For Immediate Release: August 14, 2020
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – – The Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition (KPAC), a faith-driven alliance of Black pastors dedicated to being the voice for raising the quality of education in Kentucky, have endorsed the School Choice Now Act recently introduced in the United States Senate. The legislation would give families more options and support in educating their children.
“Better education is the key to helping our African-American children escape generational poverty,” said KPAC spokesperson Pastor Jerry Stephenson. “But our Black communities suffer with few educational options beyond being trapped in failing schools. With growing achievement gaps, it’s time for school choice opponents to take a backseat and allow for reforms that help all students, including those from minority and low-income homes, to have the same opportunities as their wealthier peers.”
The School Choice Now Act would allow private school tuition assistance for families as well as create a federal tax credit to help scholarship-granting organizations place more students in schools that best fit their individual needs.
“For too long, education in Kentucky has been measured by how it appeases elected officials, bureaucrats and administrators rather than how it can provide opportunity for our kids, which is why we’re joining the Bluegrass Institute in supporting the School Choice Now Act,” said Bishop Dr. Michael Ford, Sr., Senior Pastor of Christ Temple Christian Life Center and Chairman of K-PAC.
Long-time school choice advocate Jim Waters, president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, called on the state legislature to follow the example of the U.S. Senate in demonstrating the courage to give families greater flexibility in determining how best to educate their children.
“The uncertainty presented by COVID-19 and the fact that many public schools are failing to provide high-quality distance learning makes it imperative for Kentucky policymakers to quit kowtowing to unions’ obstructionist tactics, which for years have blocked meaningful school-choice reforms, including options for parents,” Waters said. “These tactics have harmed students from low-income and minority homes the most and must be rejected in favor of more opportunities for these families.”
Pastor Milton Seymore, president of the Justice Resource Center, said “school choice is one important answer” to closing the opportunity gap and better educating and preparing children from low-income and minority homes for the future.
“We are responsible for educating our children that they might have the opportunities for these 21st-century technical jobs that are available,” said Seymore, who serves as senior pastor of Energized Baptist Church. “Other countries are training their children to take the jobs that are available in America that our African-American children need so desperately.”
The Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition (K-PAC) is a faith-driven coalition dedicated to being the voice calling for education equality for children of low-income, working-class, black and white families in Metro Louisville’s West End communities.
For more information, please contact Jerry Stephenson at email@example.com at 812-207-7156.