Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today reaffirmed his commitment to public education, saying that funding of the state’s K-12 schools would remain his top priority in a second term. Speaking at campaign stops in a city park in Merriam, Brownback outlined his Road Map 2.0 “Investing in Education, Excellence in Higher Education and Supporting Kansas Families.” The governor noted that public education spending in Kansas was at record levels, up $270 million since 2011.

“Critics said we couldn’t cut taxes and invest more state resources in public education,” Brownback said. “We can, we did and we will as long as I am governor. Period.”

The governor said every Kansas child should have access to a quality education that not only meets their individual needs but also embraces their specific talents and interests.

“The key to providing an education that is relevant to every child is collaboration, innovation, and local control.  Local school board members, local administrators, local teachers and local parents know what’s best for the children in their community,” the Governor said. “It’s important they be given the flexibility they need to help every child succeed.”

Brownback said the key goal of “Investing in Education” was for 85 percent of high school graduates to successfully earn an industry recognized technical certification, be accepted into a higher education institution without remediation or join the military.

“Those who have known Sam Brownback for many years know this:  He has always believed that education – at every level – is the state’s most important priority,” said Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. “His first Road Map for Kansas compared education at the state level to defense at the federal level. His commitment to invest in education is a highlight of Road Map 2.0.”

The goal of “Excellence in Higher Education” is to have 60 percent of the adults in Kansas obtain either a degree or technical certification from a world-class post-secondary institution.

The Governor will work to improve economic alignment by responding to business and industry expectations for graduates and technical program quality; reducing workforce shortages in high demand fields; and enhancing the role of university research in supporting the economy.

Brownback vowed to continue to provide stable funding for our universities, community, and technology colleges.

To “Support Kansas Families,” the campaign set the goal of further reducing childhood poverty by helping provide independence for Kansas residents and strengthening families. It includes providing the skills and training to help residents find work and participate in the Kansas Comeback.