At its quarterly board meeting this week, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence approved the organization’s 2022 legislative program. The plan focuses on increasing state-wide investments for all levels of education and strengthening education and learning systems to help lay the foundation for public education in the following the COVID-19 pandemic.
âIn January 2020, the Prichard Committee created a structured plan to invest an additional $ 1 billion in education through 2026. With the support of our legislature, Kentucky has already taken that first 20% step towards $ 1 billion. dollars and is on the right track. to respond to our Big Bold Ask, âsaid Brigitte Blom, President and CEO. “As the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly enters its legislative session and the impact of COVID hangs over us all, the Prichard Committee has doubled down on its Big Bold Ask to put our education system on the road to recovery.”
The Prichard Committee’s legislative program asks the Kentucky General Assembly:
â¢ Increase funding per child and reimbursement rates to support preschool and child care.
â¢ Increase eligibility for child care assistance and public kindergarten to at least 200% of the federal poverty line.
â¢ Fully fund school transportation and kindergarten all day.
â¢ Support the recommendations of the SEEK working group.
â¢ Create and allocate funds for the Teaching Excellence Fund which includes:
Supervision of teachers
â¦ Extended coaching to increase the quality of teachers
â¦ Teaching scholarships for areas such as double credit certification
â¢ Create policies to improve literacy and math outcomes for young children.
â¢ Encourage the affordability of colleges for all students.
â¢ Provide high quality double credit options to high school students.
â¢ Support performance-based funding for public universities, community and technical colleges in Kentucky.
â¢ Expand support for college tuition fees based on need.
You can find the full agenda on the ComitÃ© Prichard website.
“Before the onset of the pandemic, the needs of students, educators, and schools in Kentucky, from early childhood to colleges and universities, were already great,” said board chairman Clay Ford of Owensboro. . âYears of underfunding at national and local levels have left toddlers without access to early learning opportunities, classrooms without adequate textbooks, rising tuition fees and students behind in fields. reviews. Now, nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, the educational foundation that had already started to erode must be rebuilt to ensure Kentucky’s future remains on solid ground. “
During the board meeting, Blom discussed the group’s recent round of regional meetings where staff members discussed the impact of the pandemic on our education system with education officials. , students, and state and local policy makers across the Commonwealth of Nations.
âThroughout each of our seven conversations from Somerset to Paducah, one theme was clear – the stress of the pandemic and over a year of isolation has led to a mental health crisis affecting us all. The nationwide labor shortage has also added to the complexity of the situation, draining staff for education supports such as substitute teachers, educators, bus drivers and community workers. restoration. “
Given the circumstances, the Prichard Committee, which was founded in 1983 as a citizens’ group to champion the cause of better schools, calls on the strength of its members, associate members of the Groundswell Initiative and partners to across the Commonwealth, to create local practices to support our students, families and educators during this difficult time.
âMembers of the Prichard Committee took our Groundswell initiative to heart, creating after-school mentoring and tutoring programs to help students in their counties catch up and educating citizens about state and government dollars. federal government available for tuition, âBlom said. âAs we continue to navigate our way through these chaotic times, it will be necessary to embrace local innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to create stronger, more effective and more equitable learning environments. The smallest adjustments born out of our understanding of the needs of students and families will begin to generate hope – and these can have far-reaching ripple effects in communities and across the state, which will ultimately lead to success. to a big, bold future.