A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Coleman proposes three changes to education board that will help schools represent all children

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced that at last week’s Board of Education meeting, she proposed three immediate changes that will help schools better represent all the students they serve.

“As we have seen over the past week and a half, our society is crying out for change, and as I look into the crowds of people, I notice often it is our young people leading the way,” said Coleman. “Let me be clear: public education was made to meet this moment.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman

The proposed changes include:

• Appoint a non-voting member to the board that is a current student

“Gov. Beshear added a teacher as non-voting member for the first time,” said Coleman. “By adding a current student to the BOE, this ensures every group has a seat at the table as we lead Kentucky into the future.”

• Mandate statewide implicit bias training for all school staff

“The issue of bias that all of us harbor is something we must confront,” said Coleman. “Especially if bias is hindering a child’s education.”

• Develop new strategies and programs to recruit more persons of color to be teachers

“For many kids, the first leader they have outside of their home is their teacher. Kentucky’s kids of color deserve to see themselves reflected in their community leaders,” said Coleman. “All of our children are better prepared for their future when exposed to a diverse community of leaders and teachers.”

Coleman shared that in a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, end-of-year test scores are higher for black students who have a teacher who looks like themselves. Black students who have just one black teacher by third grade are 13 percent more likely to go to college and black students who have two are 32 percent more likely.

“We want to work with our colleges and universities, including our HBCUs Kentucky State University and Simmons College, to recruit the best and the brightest who have a passion to change their community,” said Coleman.

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