The last four days have been a whirlwind that kicked off with an event hosted by the Kentucky School Board Association in Frankfort Wednesday night where school board members from around the state were able to meet with legislators for an evening reception to discuss legislation that impacts school districts. Most notably, I had a minute with Senator Max Wise (R) Senate District 16 who is the Session Education Committee Chair and the Education Assessment & Accountability Review Subcommittee Co-Chair. I was also able to speak with former House Speaker Jody Richards (D) House District 20, and House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins (D) House District 99.
Thursday morning I had meetings with our own Senator Paul Hornback (R) Senate District 20 and Representative Rob Rothenburger (R) House District 58 in their offices. In both meetings I had the opportunity to discuss what the cuts in the Governor's proposed budget (HB200) would mean for Shelby County students and I asked them to look at the very viable options for increaasing state revenues through tax reform outlined in HB29. Any refusal to consider increasing revenues says to me that the legislature would rather take $324 from every student in Shelby County than to reduce tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate handouts.
Friday morning I visited three of our schools to observe work in the classroom and meet students and staff. Special thanks to Painted Stone Elementary, Southside Elementary, and Simpsonville Elementary for sharing their day with me. I became an honorary member of Team Achievement at Painted Stone Elementary and participated in their Openeing Ceremonies for the Olympics. I was able to obeserve fifth grade electives at Southside Elementary including Hair Behind Art, Dig in The Dirt, Comic Book Design, Basketball, Drama, and Teaching Young Readers. At Simposnville I was able to observe an amazing example of what the Workshop Learning Model looks like and the amazing degree of effectiveness it has on challenging students, maintaining engagement, and encouraging critical thinking.
The General Assembly is far from over and your voice is still needed. I encourage you to stay abreast of the news and I'll do what I can to keep you informed. Your advocacy for students is every bit as crucial as mine and our work is far from over.
Thank you for your support and your advocacy,