Quality Public Education
I am a strong supporter of public schools. As an educator, I personally witness the hard work of my colleagues on a daily basis. Our children, despite economic background, despite if they live in rural Kentucky or in one of our commonwealth’s cities, deserve the best from our public education system. Last legislative session, the Kentucky Legislature passed the Charter School Bill, which has since been enacted into law. This law takes funds from an already strapped public school system and creates a dual system.
Pension & New Revenue
The state of Kentucky needs revenue. There are several areas within our commonwealth where the working class and the middle class pay more than their share in taxes. Several industries and areas currently are not taxed. As your senator, I will introduce legislation to require a payment of sales tax on industries which are currently not taxed by the commonwealth. However, it is necessary to pass legislation to benefit our working and middle class without hindering public/private partnerships in Kentucky.
Public Employee Pensions
We did not arrive in our current pension crisis overnight. Therefore, the thought that the state would remedy the situation overnight is erroneous. The fact is, our public servants and educators have worked and paid into our pension system. Unlike other public servants in Kentucky, teachers do not pay into the social security system. Instead, teachers and the state contribute on a 50-50 basis into the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS). The teachers have upheld their end of the bargain, but the state has not. Educators and our public servants should not be penalized. Other methods of revenue should be sought.
Less Standardized Testing
To better serve and educate our children, there should be less standardized testing. Currently, students are being taught how to take tests, rather than given space to learn. I believe students need a variety of classes and training. Classes focusing on trade skills, such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical, would better serve Clark, Fayette and Montgomery counties. Graduating students who have been trained and certified in these skills will have a greater impact on their job readiness and local economies.