Elections 2020: Deadline to file candidacy is Monday, June 1Scott Rothschild
By Leah Fliter
Elections will proceed as scheduled this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. With the Monday, June 1 filing deadline approaching, school leaders should be looking at candidates who they believe can best represent their values, including possibly running themselves. Several legislators and State Board of Education members began their public service as school board members and educators.
Every seat in the Kansas Legislature is on the ballot, so the August primary and November general elections will be particularly important for Kansas public education because the final years of the funding formula that settled the Gannon school finance case have not yet been appropriated.
Prior to March 2020, it appeared the state’s financial outlook might allow for a smooth phase-in of the Gannon funding. The near-catastrophic economic impact of the coronavirus, however, will prompt state officials to closely examine state expenditures. The Kansas Supreme Court retained oversight of the Gannon case to ensure the Legislature fulfills its commitment; however, with the state’s ending balance now predicted to be deeply in the red in Fiscal Year 2021 there will be tough discussions about funding priorities. Education advocates will need to be involved in those discussions.
The 125-member Kansas House of Representatives is elected every two years. Party leaders on both sides of the aisle are recruiting aggressively to fill potential open House seats, and several incumbents have not yet filed for re-election, raising the possibility of additional openings.
The 40-member Kansas Senate is elected every four years, including 2020. While some party stalwarts have filed for re-election, other longtime Republican and Democratic senators have not yet made their intentions known.
In addition to state legislative races, all four U.S. House seats, a U.S. Senate position and Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on the State Board of Education are up for grabs.
While KASB does not endorse candidates, the organization provides data and briefing materials to all interested candidates.