Manhattan High School hosts walk-in for support of schools

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Manhattan High School-West Campus participated in the third annual Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Walk-In, a nationwide event to show support for public schools.

According to the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools website, AROS is a group of parents, students and community organizations dedicated to “educational justice and equity in access to school resources and opportunities.”

“That is the key to a good public education. It’s support throughout. A unified support to educate kids,” said James Neff, MHS chemistry teacher.

Speakers at the MHS walk-in event took a moment to reflect on the educational funding debate in Kansas.

“We absolutely cut more than a million dollars from our budget during this block grant period of time. And we had to let go of over 70 full time employees, 12 of those were teachers,” said Aaron Estabrook, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 board member.

“The biggest struggle at the local board level is receiving the funding and distributing it and making those tough decisions because the people in Topeka are cutting funding. They don’t have to look at the people in the face when we say we’re laying you off,” said Estabrook.

Attendees included USD 383 superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade and Sen. Tom Hawk, who is also a former USD 383 superintendent and teacher.

”I think we need to go back to that republican three legged balanced stool on income so that everybody pays their fair share of taxes. Right now, over 330,000 business don’t pay anything and that’s just not fair to our taxpayers or to our children it affects by not having the right funding to our schools,” said Sen. Tom Hawk, Kansas State Senate District 22.

The event ended with all students, parents and teachers walking in unity through the doors of the high school.

“I think we have a wonderful school district and we should celebrate it. That was the major purpose for today, to celebrate that unity and togetherness that we have in Manhattan, Kansas,” said Hawk.