Whether it is through expanded gaming, tax reform, or a combination of both, Holliday makes the point that Kentucky schools can’t keep moving forward and producing sound results without a commitment to more revenue.
Specifically, he notes:
As commissioner I am using this blog to announce my strong support for state legislators to address two possible funding sources during the 2014 session. I strongly support efforts at tax reform and also strongly support expanded gaming. These are not popular issues and they are extremely difficult to deal with during an election year, however, my job is to alert decision makers that without adequate funding, Kentucky educators will not be able to maintain current levels of student performance and certainly will not be able to continue improving student performance.
This is pretty important. As Silberman’s piece noted, Kentucky has made tremendous gains over the past 20+ years and is well-positioned to keep making gains. But absent additional investment, those gains will be stymied.
If Kentucky legislators are serious about education excellence, they’ll commit to doing the hard work of finding the funding. As I have noted from time to time over at Tennessee Education Report, Kentucky has made gains by a commitment to investment in schools. And Kentucky’s kids achieve at higher rates than Tennessee’s — in no small part, I contend, due to Kentucky’s higher investment per student than Tennessee. But if that commitment wanes, Kentucky’s gains may well stop.
And of course, although Kentucky has made gains in the past 20 years, there remains much work to do to ensure every child in the Commonwealth has access to an excellent education.
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