Education Commissioner Jon Draud has released his assessment of Kentucky’s budget – saying the General Assembly has failed to provide adequate funding to move public schools forward. Draud says after-school programs will be cut, teacher salary raises are well below cost-of-living increases and new initiatives received virtually no money.
Under those conditions, Draud says it will be difficult to reach the goal of getting all Kentucky schools into academic proficiency by 2014.
“We’re going to try. We have to rely on the professionalism of our teachers to keep focusing on doing what we can to overcome obstacles in schools that have a difficult culture to overcome. We’re going to keep working at it. It just makes the challenge much more difficult,” said Draud.
Draud says the one-percent pay raise for teachers in the budget is a major barrier – because Kentucky already lags behind surrounding states when it comes to teacher salaries, and low raises won’t help attract top educators to the state.