FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear told a group of educators and students Tuesday that this year’s legislative session made strides in education “but we have a long way to go.”
At a reception in the Capitol put on by several education organizations called Kentucky Education Action Team to thank Beshear and the 2014 General Assembly, Beshear said he is thankful that lawmakers “overcame a tough budget and made significant investments in our schools and children.”
He mentioned an increase in per-pupil funding, pay raises for teachers, increases in technology, textbooks, professional development,safety and extended school programs, more pre-school services and more child-care programs.
Beshear said these investments required “harsh cuts” in other state programs.
But Kentucky “has not only a moral obigation but also a financial obligation to increase our support for our children,” he said.
He said the “investments” in this year’s General Assembly got the state’s education system back to where it was before the 2008 recession but more needs to be done.
“While we are very thankful and very excited about where we are, we’ve got a long ways to go and we have only begun to rebuilt this system and reinvest in education.”
Organizations in the Kentucky Education Action Team include Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Kentucky Association of School Councils, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Parent Teacher Association, Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, Kentucky School Boards Association and Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
Four students spoke at the reception to urge state officials to continue to do more for education. They were Ashton Bishop of Green County Middle School, Meghana Kudrimoti of Dunbar MSTC, Gentry Fitch of West Jessamine High and Andrew Brennen of Dunbar.