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November 14, 2017


Governor candidate Jim Barnett visits Cowley as part of education tour


Governor candidate Jim Barnett visits Cowley as part of education tourAs part of his education tour during the month of November, Jim Barnett made a stop at Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City to visit with Cowley County educational leaders on Friday, November 10 as part of his campaign for the Republican nomination for Kansas governor.

During his visit, Barnett stressed the importance of Senate Bill 155 and the value of having a skilled workforce.

“I value teachers and education, and recognize education is the economic driver of this State,” Barnett said. “I think Kansas is at a pivotal time when it comes to post-secondary education, and if I am Governor we are going to invest in education.”

Barnett graduated from Reading High School, and earned a degree in Chemistry from Emporia State University. He attended the University of Kansas Medical School where he received his Doctorate in Medicine, and completed his internship and residency training at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

After completing training, Jim settled in Emporia and worked as a full-time internal medicine doctor. His experience in the medical profession created a desire to help his community in other ways. He served on the Emporia School Board for eight years and was President for four of those years. He was also active in the Emporia Area Chamber, Rotary International and his local Baptist church.

Barnett served as a state senator from 2001 to 2010, representing Emporia and the surrounding area. In 2006, Barnett was the Republican nominee for governor.

He currently practices medicine at the Cotton O’Neil Clinic with Stormont Vail Health in Topeka, Kansas. He also serves as President of the Shawnee County Medical Society and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Kansas Medical Society.

Barnett’s campaign slogan is “One Kansas”.

“Only when we unite and come together will we solve the problems we face,” Barnett said.

Barnett has organized his education agenda into three basic categories which he calls the ABC’s of education excellence in Kansas.

A is for advancing early childhood development. Up to 25% of our children under-perform in the classroom and there are steps we can take at an early age to remedy this.

B means Be out of Court. For most of the past 12 years, decisions around education funding have been stuck in court.

C is for Careers. We need to change our focus from the earning and amassing of credits to learning the life skills to build careers. This recognizes the importance of work force development as one of the engines needed for our economic growth.

During the visit, Barnett listened to the vision and concerns of Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, president of Cowley College. Dr. Rittle emphasized the importance of fully funding Senate Bill 155, which funds the costs of qualifying postsecondary technical education programs of study for high school students. Rittle explained, “Senate Bill 155, which provides much-needed workforce training and industry certifications to high school students, has been increasingly underfunded for consecutive years, thus, jeopardizing the scope and the access of highly affordable postsecondary technical education to high school students.”