A month ago, our state was faced with a real danger of school closings over a legislative impasse in the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives. Prior to and during this special session, much was said about change being needed in Topeka. While no means the best situation for our students, a funding bill that should get us through the 2016-17 school year was passed, but there was no sign of any permanent change going forward. It’s similar to placing a bucket under a leaky roof to keep your floor dry; the legislation is not a solution to the real problem. With our state’s extended budget deficit and monthly tax revenue shortfalls, there isn’t much evidence this course leads to a better future situation. Something needs to be done to generate a lasting solution to our problems.
On August 2nd you have a chance to affect real change in our state government. In Kansas (and other states) where one party has significant control and greater representation, primary elections are key to that change. You have a chance to decide between multiple candidates within your own party, ensuring that the candidates in November represent the best interests of the citizenry. By skipping the primary election, or voting without knowledge of the candidates, we vastly reduce the chance of anything changing in the next legislative session.
We at the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your day to learn a little more about the candidates that are vying to represent your county, district, and state. If there is an issue that is most important to you, we further hope you take the time to contact the candidates or their campaign offices to learn more about their stance on those issues and what effect that might have on you and your families. As educators, we feel there is nothing more important than making careful, educated decisions based in evidence.
A list of candidates for all state and national elections can be found here: https://ballotpedia.org/Kansas_elections,_2016 or http://www.kssos.org/elections/elections_upcoming_candidate_display.asp
Voting locations can be found here: https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do
Thank you for your time, and for your help ensuring that our state has the leadership necessary to provide all Kansans with a state we can be proud of.