Ben Jones

Town: Sterling

Party: Republican

Age: 30

Current job: Self-employed

Prior elected offices: None

1. Why are you running for this office? I am running to be the voice of all children in the seventh district. As a graduate of Sterling High School, I have a heart for our rural school districts. I see the challenges they face. I am that voice that will serve as their advocate to Topeka. Working with non-profits in Hutchinson and McPherson, I see the challenges in the larger communities as well where the poverty-rate is elevated. Even though I do not have children yet, one day I will. I want my children to attend a rural Kansas school to learn the Kansas Values that are passed on from generation to generation.

2. Are you satisfied with the current State Board of Education's performance? If so, why? If not, what would you recommend? I am generally satisfied with the overall performance of the State Board of Education. The ten individuals have a heart for the kids. However, there are things that the board could do that would aid the 70% of school districts that are 3A and smaller in reducing regulatory burdens placed upon them by bureaucrats.

3. What issue would you seek to address if elected to the state board? I would like to see us break the mold that says that a child only receives an education within the walls of a school. As a board member on two non-profits with educational missions, I know kids learn just as much out of school as in it. We should be looking at welcoming the outside into our public schools with very honorable organizations like 4-H, FFA, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. I would also like to see more cross-curricular teaching in our public schools. We need to tear down the silos of subjects and link them together to better the attainment of skills for our children.

4. Why should voters vote for you instead of your opponent? As a Kansas public school graduate, I have lived my entire life attending, and now working in, public schools in the state. I know what it is like to balance multiple jobs. Our teachers wear so many different hats within a school district. The English teacher might also be the girls’ basketball coach as well as the National Honor Society or Junior Class sponsor. We must keep Topeka out of our classrooms and let our teachers teach.