A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Kentucky Superintendents urge support of House Bill 1 — with much-needed reforms

The Kentucky General Assembly is putting the final touches on the 2022 Budget (House Bill 1).

Although House Bill 1 includes long-overdue investments in our public education system, such as career and technical education funding and additional support for school staff and faculty – to borrow a line from the classroom – House Bill 1 in its current form would still receive a ‘needs improvement’ grade as it relates to putting Kentucky kids first.

KASS strongly recommends four much-needed reforms to House Bill 1:

• Fully fund school transportation.
• Enact full-day kindergarten.
• Increase per-pupil investment to the 1990 rate.
• Give local districts the freedom to tailor their education to meet the unique needs of students in their communities.

The positive effects of these reforms would not only be felt immediately in Kentucky households; they would also permanently strengthen our economic prospects.

Consider, for example, that fully funding school transportation and full-day kindergarten do not simply mean getting kids to school.

It means parents being able to go back to work after two and a half years of inescapable roadblocks and challenges.

It means students being able to fully concentrate on their studies instead of worrying about how they will get to school safely – or how late they will get back home.

It means setting the conditions for Kentucky kids, their parents, our teachers, and public schools to be at their best every day.

When you add it all up, the result for Kentuckians is clear: greater opportunities for our children, a stronger workforce today and an even stronger economy tomorrow.

Kentucky experienced record-breaking economic development last year, highlighted by $11.2 billion in investment and over 18,000 new jobs. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. Rather, we must be willing – now more than ever – to continue building on that strength.

What better way than by investing in Kentucky kids and securing a brighter future

What better way to ensure Kentucky kids receive a high-quality education from the first day of kindergarten to graduation day?

But we need your help.

We encourage every Kentuckian to contact their legislators and urge them to put Kentucky kids first by fully funding school transportation, enacting full-day kindergarten, increasing the SEEK base, and giving school districts more freedom.

Make the call now, before it’s too late: 1-800-372-7181.

The Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) is a statewide, non-profit organization representing Kentucky’s 171 superintendents in their pursuit of successful schools and academic excellence. For over 70 years, KASS has remained focused on equipping Kentucky students with the tools, skills, and confidence to succeed in the classroom, at work, and in the community.

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