TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly reformulated an advisory council Thursday to advise the administration on reforming public education from preschool through college.
The group, with slightly different membership, was initiated by Gov. Jeff Colyer in 2018 with an emphasis on improving connections between the state's education system and needs of employers. In March, Colyer said he was motivated to form the council because the state's future depended on how well Kansas educated the next generation.
Kelly and Colyer used their authority as governor to issue executive orders establishing a council devoted to upgrading education.
"It is the best economic and civic investment we can make in our states," said Kelly, a Democrat who took office in mid-January. "It also means looking for ways to evaluate and innovate from early-childhood all the way through the workforce."
Kelly didn't include legislators on her version of the education council but added the Topeka organization Kansas Action for Children.
"I don't know how seriously they (Colyer's task force) was looking at birth through 22 pipeline," said Annie McKay, executive director of KAC. "I think a lot of times in these conversations younger children are overlooked."
Kelly said the council would remain active for as long as it produced interesting ideas for advancing the state's educational and economic interests. She also invited the private education community to interact with the council.