Lynn Rogers says he’s “not sure yet” whether he will relinquish his seat on the Wichita school board after winning a seat in the Kansas Senate on Tuesday, but he is leaning toward resigning.
“My wife probably would kill me if I tried to do both,” Rogers said.
State law allows people elected to state office to continue serving on local school boards, and there is precedent for that in Wichita.
Former Wichita school board member Jean Schodorf, who was elected to the Kansas Senate in 2000, kept her school board seat during her first legislative session. Her school board term expired in June 2001.
Rogers’ seat on the school board, which he has held since 2001, does not expire until January 2018.
On Tuesday, he said he was concerned about the logistics of holding both offices for that long. During the legislative session, which runs from January through May, he would have to travel from Topeka to Wichita for twice-monthly Monday-night board meetings.
“My thought is I probably would resign” the school board seat before taking office in Topeka, Rogers said.
“You wouldn’t miss all of the (school board) meetings, but you’d likely miss some, and to me it’s real important that you need to represent your district and be there,” he said.
If Rogers resigns, the remaining six members of the Wichita school board would appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of his term.
Rogers, whose school board district includes Riverside, Midtown and parts of north and northeast Wichita, said he wants to hold an informational meeting for people interested in serving on the board. Any replacement would have to live in District 6.
“My concern is, I’ve tried for a few years to find somebody, and I haven’t had anyone step forward,” Rogers said.
“If we got some people there, that would make me feel better about resigning and letting somebody else take over,” he said. “I could talk to them about what the job entails.
“I don’t want to control who gets what, and I don’t have any say in who would be my replacement,” Rogers said.
“But at the same point, I am concerned because that person will be representing me on the school board and for my district. We want to have somebody who’s a strong supporter of public education.”