Topeka (KSNT) –
“I’m a mom and schools are my number one priority.”
Parents, educators, students, and some just concerned citizens put on their sneakers for a long walk.
“The 60 mile journey, through the cold and through potentially adverse weather conditions is a way to symbolize the energy required to really stand strong for public schools,” says KNEA’s Mark Baltzell.
Though small in numbers now, organizers expect thousands of participants by the time the walk reaches Topeka on Monday.
They’re putting in the miles to show their commitment to education, something they want reciprocated from legislators when the ‘Game On for Kansas Schools Walk’ reaches the statehouse.
The walk’s director says strong public schools are essential to Kansas, listing school funding is one of their top priorities.
“I don’t see how the Governor thinks that decreasing funding and taking away things from teachers and all the other stuff they’re doing are the kind of things that can make our schools better,” says one walker.
Governor Brownback says schools will actually get more money now than they ever have in the past. The proposed budget for next school year is four billion.
Walkers say their main concern isn’t about party politics, it’s about the quality of Kansas education.
“Without strong public schools, the state economy wouldn’t grow and we wouldn’t have the educated workforce that we need to move forward with 21st century skills,” says teacher Sherri Schwantz.
The third annual ‘Game On for Kansas Schools Walk’ will meet at Topeka High School in the morning on Monday, then walk to the statehouse.