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Joe Beveridge

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Joe Beveridge
Joe Beveridge.jpg
Candidate for
Board member,
Olathe Public Schools
Board of Education,
At-large Position 7
Elections and appointments
Last electionAugust 7, 2012
Next generalMarch 3, 2015
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Kansas
Master'sUniversity of Nebraska at Omaha
ProfessionEnvironmental consulting
Campaign website
Joe Beveridge campaign logo
Joe Beveridge is a candidate for at-large Position 7 representative on the Olathe Public Schools USD 233 Board of Education in Kansas. He is running for a four-year term on the board in the primary election on March 3, 2015. The top two vote recipients in the primary election will advance to the general election on April 7, 2015.

While the school board is a nonpartisan political body, Beverage was a 2012 Republican candidate for District 21 of the Kansas State Senate.


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Beveridge is the owner and president of Solid Ground Environmental, an environmental consulting service. He earned his bachelor's degress in biology and environmental studies from the University of Kansas and his M.S. in biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is married and his children attend district schools.[1]

Beveridge has served on the following committees:[1]

  • Manchester Park Elementary School Site Council
  • 2012 Olathe Bond Task Force
  • Olathe Chamber of Commerce Business to Government Committee
  • United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Board of Trustees
  • Lenexa Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee
  • Tenth Judicial District Nominating Committee



See also: Olathe Public Schools USD 233 elections (2015)


Four seats are up for election on April 7, 2015. A primary election for the at-large Position 7 seat is scheduled for March 3, 2015.

Position 1 incumbent LeEtta Felter face challenger Jim Poe in her re-election bid, while Position 2 incumbent Richard Schier is running unopposed to retain his seat. Shannon Wickliffe was the only candidate to file for open Position 4 seat.[2]

Four candidates filed for the open at-large Position 7: Joe Beveridge, Scott Enge, Robyn Essex and Elizabeth Howerton.[2] Because more than three candidates filed for the position, a primary election will be held. The top two vote recipients in the primary election will proceed to the general election.



This election will be held on March 3, 2015.


Beveridge reported no contributions or expenditures to the Johnson County Election Office as of February 23, 2015.[3]


Beveridge has been endorsed by the following officials:

  • Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm
  • Lenexa City Council Members Tom Nolte and Diane Linver
  • Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach
  • Olathe Mayor Pro Tem Jim Randall
  • Olathe City Council Member Wes McCoy


See also: Kansas State Senate elections, 2012

Beveridge ran in the 2012 election for Kansas State Senate District 21. He lost to incumbent Greg Smith in the Republican primary on August 7. The general election took place on November 6, 2012.[4][5]

Kansas State Senate, District 21 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGreg Smith 52.1% 3,581
Joe Beveridge 47.9% 3,290
Total Votes 6,871

What's at stake?


Two newcomers are guaranteed to join the board, and one incumbent is guaranteed to retain his seat in the 2015 school board election. Only newcomers filed for Positions 4 and 7, and incumbent Richard Schier is unopposed in his re-election bid for Position 2. District 1 incumbent LeEtta Felter was the only incumbent to file and face a challenger, Jim Poe.

Olathe Public Schools, like the rest of Kansas's public schools, saw funding cuts from the state in early 2015. However, district residents also approved a 2 percent increase in the local option budget in January 2015. Additionally, its election system could change from a spring nonpartisan system to a fall partisan system if some state legislators have their way.

Ballotpedia survey responses

If you are a candidate in this election and want to participate in our survey, please email us.

One of the eight candidates in this election has participated in Ballotpedia's 2015 survey of school board candidates as of February 12, 2015. The following sections display the responses to the survey questions from Position 1 incumbent LeEtta Felter.

