Olathe Public Schools
Board of Education,
At-large Position 7
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||March 3, 2015|
|Next general||April 7, 2015|
|Bachelor's||University of Kansas|
|Master's||University of Nebraska at Omaha|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 What's at stake?
- 4 About the district
- 5 Recent news
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
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.
Beveridge has served on the following committees:
- 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
Four seats are up for election on April 7, 2015. A primary election for the at-large Position 7 seat was 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.
Four candidates filed for the open at-large Position 7: Joe Beveridge, Scott Enge, Robyn Essex and Elizabeth Howerton. Because more than three candidates filed for the position, a primary election was held. Essex and Beveridge advanced to the general election.
This election will be held on April 7, 2015.
|Olathe Public Schools USD 233,
At-Large Position 7 Primary Election, 4-year term, 2015
|Source: Johnson County Election Office, “Election Summary Report 2015 Spring Primary: Official Final Results,” accessed March 3, 2015|
Beveridge has been endorsed by the following:
- 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
- The Kansas City Star.
- 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.
|Kansas State Senate, District 21 Republican Primary, 2012|
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.
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.
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.||”|
—LeEtta Felter, (2015), 
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:
|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.
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."
On February 9, 2015, Sen. Mitch Holmes (R-33) introduced Senate Bill 171 to the Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee. The bill as it was initially introduced would have moved 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. Supporters claimed that moving the school board elections to a date when there are more elections would increase voter turnout for such races as well as reduce the costs of printing the number of current ballot variations. Others, however, questioned whether or not a move would actual improve turnout as it would place school board elections on an already lengthy ballot.
The bill was amended before being approved 21 to 18 by the Senate on February 26, 2015. The approved version would move school board and other local elections to the November general election date in odd-numbered years. It removed the language that would have made those elections partisan. During the debate of the revised version, Holmes expressed frustration with the resistance to moving local elections. He argued that such a move would increase voter turnout, as well as bring greater transparency to local government, saying that such offices are "elected on a day that nobody notices."
Holmes also argued that the disproportionately white city council of Ferguson, Mo., was caused by holding off-year elections and postulated that "minorities vote better in on-cycle elections than off-cycle elections." Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-29), the first African American woman elected to the State Senate and one of the two African American members of the body, dismissed this argument, saying, “I don’t live in Ferguson. I don’t know anybody who lived there. ... We’re here in Kansas."
On March 4, 2015, the revised Senate bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. The House Elections Committee recommended the revised bill be approved with some amendments regarding date changes in the law on March 19, 2015.
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.
Voters approved the LOB increase by over 79 percent. Turnout for the vote was 27.99 percent.
|Olathe Public Schools USD No. 233 Question (2015)|
About the district
- See also: Olathe Public Schools USD 233, Kansas
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.
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. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Joe + Beveridge + Olathe + Public + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Joe Beveridge for Olathe, "About Joe," accessed February 11, 2015
- Johnson County Election Office, "Candidates - Spring 2015 Unofficial Listing," accessed January 28, 2015
- Johnson County Elections Office, " Campaign & Committee Reports," accessed February 23, 2015
- MainePAC, "MainPAC Endorsements," accessed March 25, 2015
- The Kansas City Star, "Editorial: Strong school leaders needed in stormy times," March 24, 2015
- Kansas Secretary of State, "Candidates for the 2012 primary (unofficial)," accessed July 16, 2012
- Kansas Secretary of State, Official 2012 Primary Results
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Ballotpedia School Board Candidate Survey, 2015
- The Kansas City Star, "Gov. Sam Brownback is cutting aid to Kansas schools by $44.5 million," February 6, 2015
- Kansas State Legislature, "Bills and Resolutions: SB171," accessed February 11, 2015
- Lawrence Journal-World, "Lawrence school board opposes moving local elections to November," February 9, 2015
- The Wichita Eagle, "Moving local elections from spring to fall approved by Kansas Senate," February 26, 2015
- Olathe Public Schools, "Frequently Asked Questions About the L.O.B.," accessed February 11, 2-15
- Jefferson County Clerk, "USD MAIL BALLOT ELECTION: OFFICIAL FINAL REPORTS," February 2, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "Johnson County, Kansas," accessed December 30, 2014
- Johnson County Election Office, "Election History by Year," accessed December 30, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
|2015 Olathe Public Schools USD 233 Elections|
|Johnson County, Kansas|
|Election date:||April 7, 2015|
|Candidates:||District 1: Position 1: • Incumbent, LeEtta Felter • Jim Poe At-large: Position 7: • Joe Beveridge • Scott Enge • Robyn Essex • Elizabeth Howerton|
|Important information:||What's at stake? • Key deadlines • Additional elections on the ballot|