Governor’s Education Council forming recommendations to align education and economy

Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday praised the work of the Governor’s Council on Education that continues to put together proposals aimed at better aligning education and workforce needs.

After hearing some of the council’s ideas, Kelly said the panel was forming “a really robust plan.”

She told council members that some of the recommendations will probably require shifts in resources because additional revenues will be difficult to come up with because of the economic downtown from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If these things are higher priority … we’re going to have to make some very tough decisions, but I think in the long run it will benefit Kansans,” Kelly said.

The council is recommending emphasis on high-quality early childhood care, increased work-based learning, lifting bans on those convicted of felonies to certain employment, diplomas with market-based assets and other plans to better prepare high school graduates for careers and further education and training.

Established by Kelly, the council is chaired by retired Kansas City USD 500 Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lane and Dodge City USD 443 Superintendent Dr. Fred Dierksen, and includes dozens of members representing a wide range of interests in education, government and the private sector.

KASB Executive Director Dr. John Heim, KASB past presidents Patrick Woods of the Topeka USD 501 board and Frank Henderson of the Seaman USD 345 board and Mary Sinclair, a member of the Shawnee Mission USD 512 board and president of the Kansas Parents Teachers Association, serve on the council.

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