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Education Advocates Rally At The Kansas Statehouse

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Stephen Koranda
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Hundreds of education advocates rallied at the Kansas Statehouse Monday and urged lawmakers to boost spending on public schools.

Judith Deedy, with the group Game On for Kansas Schools, argues that many lawmakers aren’t hearing the concerns of parents. Deedy is asking lawmakers to stop legislation that she says targets teachers.

“Our requests are really quite simple. Listen to us. Base funding for schools upon need. Let the teachers do their job,” Deedy told the advocates gathered Monday.

The rally was the endpoint of a weekend where more than a dozen people walked to the Statehouse from either Emporia, Manhattan or Kansas City to raise awareness about education issues.

Eudora resident Becky Plate walked 60 miles from Merriam to the Statehouse. She says there were threats of cutting arts and sports programs in her district. They were able to save many of those programs, but it’s costing parents.

“Every family pays significantly higher fees now that go to things like transportation to activities and to be able to afford coaches,  that we didn’t pay before. Public education is supposed to be free,” Plate says.

This marks the fourth year that education advocates have walked to the Kansas Statehouse to raise awareness.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.