There was a full line up of charter school experts at last Monday’s meeting of the Kentucky legislature’s Interim Joint Education Committee. Here are comments about why Kentucky needs charter schools from Dr. Wayne Lewis, a UK education professor.
You could remove “West Virginia’s” and insert “Kentucky’s” in the following conclusion reached by commentator Hoppy Kercheval on what will happen both when the EPA releases its new rules for new power plants in a few days and existing facilities next year:
“These EPA actions will wreck West Virginia’s economy, which depends heavily on the coal industry for good jobs and tax revenue. Yes, coal will still be exported to countries that value economic growth over environmental zealotry, but if the EPA succeeds, the domestic market will eventually dry up.”
Concerning rules for new power plants, Kercheval warns: “The agency plans to accomplish its goal by setting carbon emission levels so low that coal power plants would have to install expensive and unproven carbon-capture technology to meet the standards.”
He also says “there’s no reason to believe” that the new rules for existing power plants “will be any less hostile to coal, which still fuels 39 percent of the electricity generated in this country.”
I know coal operators and owners are concerned about rocking a boat that already seems to be losing its moorings, but this is the time for them to tell their state representatives to stand up for Kentucky coal.
A great tool for legislators to do this would be to pass the Intrastate Coal and Use Act, which would defend coal produced and used within Kentucky from EPA radicals, most of whom have never even seen a coal field, much less understood black rock’s economic promise.
Presentation on “Priority Based Budgeting, Making Government Accountable”
This great video of Bob Williams’ presentation on September 12, 2013 lays it on the line about how Kentucky’s legislators need to come to grips with some economic facts of life.
Within the sphere of Kentucky’s six retirement funds, this fact is all the more troubling. That’s because the best arithmetic acrobatics our number crunchers could pull off still resulted in a reported unfunded public-pension liability of $34 billion, which ranks close to the worst in the nation.
Could that actually be rosier than reality?
According to a new report from the non-partisan group State Budget Solutions (SBS), even that dismal figure turns out to include $37 billion worth of statistical hand-waving.
Accounting for actual market rates of return on investments, instead of the ludicrously arbitrary and unrealistic rate of just under 8 percent generally used in official state reporting, SBS finds that Kentucky has amassed more than $71 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities – more than twice the $34 billion figure we’ve repeatedly heard from Frankfort.
That’s about the size of it. Hear how innovative Taylor County Schools offers a real school choice to serve the needs of all its students while maintaining a zero dropout rate.
Why don’t all of our kids have these sorts of school choices?