Ed Peterson Calls on County to Help Johnson County Students

For Immediate Release
April 9, 2014

For Further Information Contact:
Ed Peterson
Phone:  816-365-8724
Email:  ed.petersonforjoco@gmail.com

Johnson County Commissioner Ed Peterson today called on his colleagues to dedicate county reserve funds to connect the county’s excellent school systems with jobs for youths.

The funds to be used remain from the county’s share of a retail sales tax passed by Johnson County voters in 2002 to aid K-12 education in Johnson County. The tax expired in 2008, but the funds have been held since then as part of the county’s reserves.

Peterson’s statement:

“I am calling for my colleagues on the Board of County Commissioners to dedicate available funds to establish an ‘employment pipeline’ connecting our excellent education institutions with jobs here in our community.

The funds to be used are from the $1.3 million remaining from the county’s share of a retail sales tax passed by Johnson County voters in 2002 to aid K-12 education in Johnson County. The tax expired in 2008, but the funds have been held since then as part of the county’s reserves.

This seed money will be used to bring together educators and local employers to develop strategies and to support programs that bring our students into certain industries while they complete their education.

Programs like this have shown promise elsewhere and have been tried on a small scale here, including in at least the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts.  We now need a commitment from the county to contribute to this enterprise and participation by employers and educators to get the program started.

We have seen from the recent legislative session that the state is going to do only the bare minimum to finance education.  If we are to sustain our position as a community of highest quality education, we will need to come together with efforts like this.  One of the needs in our community is a direct link between education and jobs, and this effort would provide that link.”

Obviously, policies from Topeka are not going to provide the necessary support for our schools.  However, by coming together as a community we can, and we will, sustain educational excellence.”