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Mon Aug 21, 2023, 11:55 AM

'A new type of candidate': Kansas education groups worry over school board races

TOPEKA — As local school board candidates gear up for the November election, community leaders worry about misinformation and extremist candidates.

Judith Deedy, executive director of Game On for Kansas Schools, a public education advocacy group, said the organization had to fight against “fake issues” promoted by several right-leaning local school board candidates, such as parental rights debate and pushback on diversity, equity and inclusion practices in schools.

“I’m worried about a new type of school board candidate that we’ve seen in the last couple of elections,” Deedy said. “These aren’t our traditional candidates who come to board elections with experience of civic engagement, participation. … Lately, we see kind of an angry parent. And sometimes they’re not even parents, but they’re running on wedge issues, culture war issues. They’re using deceptive information.”

Deedy joined Lauren Tice Miller, of the Kansas National Education Association, to talk about the school board race election cycle on the Kansas Reflector podcast.

Miller, who serves on the Shawnee Heights school board in Shawnee County, said she was concerned about Moms for America. The group is similar to Moms for Liberty, Miller said, raising objections to books and curriculum and wanting to remove vaccination requirements.


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