issued birth certificates.
Source: 2017 Kansas House campaign website Apr 11, 2017

Carl Brewer: Same resources for urban/rural schools as wealthy districts

Brewer, who would be the first African-American governor of Kansas if elected, announced his campaign ahead of the state party's annual convention. He spoke to a crowd at the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City. "As mayor, all the children in Wichita were my children. And as governor, all of the children in the state would be my children, and I'm going to make sure that they get the education that they need," Brewer, who served as mayor from 2007 to 2015, told the crowd.

Several of the event's attendees brought up inequality in education and pressed Brewer on his plans to fix it. Brewer, who noted he attended all-black schools in Wichita as a child, said the state needs to ensure both urban and rural schools have the same resources as wealthier districts. He promised to release a school funding plan after the Legislature acts on the issue later this session and to visit every corner of the state during the campaign.

Source: The Kansas City Star on 2018 Kansas Gubernatorial race Feb 20, 2017

Asa Hutchinson: ArFuture Grants: pay tuition & stay in state for 3 years

It is essential that we, as a state, give every high school student a simple promise: If you pursue a high need job skill or degree, then we will assure you that all your tuition and mandatory fees will be paid through a two-year college program or technical school.

It is a simple promise with a big return for our state and the next generation. It is called ArFuture Grants and it will require a mentoring program for the student. It will require working in the state for three years after college. But it will be created with existing program funds and used in combination with other education funds that are already available.

Because of ArFutures, it will be not only possible, but practical, for a student to get two-year degree or certificate without any student debt.

Source: 2017 Arkansas State of the State address Jan 10, 2017

Sam Brownback: TeachersKan: scholarship program for Kansas college students

Projects like the EducationSuperHighway pave the way toward connectivity in the classroom so students can begin interacting with the tools of our time. We must prepare today's students for tomorrow's workforce. Every student, in every classroom, will have affordable, effective, high-speed internet.

Across the nation there is a growing demand for teachers. We must recruit talented educators to come to Kansas, but outdated regulations sometimes prevent this. Simple reforms in the teacher certification system can create a pathway bringing more teachers to Kansas.

We also have a responsibility to build up the next generation of educators. College costs can make this difficult. That is why I've announced the launch of TeachersKan, a new scholarship program for Kansas college students. If you are a successful Kansas student and commit to teaching in a hard to fill discipline or underserved community, we will help equip you to become a teacher of tomorrow.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Kansas Legislature Jan 10, 2017

Curtis Coleman: Opposes mandatory reforms for competitive federal grants

Q: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?

Coleman: No

Source: Vote Smart Arkansas 2016 Political Courage Test Sep 1, 2016

Sam Brownback: More education money should be going to instruction

Of the more than $4 billion the state puts into education funding, not nearly enough goes toward instruction. That's highly inefficient, if not immoral, denying Kansans from putting their education dollars were they want it.behind a good teacher. I call on the legislature to design a new education funding system that puts more of our money into instruction. That provides bonuses for exceptional teachers and recognizes their true value to our future and the souls of our students.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Kansas legislature Jan 12, 2016

Conner Eldridge: I attended public schools and I will prioritize education

Former prosecutor and U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate Saturday at his family business in Augusta. Job creation, education, and national debt are just a few of the issues Eldridge said he will prioritize as senator. `These problems have real consequences that I've seen growing up here in Augusta, attending the public school just down the road, working on the farm in Lonoke, working with businesses to invest in growing the local economies of Arkadelphia and communities across the southwest and central areas of the state and for the past four and a half years, working with law enforcement and leaders across the state to make Arkansas a safer place to live,` Eldridge said. Eldridge grew up in Augusta and Lonoke and earned his law degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Source: WMC Action News 5 on 2016 Arkansas Senate race Oct 19, 2015

Asa Hutchinson: Post the Ten Commandments in public school buildings

Question topic: Efforts to bring Islamic law (shariah) to America do not pose a threat to our country and its Constitution.

Hutchinson: Strongly Disagree.

Question topic: Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which permitted our system of limited government.

Hutchinson: Strongly Agree.

