Approximately 43% of Kentucky’s state budget goes toward K-12 education. Yet, when looking at Kentucky students’ performance in math and reading, it’s apparent we aren’t putting our students first when it comes to the spending of those dollars. We’re failing far too many students, especially minorities.
Watching the news during the last several legislative sessions, you’d think the teachers’ unions were in Frankfort to advocate for our kids. After all, they keep saying that the bills coming out of a largely Republican legislature are meant to destroy public education.
Yet, despite all of the illegal teachers’ strikes storming Frankfort, we’ve seen no improvement in student test scores. The reality is that the policies supported by the Kentucky Education Association (KEA), the commonwealth’s largest teachers’ union, have nothing to do with education and students.
Instead, the KEA treats our education system as simply a jobs program for adults while they focus on every potential power grab at the expense of our children’s education.
It’s important to remember the KEA’s goals because, unlike teachers, students don’t have a giant, well-funded lobby to represent their interests in Frankfort. If they did, more than 15% of black students in 8th grade would be reading at proficiency and more than 9% would be proficient in math.
As long legislators continue to kowtow to the KEA and their priorities, student learning will remain on the back burner, and Kentucky will continue failing far too many students.
We need to return our education system back to its original intent to actually educate our children and prepare them for college and the working world. That’s the only part of the education system that really matters.