|To the editor:
My husband and I are running for separate positions on the Riverton Board of Education. Each has opposition. I want to stress that in spite of any concerns over the issue Kansas law doesn’t prohibit spouses from serving together on government bodies.
Currently Linda and Roy Watkins are serving on the Galena City Council. Linda Watkins has opposition, but Roy Watkins doesn’t. In Columbus Jerri Burton is running for re-election to the Columbus City Council, while her husband Dale Burton is running for mayor against the incumbent. Currently Bill and Judy Blank are serving in Treece as mayor and city council member. Both Blanks are running unopposed.
Decision-making authority and voting is invested in the board as a whole, not in individual members. It takes four votes to pass a board motion. Two family members on the board do not make a quorum. It is important for each to work as a team member and cooperate with other board members. The number one priority is the welfare of the students.
It is necessary to have individuals with a broad background of experience and knowledge. My husband and I have different backgrounds in education, work and life experience. As such, we bring a broad based background to the board. The choice for both of us to run is to provide indispensable public service in a shared area of interest and concern.
The community needs to realize that decisions binding the school district only may be made by a majority of the entire board. Individual opinions can and should be expressed and defended, but no individual or two individuals may bind the board of education to a course of action.
My husband David has worked in adult and community education for 20 years. Expressing his concerns, he believes that kids are not prepared for the workplace of today or tomorrow. In his experience in education he has seen a large number of high school graduates that could not read, write or do basic math.
I am a retired nurse and a member of the StudentsFirst Organization who believes in education reform. I think that students should be placed first above the bureaucracy. We need to keep good teachers in the classroom regardless of their experience or tenure. We must fight against ineffective programs. We need to emphasize that parental involvement is key, but stress that the entire community must be engaged in the efforts to improved our schools.