“I am not new to the struggle educators and students have endured in recent years. I have fought against policies that put the interests of a select few ahead of the promise of opportunity for every Kansas student. Throughout my career, I have stood with our teachers and the professionals who are closest to our students in the classroom.”
“We had at one time a very robust early childhood education program, we’ve cut that back somewhat. We need to expand that again because that is the best investment that this state can make.”
Laura Kelly learned the value of public service at an early age. She grew up in a military family, and lived all around the world. She and her husband Ted, a doctor, settled down in Topeka, Kansas as a young couple. They were attracted to the state’s public school system and strong sense of community.
Laura became the first Executive Director of the Kansas Recreation and Parks Association, and she had the opportunity to travel all over the state and enact policies that promoted the health and wellbeing of Kansans. In 2004, she ran and won a seat in Kansas’ State Senate, largely motivated by a desire to undo cuts to public school funding in her area.
In her years as a state senator, Laura assumed many leadership roles, including Ranking Minority Member of the Ways and Means and Public Health and Welfare committees. She was a staunch opponent to Senator Brownback’s tax cuts, which threatened funding for most public programs, including public schools.