LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — To the editor:
As the 2014 General Assembly is underway, I want to raise readers’ awareness of a critical issue facing our legislators: New school funds to match the higher expectations for our students and our educators.
The students and staff of our Laurel County Schools have undergone significant challenges in recent years, primarily new federal mandates of the No Child Left Behind law and transition to the new state assessment system required by Senate Bill 1. These changes have introduced greater academic rigor in teaching and learning. And our students and teachers have responded with test results lifting Kentucky up on several national scholastic yardsticks.
But the reality is that these activities have occurred during a period of reduced financial support from Frankfort and Washington, D.C. Mandates have grown, but money for the teacher training and salaries, textbooks and computers, aid to struggling students and tools to make our schools safer has declined.
I invite my neighbors to help send our state leaders a simple message: Our Students Can’t Wait.
A student has one chance to obtain a quality education. Some elementary students have never seen a new textbook funded by the state. Fortunately, our superintendent, Dr. Bennett, has seen the importance of having textbooks and has supplied many of our students with the first new textbooks for years. The future of our students and of the state itself depends on a well-educated population, and that requires a well-funded public education system.
Please join me and contact our legislators in Frankfort and ask them to make a commitment to find the necessary funding to keep our students moving forward to the future every child in Kentucky deserves.
For Laurel County, our legislators are:
Senator Albert Robinson
Representative Regina Bunch
Representative Tommy Turner
Representative Marie Rader
Representative Jim Stewart