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Kansas State Board of Education District 4

Member, State Board of Education, District 4

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    Ann E. Mah
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What is your position on the state giving money to private schools through a voucher system or scholarship program?

What policies can the State Board of Education set to enhance and improve mental health services in the schools?

In light of potential budget issues due to COVID-19 , what role can the state board or its members play in assuring the state’s public K-12 schools are adequately funded?

What is your commitment to ensuring diversity and inclusion are present throughout all K-12 curriculum (for example representative history, diversified books in English courses)? What steps need to be taken and what will you do to ensure the changes are made and implemented? What will the timeline be for the implementation?

What is your position on guns in schools? How can our students be protected from outside intruders?

What in your background qualifies you to serve on the state board?

Personal Biography Ann Mah is a lifelong Kansan. Her father was a machinist at Boeing and her mother a public school teacher. Ann taught high school science for five years and then became an engineer at Southwestern Bell. Ann was the 2002 National President of the American Business Women’s Association. Ann served in the Kansas House of Representatives for 8 years and now serves on the Kansas State Board of Education. Ann is married to Larry Mah. They have one son and two grandchildren.
Campaign Phone (785) 266-9434
Campaign Email ann@annmah.org
Campaign Web Site http://www.annmah.org
Education BSE in Physical Science MS in Curriculum
Community/Public Service Currently member of the Lutheran Fine Arts Council of Topeka and adult education leader at Faith Lutheran Church. Member of and past national president of the American Business Women's Association. Past member of the board of directors of the United Way of Greater Topeka and the Shawnee Heights Public Schools Foundation.
Address 3351 SE Meadowview Dr Topeka, KS 66605
I do not support the state funding private schools with vouchers or scholarships.
The State Board of Education established a mental health advisory committee that is addressing the key mental health issues our schools are facing. We did a Blue Ribbon study on bullying, for example, and are implementing those recommendations. We are a leading state in the nation for establishing standards for our schools on social-emotional growth for students. Schools are held accountable on this through our KESA accreditation system. We also work with the legislature to administer the mental health pilot program to provide more and better mental health services directly to students at school.
The State Board makes budget recommendations to the Governor each year and we advocate for that with the legislature as well. We have not cut our funding requests due to the COVID crisis, as schools need more funding now, not less. As a member of the Board, I also work with local districts to make sure they are aware of funding available to them for COVID-related expenses.
The State Board has supported culturally relevant pedagogy and worked with legislators toward that end. Personally, I have put together a group of Topeka advocates to address racial injustice in public schools. We have established a few priorities already, such as internet access for all students, culturally relevant pedagogy training for teachers, and mentoring for students of color. I believe I can best address this issue by starting at home and then seeing if what we do can be scaled up. Mandating from the top down will not get the results we need in this area.
Guns should not be allowed on campus except in the possession of law enforcement officers. The state needs to provide additional funding for hard security for schools to ensure outsiders cannot enter, but the problem will not be addressed until we also deal with the mental health issues of students, bullying, etc.
BSE and Master's degrees in education. Five years' teaching experience in public schools. Serving on a variety of KSDE committees such as Teacher of the Year, QPA, and the Kansas Advisory Committee on Technical Education. I also served 15 years on the North Central/AdvancEd state committee, accrediting public and private schools. I also worked on accreditation of technical colleges for North Central at the national level. While serving in the Kansas House, I served on both the Education and Higher Education committees.