Growing concerns voiced over Johnson County schools losing appeal amid education crisis – Kansas Reflector

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Education

OVERLAND PARK — In years past, Kansas education has been a selling point for families moving to Johnson County.
It has been a recruitment tool to encourage community growth and to pull in young professionals. Today, however, local leaders fear the collapse of their school system.
“Essentially, we’re at the point where we’re looking at a transformation of public education and public schools,” said Sen. Cindy Holscher, an Overland Park Democrat. “This is the result of decades-long involvement by outside agencies, sometimes out-of-state, sometimes in-state, working to basically undermine our educational institutions.”
Community members gathered earlier this month to discuss the status of Johnson County schools during a panel discussion hosted by Freedom to Learn, a local public education advocacy group. Mediated by Holscher, the July 9 panel consisted of four speakers: Wayne Burke, former Spring Hill superintendent; Patty Carter, director of special education at Greenbush, a southeast Kansas initiative with the focus of bringing equal educational opportunities to all; Ken Thomas, a former Blue Valley teacher; and Jeff Little, a past president of Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacy.
“As far as funding for our schools, you have teacher salaries, you have special ed, you have transportation, you have different supplies, these different areas that have to be funded,” Carter said. “Essentially, the Legislature is supposed to approve the money to go into those buckets. Now, here’s the caveat, special education has to be filled to the top. If it doesn’t get filled to the top, if the Legisl …

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