Half of the Kansas Board of Education’s 10 seats are on the ballot in this year’s elections. The August 7 primary will most likely settle the race in Wichita’s 8th district. Both Republican candidates say they’re ready to serve.
At a recent forum in Wichita, 70 year old incumbent, Walt Chappell, explained why he’s running for a second 4-year term on the state school board. Chappell told the crowd it’s important to provide relevant education to every child.
“We give them a fair chance to start off in the future with employable skills,” he says, “I want to make sure that money gets to the classroom and it doesn’t get tied up in administrative costs. It’s very important we give kids a choice of what to take, it’s not all college bound, there are many technical skills that kids need to learn.”
No Democrats are running for the board in Wichita’s 8th District. Chappell returned to the Republican party last year, after being elected as a Democrat in 2008.
Kathy Busch, a 60-year-old retired assistant superintendent and principal, is trying to unseat Chapell. Busch says the focus must continue to be on what works for kids.
“I have knowledge and I have experience that I believe will help the Board of Education,” says Busch.
“We have many difficult decisions coming up in this next term with all the changes of No Child Left Behind and I believe I can bring a level of experience to the board to assist with that.”
Educators expect the board to also consider new science standards next year.
When questioned about evolution, both candidates raised their hands in support of the state retaining evolution-friendly science standards.