Thursday, February 02, 2017

Senator Mike Wilson holds town hall regarding education

This from WBKO:
Sen. Mike Wilson of Warren County held a town hall meeting at Greenwood High School Monday to discuss issues regarding education, especially Senate Bill 1.

Wilson addressed the teachers in the crowd, reassuring how important education is.

"58% of our budget out of the state is spent on education," he said, "and that tells you it's a priority. Certainly we have some challenges, and if I could, I would pay you more, but that's not necessarily up to me."

Wilson wants to improve on statistics that show Kentucky schools are not quite where he thinks they can be. Wilson pointed to a graduation rate of 88%, but said not all of those who graduate are necessarily where they should be.

"58 students out of 88 [graduates] are college/career ready," he stated. "That also means that thirty of those students are not college/career ready."

Senate Bill 1 proposes that the accountability of education lie at more local levels, and Wilson believes they've found a way that is both effective and cost efficient.

"Based on everything we've looked at, we think that there will be a saving," he said, "because you're not going to have program reviews and all that staff that work on that, so they can be reassigned to other areas that will be introduced in this bill."

The bill also creates a review of academic standards that takes place at the state and local levels every six years. Wilson says he believes it will make a world of difference for the students and schools.
"It allows us to take control of our own standards" he said, "and have more local control and state control. It rolls back a lot of bureaucratic overreach, it allows more intervention to take place within our school system, and I think it's going to make our schools a lot better."

Another issue that was discussed was charter schooling. A number of teachers expressed their concern about the possibility of bringing in charter schools to compete for public school funding.
The charter school issue, however, was not discussed fully due to time constraints.

Sen. Mike Wilson will host another town hall meeting on February 6 at Bowling Green Junior High School.

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