Question topic: The Ten Commandments should not be displayed in public school buildings.

Hutchinson: Strongly Disagree.

Question topic: Religious freedom is our most foundational freedom and deserves added protection in our state and federal constitutions.

Hutchinson: Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2013 Arkansas Governor campaign Sep 28, 2014

Randall Batson: Strongly supports parents choosing schools via vouchers

Q: Do you support or oppose parents choosing schools via vouchers?

A: Strongly Support.

Source: E-mail interview on Kansas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Patrick Wiesner: More revenue to increase K-12 funding and college funding

Q: Do you feel funding for the state's economic plan is working or not?

A: The state is not collecting the revenue needed to pay for state expenditures. I'd like to see more revenue so that Kansas could both increase K-12 funding and also provide more resources to higher education so that college students could get a tuition break.

Source: Emporia Gazette on 2016 Kansas Senate race Aug 2, 2014

Milton Wolf: Block federal mandates such as Common Core

Question topic: The federal government should establish nationwide standards (such as Common Core) for high-school graduation.

Wolf: Strongly Disagree. We need to dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate federal involvement in education. We need to block federal mandates such as Common Core, and we need to push control of our schools down to the local level.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Greg Orman: National innovation for high student achievement

While public education is primarily a state-based issue, there can be a national voice in encouraging innovation and high achievement for every child. We need to seek ways to help children's education during their formative years so that they can get a quality education to have a better opportunity at achieving their own American Dream.

To remain competitive in the global marketplace, we need to keep college education affordable for the middle class.

Source: 2014 Kansas Senate campaign website, Jun 17, 2014

Mike Ross: AdWatch: Unwavering commitment to our children and schools

Ross' first TV ad in the Governor's race is a 30-second commercial featuring Gov. Mike Beebe (D), who declares: "We need a governor and proven leader middle-class families can count on--that's Mike Ross. Mike Ross has the common sense leadership style that will make our economy work for everyone. His commitment to our children and schools is unwavering. And no one is more independent than Mike. So please join me in supporting Mike Ross for Governor."

Ross provided this statement regarding the ad: "Arkansas has made tremendous progress under Governor Beebe--which is why he continues to be the most popular governor in America," said Ross. "I am very proud to have Gov. Beebe's support for our campaign focused on Arkansas's future. I want to build on the foundations Gov. Beebe has laid in the areas of education, job creation, tax relief and fiscal responsibility, and I want to use my experience of bringing people together to unite this state and make Arkansas an even better place to call home."

Source: Arkansas Matters AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Jan 5, 2014

Mike Beebe: Teach science and math using new, national methods

We have a new statewide initiative called STEM Works that will change the way we teach science, technology, engineering and math in Arkansas's schools. The goal is make Arkansas more competitive for high-wage jobs in a global economy. Many children are familiar with computers before they even begin school, but we teach using the same methods we have used for centuries. STEM Works will use new methods already producing results in classrooms across the country and around the world.
Source: Arkansas 2011 gubernatorial press release #3038 Aug 18, 2011

Randall Batson: Abstinence education ok, but not abstinence-only

Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?

A: No.

Source: Kansas State Legislative 2010 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Joe Bellis: No vouchers; no charters; no federal involvement

Q: Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?

A: No.

Q: Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?

A: No.

Q: Do you support federal funding for charter schools?

A: No.

Q: Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?

A: No.

Q: Other principles?

A: Education is outside of the purview of the federal mandate as delineated in the US Constitution.

Source: Kansas Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test Sep 25, 2010

Lisa Johnston: K-12 education must be a top priority

Unfortunately, no child left behind left many children behind. Even though education is a substantial investment, it must be a priority at both the state and federal level.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Aug 12, 2010

Mark Parkinson: World-class public school system is investment in future

Our founders shared a vision of great public schools and outstanding universities. In the early years, our leaders understood the importance of a great higher education system. They established Kansas State University in 1863, just two years after Kansas became a state. Since then we have formed six other major universities, 19 community colleges and seven technical schools and colleges.

