In recognition of her commitment and work on behalf of Kansas public schools, Senator Laura Kelly received the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Kansas National Education Association yesterday in a ceremony at the Manor Conference Center in Topeka. The education group chose to recognize Senator Kelly because of her ongoing leadership and contributions to improving public education on a statewide level.
“Senator Kelly has been a steadfast supporter and friend of Kansas public schools, Kansas teachers, and Kansas students,” said Mark Farr, KNEA President. “We are proud to present Senator Kelly with the Kansas NEA Friend of Education Award.”
The award was presented the morning after a dramatic and late-night fight to pass a school funding bill. Several hundred teachers and school staff filled the halls of the Capitol building encouraging lawmakers to support the bill. Kelly thanked the crowd for coming to the statehouse to hold legislators accountable. She reminded them that their hard work makes a difference and that by working together they can adequately fund Kansas schools.
“While the election of 2016 brought a wave of new faces to the Legislature, we still have leadership that does not support our public schools,” said Kelly. “And for us to make real progress, that must change. We must elect a governor who has a vision for strong schools. Like many of you, I have a vision of education that spans from early childhood to K-12 to college to the workforce.”
Kelly highlighted her lifelong mission to support children and public education. She also stressed the impact great schools have on families, communities and the state economy.
“My husband and I came to Kansas because of its great public schools. And our kids got a world-class education here because of great Kansas teachers,” said Kelly. “When our state makes these needed investments, it’s not just families with kids who benefit. It’s our businesses, communities, and economy.”
As governor, Kelly commits to focus on fully funding K-12 schools and bringing other committed lawmakers together to move the state forward.
“By working together, we can make our schools a top priority again,” said Kelly. “When we invest in our public school, we will make a significant impact on the opportunities our children have available to them – and a significant impact on the future of Kansas.”