Our hats are off to all the Kentucky educators who are scrambling, on a shoestring, to implement challenging reforms.
The new standards, adopted by 41 states and the District of Columbia, have the potential to make Kentucky's youth much better prepared for the world that awaits them.
We fear, though, that unless the state's economy perks up dramatically or, more unlikely, lawmakers decide to raise taxes, schools will slide down that funding cliff.We really do need to pause and recognize the phenomenal effort underway. Kentucky teachers are wrestling the new standards, thinking through instructional implications, and preparing for new assessments and accountability that start next year. They're doing that as federal stimulus funding fades away, as state funding for key programs is cut and the core SEEK formula underfunded, and as local funding continues to feel the impact of a terrible recession.
As a parent and a citizen, I'm amazed, delighted, and awed by their efforts.
With the Herald-Leader, I'm also worried, and I urge you to check out the editorial's full argument. The financial damage is already serious, and it could easily get worse before it gets better. If we want strong futures for our children and or state, we're going to need to do the hard work of backing up our brave educators with the resources they need.