The same can be said of our investment in our public schools. While other states were shy to adopt public education, we embraced it. Our leaders made the conscious decision clear back in the 1860s to spend money on public education. This commitment to public schools was not one time or intermittent; it was long-lasting. It is at the very essence of what makes Kansas, Kansas.

Throughout our history this has worked. We developed a world class public school system. It happened because those that came before us had vision and the courage to make investments in our future.

Source: Kansas 2010 State of the State Address Jan 11, 2010

Bruce Westerman: Supports charter schools; opposes Common Core

Q: Do you support national education standards?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support state funding for charter schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?

A: Yes.

Q: Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Arkansas high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?

A: No.

Westerman adds, "I support national education standards as long as they are the highest of quality and states have the right to accept or reject the standards. I do not support the current Common Core draft of national education standards which show some merit, but in general, are a watered down, middle of the road attempt at national standards."

Source: Arkansas Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Kris Kobach: No unfunded mandates; yes charters & vouchers

Source: 2004 Kansas Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2004

John Kerry: Chides Bush for not fully funding No Child Left Behind

Kerry criticized the president for failing to push for full funding to carry out the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. “You cannot promise no child left behind and then pursue policies that leave millions of children behind every single day,” Kerry said, calling the new law “a promissory note to all of America’s families that must be paid in full.
Source: William Douglas/Tom Fitzgerald; Kansas City Star May 17, 2004

Kathleen Sebelius: 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

Kathleen Sebelius: 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

Kathleen Sebelius: 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

Kathleen Sebelius: 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

Wesley Clark: Decries lack of funding for No Child Left Behind

[Clark] decried the lack of funding for the No Child Left Behind Act, saying ‘we should stop beating teachers over the head and start supporting them.’
Source: Matt Stearns, The Kansas City Star Apr 28, 2003

Kathleen Sebelius: 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

Mike Huckabee: First priority: Raise teacher salaries

Our basic constitutional responsibility is to provide for free, equitable and adequate public education for students through the 12th grade. I would recommend that we set for ourselves the task of raising teacher salaries in this state by $3,000, recognizing that’s not enough and it’s not the finish line but it’s a good starting point. If we don’t raise those salaries at least by that kind of money, we are going to be further and further behind.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

Bill Graves: More funding for special education and parental services

Over the last six years, we have tripled funding for a program that teaches parents how to be better teachers to their children. In special education, six years ago, 67,000 students were served by 8,200 teachers at a cost of $205 million. Now, 10,000 more students are served by 2,700 additional teachers at a cost of $312 million. That’s a 15 percent increase in special education students served by a 33 percent increase in teachers at a cost of 52 percent more.
Source: State of the state address to Kansas legislature Jan 8, 2001

Howard Phillips: Education debate today is about sex & crime

Today, the education debate is even further removed from the controversies of the sixties, seventies and eighties, when issues such as forced busing, quotas, and prayer in the schools were hotly argued. Today the focus is on rape and murder in the schools, America 2000, Outcome-Based-Education, and the distribution of condoms, even to students in the fifth grade.
Source: Kansas Education Watch Network Conference, Wichita, Kansas Aug 7, 1993

Howard Phillips: Schools sponsor the official state religion of humanism

Anti-Christian humanists who advocate separating church from state are total hypocrites unless they similarly insist upon the separation of education from state, because every government-subsidized school has become an establishment of the officially approved state religion, censoring prayer, subsidizing sex, denying creation, rewriting history, undermining parental authority, denigrating Biblical values, and dumbing down the children so that they may be no wiser than those who run our government.
Source: Kansas Education Watch Network Conference, Wichita, Kansas Aug 7, 1993

Howard Phillips: Separate education from state, or it’s establishing religion

[Those who] advocate. separating church from state are hypocrites unless they similarly insist upon the separation of education from state, because every government-subsidized and regulated school has become an establishment of the officially approved state religion, censoring prayer, subsidizing sex, denying creation, rewriting history, undermining parental authority, denigrating Biblical values, and dumbing down the children so that they may be no wiser than those who run our government.
Source: Remarks at the Kansas Education Watch Network Conference Aug 7, 1993

  • The above quotations are from State of Kansas Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018