A group of eight former Wichita Schools Board of Education members issued a list of candidate endorsements for the BOE districts up for election next week.
The group is calling itself "Putting Wichita Students First." The former school board members have a combined 88 years of experience representing Kansas’ largest school district.
The group is endorsing Betty Arnold or Ben Blankley for District 1, Julie Hedrick for District 2, Mike Rodee for District 5 and Ron Rosales for District 6.
State Sen. Lynn Rogers, a member of the group, says these candidates will continue to move the district forward and put kids first.
"We want to make sure that the group can work together and that they are strong supporters of public education, and they are folks that will put kids ahead of adult issues," Rogers says.
Rogers says the group issued the endorsements after studying the candidates in the four races. He says they put together questions for the candidates, listened to their presentations at recent forums and considered the candidates’ community involvement.
In addition to Rogers, members of the Putting Wichita Students First group include Connie Dietz, Jeff Davis, Lanora Franck, Chip Gramke, Carol Rupe Linnens, Jean Schodorf and Jim Ward.
"We get asked by a lot of friends and community members who we would support and so we felt like it was important to step up and do that in an organized way," Rogers says. "Let people ask some questions and see where people stood on various issues."
Rogers represented District 6 on the board for 16 years, and did not seek re-election. He currently serves Senate District 25 in the Kansas Legislature.
Four of the seven USD 259 Board of Education seats are up for election on Tuesday. Board members serve four-year terms. People who live in the Wichita School District can vote in all of the races—not just the district where a voter resides.
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