Educators from across Kentucky will be at the state Capitol this week encouraging legislators to restore funding that’s been eliminated in the governor’s proposed budget. Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed eliminating funding for 70 state programs. More than 40 of those programs are related to education.
Wednesday is Education Advocacy Day at the Capitol, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky School Boards Association.
Jim Flynn is superintendent of Simpson County Schools and chair of the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative that represents 43 districts.
Flynn says educators will be in Frankfort to voice concerns about the governor's proposed budget, especially the elimination of funding for textbooks, professional development and transportation.
“We’re still going to have to find a way to provide instructional materials, right? We’re still going to have to find a way to train our teachers. We’re still going to have to transport our students. And so it looks to me like the state is simply transferring that cost and responsibility to the local community.”
Flynn says unless funding for critical education programs are returned to the state budget, local districts will have to make some difficult choices.
“We’re either going to have to cut programs and services to our kids, or we’re going to have to go to the local community and say, ‘Would you all support a tax increase so we can maintain these things because the state’s cut them’,” said Flynn.
Many educators say Kentucky must make education a priority because having quality schools is the most important element in attracting new businesses to the state.