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Game On Hopes Walk is a Game Changer for State Legislature
Local Mom Makes Second Walk from Merriam to Topeka, Others Join
Merriam, Kan. – Last year the group Game On for Kansas Schools made headlines when member and local mom, Heather Ousley, made the 60 plus mile trek from her house in Merriam to the capitol building in Topeka. With the motto of “Just one walk,” the group aimed to air their frustrations with state legislators over the budgetary cuts to public schools in the state and the emergence of a privatization agenda.
This second walk comes on the heels of the Gannon equity decision, for which Game On says it is grateful. Still, they point out that adequate funding for the school system is still a year or two down the road - which does little to eliminate the sting of the cuts that children and teachers in this state are currently feeling. In addition to school funding, walkers say they are stepping out against proposed reforms in Kansas, such as those set out in SB 196 which was introduced in the statehouse earlier this year. Leaders of the group claim that SB 196 and other bills like it are touted as school choice, but would actually privatize schools and create a two-tiered system that would be harmful to the children in the state.
Organizers of this grassroots effort hope the growing number of participants this year will motivate lawmakers to listen and work with them. “Parents, teachers, and community members are all in the game. Our goal is to increase their participation in the political process and encourage our elected officials to meet the needs of Kansas children,” said Judith Deedy, who helped organize the walk.
Ousley commented, “Last year, I walked to raise awareness, and to ask for the funds necessary to preserve our public schools for our kids. This year there are six of us walking the entire route with the same message. We are walking for every kid in Kansas. We will not sit idly by in the face of funding cuts and so called reforms. Last year I had the advantage of not knowing what sixty miles feels like. This year I know. And it's still worth it. Game On."
Joining Ousley en route to Topeka will be other members of Game On, teachers, and other community leaders. They will depart from 6800 Farley in Merriam at 9:30 AM on Friday, March 28th, and they will walk The Final Mile on Monday, March 31st leaving from the Supreme Court building at 1:30 and walking to the capitol building. They invite you to join them on Twitter as they post live updates of their journey.
Game on for Kansas Schools is a nonpartisan grassroots effort by a group of parents, teachers, and concerned members of the community who believe that high-quality public education is a right for all Kansas students.