Current environment provides opportunity to advance school choice

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute’s website after being published by newspapers statewide. The following column was originally released on June 11, 2020.   “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,” Albert Einstein said. Whether we see – and seize – the available opportunities during…

Scourge of financial scandals not limited to charter schools

“The scandals just keep coming,” the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Linda Blackford wrote in a column about charter-school management companies last year. However, Blackford’s outrage seems selective. She attacks scandals caused by some ethically shaky firms entrusted to manage charter schools charged with providing parents looking for options with quality educational alternatives while conveniently ignoring similar financial…

Op-ed: School choice better than decades-old failed KERA, busing policies

The ultimate goals of both the decades-old Jefferson County Public Schools’ (JCPS) busing plan and Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) were similar: improve the academic performance all students, especially that of traditionally disadvantaged kids like racial minorities and those in poverty. Yet, a new Bluegrass Institute report shows the goals remain disturbingly far from being…

MEDIA ALERT:  Residents should sign petition, put JCPS tax hike on November ballot

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 10, 2020    (LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, urges all Jefferson County residents to sign the petition recalling a proposed property tax increase approved recently by the county’s school board and to demand the district reduce wasteful spending…

MEDIA ALERT: Bluegrass Institute report indicates growing racial academic, graduation gaps in JCPS

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 (LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – A new report by the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, indicates a continuing – and disturbing – failure by the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to close its decades-long – and growing – graduation and academic-achievement gaps between…

“They” claim education spending is down — Federal data says it isn’t so

The current demonstrations regarding police excesses are now quite properly starting to expand the discussion in social media to include the obvious and very long-term failures of our public school systems to effectively serve minority students. Inevitably, those who try to defend the public school system’s obvious short-comings are offering their usual excuses about school…

Recent survey of Kentucky’s public school teachers raises real concerns

Impact Kentucky 2020 survey needs a closer look Early this year (January 13 through February 21), Panorama Education conducted a survey of Kentucky’s educators for the Kentucky Department of Education. Results of that Impact Kentucky 2020 survey were released on June 1, 2020. Impact Kentucky replaces the TELL Kentucky Working Conditions Survey, which was administered…

Schools struggle to feed children as COVID-19 continues

According to a slide presentation from the Kentucky Department of Education at the June 2, 2020 meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education, after the Corona Virus caused general school shutdowns, Kentucky’s public school system still provided school lunches to 303,936 students during the month of April 2020. It’s an impressive figure, and undoubtedly…