By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
Hundreds gathered in Frankfort on Friday to advocate for more educational options at the Kentucky School Choice Week Rally.
Students and state leaders assembled in front of Kentucky’s state Capitol building and expressed their support of school choice that help all children in the Commonwealth get the education they need.
Kentucky Chamber Vice President of Public Affairs Ashli Watts voiced the business community’s support of legislation to create public charter schools in the state to allow more flexibility and ashli-school-chpiceopportunity for students and teachers.
“We are strong supporters of not only our public schools, but also public charter schools. We want to make sure every child has the chance to succeed, get a good education, and ultimately get a good job,” Watts said (watch her full remarks in the video below). “We believe that all children deserve the opportunity to go to a school that challenges them and prepares them for the future and the future workforce.”
Kentucky lawmakers also spoke in support of school choice legislation at the rally.
Rep. Bam Carney, a 20-year public school teacher and current Chair of the House Education Committee, said he believes it is important for the state to provide options for parents and students as everyone learns differently and the state should be able to support both public schools and school choice.
bam-school-choice“The Declaration of Independence states ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ And I believe that in order to have that true pursuit of happiness, education is a vital part of that,” Rep. Carney said. “And I believe that should not be determined by one’s zip code, one’s social economic status, one’s gender, ethnicity, or anything else.”
Kentucky Sen. Ralph Alvarado also spoke of the need to increase the number of educational options available to students and parents in the state and find solutions to issues in the education system.
“Currently, we rank about 42nd in the nation when it comes to education achievement when it comes to low-income students. There are ways to fix that problem,” Sen. Alvarado said. “There are many great public schools, but not every school can meet the needs of every family. We need to allow the mechanisms to find the right school for each student.”
Others speaking at the rally included parents seeking school choice options for their students who have struggled to find the right fit in the current education system, educators, and other advocates of school choice.
For more state government news go to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s The Bottom Line blog.