House Leaders Defend Proposed Education Cuts

by Rick Howlett on February 23, 2010

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Concerns are being raised about education cuts in the broad budget outline released last Thursday by Kentucky House leaders.

The House budget plan unveiled last week rolls back two classroom days, for a savings of around $34 million per year over the next biennium. The proposal is drawing fire from education groups, but House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Kentucky will still have more instructional hours than many surrounding states.

“Hopefully, if the economy gets better, perhaps this time two years from now, the General Assembly will be able to add those days back. But, the point is, there’s no evidence at all that indicates that my adding two more days that the learning process is positively affected,” he said.

The budget plan also includes two percent cuts to the universities, and Stumbo says university presidents are seeking a meeting with him this week to discuss the matter.

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{ 3 comments }

Myrdin Thompson February 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm

When I have to balance my personal budget I do not sacrifice my children and their needs. I make sure that they are clothed, sheltered, fed, and EDUCATED, first and foremost. As adults, we often go without so that our children will not. We have educational initiatives such as increasing the drop out age from 16 to 18 (supported by First Lady Beshear and her Drop Out Prevention Summits), and just initiated Core Standards as well as announcing SB1. Kentucky has only 177 instructional days, compared to a national average of 186. How can we expect our students to achieve greatness when we devalue their educational experience? How can we ask them to go on to higher educational experiences and become solid 21st century citizens when we then say that two days of instructional time won’t make a difference. Those two days could be all the difference in a child’s life. This is unacceptable. As our educational leaders plead for an alternative solution, saying NO to this decision, it appears that our voices are being ignored. My children are not statistics. They have hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Through the Dream Out Loud Challenge they are being ecouraged to look ahead to what they will do after College graduation. Today, I want our elected leaders to understand how many will not graduate to Dream Out Loud if this action is taken. We cannot sacrifice our children in order to balance a budget.

Alexis Seymore February 23, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Mr. Stumbo’s comments absolutely beg the question–if there is no evidence of improvement with the addition of two days, WHY DID THEY ADD THEM?

Richard Innes February 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I really don’t get this.

Representative Stumbo calls for a cut of two school days on the very same day that the House Education Committee votes out House Bill 154 which would add a huge amount of school time in around 20 pilot schools — a plan we certainly can’t afford.

So, what does the House really want to do? Add or subtract?

More at the Bluegrass Policy Blog.

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