The Wheels Down Politics Show – Mike Kennedy

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Gov. Dave Heineman, Mike Kennedy, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert
Gov. Dave Heineman, Mike Kennedy, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert

Jerry Kratochvil talks to Millard School Board Member Mike Kennedy.

Having served on the school board for 13 years, Kennedy gives his thoughts on a wide variety of subjects in the education field, including the Nebraska Learning Community, Charter Schools, testing of kids, accountability of schools, national standards and after school programs, among others.

Kennedy gives some straight-forward thoughts on other topics such as school vouchers, after school programs and the true effectiveness of the Learning Community.

Kennedy also talks a little about being the first attorney in Nebraska to represent a client seeking a divorce from a same-sex marriage.

A veteran of campaigns for Mike Johanns, Chuck Hagel, Hal Daub and Jean Stothert, Kennedy finishes with some thoughts on his future in elective politics.

On the web: Millard Public Schools – Board Members
Facebook: MikeKennedy1970


You can find this, and all of our podcasts at and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.


  1. Mike really gives a great, interesting and thoughtful interview here, from his perspective as a 13 year member of the Millard School Board. I hope you’ll take a listen.

  2. DCRP Member says:

    Mike has been a good promoter of building a farm team for the party. Millard is the best example of how a school district should run. 6 Republicans run that Board and it is one of the lowest spenders and has some of the highest test scores.

  3. Anonymous says:

    …one of the lowest spenders and has some of the highest test scores.

    The location of the Millard school district is much more of a factor than the political makeup of the board. Move it to the east end of the county, and the results would be different.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Millard district grew when OPS started busing to integrate the schools. People moved from Omaha to Millard because the declined to be bussed. With a bigger tax base and people who could pay property taxes to support the schools, resources were available to have a great school district. Those same people who pay – parents – also took an interest in their kids education & school performance.

    A downside to Millard, which I experienced as a West Omaha kid who attended parochial school in the early 70s, and whose friends attended both Millard & Omaha schools, is a sad tolerance for substance abuse. Mostly booze & pot, but occasionally worse. That and divorce, domestic violence and a lot of underage sex. All this still happens but outta sight, outta mind. We don’t talk about this ever so it must not happen. Doesn’t matter what your politics are, either.

  5. Anon says:

    Does it bother anyone else that it seems like every single one of Mike Kennedy’s posts or comments on Facebook is filled with sexual innuendo? Kind of unseemly for a member of a school board.

  6. Millard Parent says:

    Are the OPS zealots posting on here? I have 2 kids in Millard and I think the Board and Mr Kennedy do a great job. Maybe if OPS focused on education instead of teaching about social justice and white privilege they would actually have good test scores and graduation rates.

  7. Ops Parent says:

    I option my kids out of OPS. I’m tired of people using poverty as an excuse. Poor kids can learn. We need charter schools

  8. Great Guy says:

    Mike is a great guy and has worked tirelessly for GOP candidates and causes over the years. If your running for office he is one of the key people you want in your corner.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Funny that we’re commenting on an interview of a school board member, and some commenters write like they’re in third grade.

  10. Intresting says:

    I find it interesting that Kennedy would rather have vouchers that open it up for all schools than just have Charters created. His point makes more sense as “Charters only” leaves out the established parochial schools.

  11. Millard Tax Payer says:

    I like the overall performance of the Millard School System; however, the spending of the Millard School Board rivals OPS and every school system in the state.

    Millard Schools has done a great job of ‘selling’ bonds and justifying taxes but we need a school that watches out for the taxpayer too.

  12. To Interesting says:

    I think Mike points out the major failings of the Charter bill as it does nothing for holding schools accountable. If there are 5 charters created under the proposed bill, there is still nothing in the the law addressing failing schools and the Charter plan only applies to Douglas County. I also think his thoughts on Vouchers makes a lot of sense

  13. it's true says:

    Whomever Millard paid to sell that bond issue did a knockout job. I remember getting mail on the issue and it changed my mind. Since then I’ve seen where the money is going and it seems to still be all about safety and security along with keeping up with the growing student pop..

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