Top priorities
LeEtta Felter

When asked what her top priorities would be if elected, Felter stated:

I am the current President of the Olathe School Board. My priority would be to continue to work hard to make sure that our district remains the outstanding K-12 district that it is and to continually improve.[6]

—LeEtta Felter, (2015), [7]

Ranking the issues

The candidates were asked to rank the following issues by importance in the school district, with one being the most important and seven being the least important. This table displays the candidates' rankings from most to least important:

Issue importance ranking
Issue Position 1
Balancing or maintaining the district's budget
Closing the achievement gap
Expanding arts education
Expanding career-technical education
Expanding school choice options
Improving college readiness
Improving education for special needs students
Positions on the issues

The candidates were asked to answer 10 multiple choice and short answer questions from Ballotpedia regarding significant issues in education and the school district. Links to the candidates' responses can be found below.

Issues in the district

State education funding cuts

Governor of Kansas Sam Brownback (R) announced on February 5, 2015, that $44.5 million would be cut from state funding for education to make up for budgetary shortcomings. Income tax reductions recently signed into law by the governor have been blamed as the reason for the significant shortfall. Of the total cuts, $28 million would come from elementary and secondary education funding while another $16 million would be taken from higher education funding. Olathe Public Schools will lose about $1.5 million as a result of the cuts.[8]

Critics of Brownback have pointed to his campaign promises supporting education in 2013. Kansas State Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D-19) called the move, “just another deception [Brownbeck] put upon the voters of Kansas." Brownback's spokesperson, however, has stated that, “Gov. Brownback has consistently maintained that the education funding formula is broken and reform is needed to ensure more money goes to the classroom to benefit Kansas students."[8]

SB 171

On February 9, 2015, Sen. Mitch Holmes (R-33) introduced Senate Bill 171 to the Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee. The bill would move school board and other local elections to November in even-numbered years, in addition to changing school boards from their current nonpartisan status by requiring candidates declare party affiliations.[9] Supporters claim that moving the school board elections to a date when there are more elections will increase voter turnout for such races as well as reduce the costs of printing the number of current ballot variations. Others, however, have questioned whether or not the move would actual improve turnout as it would place school board elections on an already lengthy ballot.[10]

Local option budget question

On January 27, 2015, a mail ballot election approved a 2 percent increase in the district's local option budget (LOB). The LOB provides funding from local funding for teachers and classroom instruction to supplement the district's general fund, which was set at 31 percent by the state. School districts were allowed to increase their LOBs by two percent in 2014. While the board approved the increase, it had to be voted upon by district residents to remain in place. According to materials provided by the school district, $4 million in the school budget would have been cut or reallocated if the question had not passed.[11]

Voters approved the LOB increase by over 79 percent. Turnout for the vote was 27.99 percent.[12]

Olathe Public Schools USD No. 233 Question (2015)
Approveda Yes 18,794 79.11%

About the district

See also: Olathe Public Schools USD 233, Kansas
Olathe Public Schools USD 233 is located in Johnson County, Kan.
Olathe Public Schools USD 233 is located in Johnson County in northeastern Kansas. The county seat of Johnson County is Olathe. Johnson County was home to an estimated 566,933 residents in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau.[13] Olathe Public Schools was the fourth-largest school district by enrollment in Kansas and served 28,182 students in the 2011-2012 school year.


Johnson County outperformed the rest of Kansas in terms of higher education achievement in 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 51.7 percent of Johnson County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 30.3 percent for Kansas as a whole. The median household income in Johnson County was $74,717 compared to $51,332 for the state of Kansas. The poverty rate in Johnson County was 6.5 percent compared to 13.7 percent for the entire state.[13]

Racial Demographics, 2013[13]
Race Johnson
County (%)
Kansas (%)
White 87.8 87.1
Black or African American 4.9 6.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 1.2
Asian 4.6 2.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.0 0.1
Two or More Races 2.3 2.7
Hispanic or Latino 7.4 11.2

Presidential Voting Pattern,
Johnson County[14]
Year Republican Vote Democratic Vote
2012 158,401 110526
2008 152,627 127,091
2004 158,103 97,866
2000 129,965 79,118

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[15] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Recent news

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See also

External links