Jack Conway rolls out three-tiered education plan

09/08/2015 01:53 PM

LOUISVILLE – Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway released his Education Plan for Kentucky on Tuesday which focuses on improving early childhood education, encouraging decision making for K-12 schools at the local level, and making sure post-secondary education students are getting the skills they need to enter the workforce.

Conway, accompanied by running mate, Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, his wife, Elizabeth, as well as teachers and parents, said that the plan reflects ideas from teachers, students, parents, education leaders and businesses across the commonwealth.

In the area of early childhood education, Conway said he wants to make more kids eligible to attend.

“I’ll make early childhood education available to more Kentucky kids by increasing the eligibility for public preschool to 138 percent of the poverty level for 3-year-olds,” Conway said. “Within my first term, one of my top priorities will be to set a goal to have preschool eligibility for 3- and 4-year-olds at 200 percent of the poverty level.”

As for K-12 education, Conway wants to protect funding for public schools and encourage decision making at the local level because he believes that teachers and parents know what’s best for students in their communities.

Conway also wants to prepare high school students for life after graduation and address the so called “skills gap” in which students graduate not having the workforce skills that they need to secure a decent job by proposing a new information sharing program called “The Pathways to Learning, Achievement, and New Opportunities” (PLAN).

“The PLAN program will be available for high school junior and seniors and will centralize and distribute in information to students who are interested in learning about regional economic opportunities, industry sectors which are growing in their area, and the best options available for higher education,” Conway said.

Finally, In the area of higher education, Conway wants to better align community college and technical school programs with the needs of employers so that students are prepared to get good paying jobs, as well as commissioning a task force to make sure universities are spending resources on students and not excessive overhead.

“I’ll coordinate the creation of an “earn while you learn” statewide apprenticeship program allowing students to earn hands on, paid occupational experience, while also receiving classroom education,” Conway said. “By connecting students with companies which offer assistance for their employees to receive training, we can help employers and students through Kentucky’s entire economy.”

Conway gave no specifics as for the costs of his proposal, but said that the early childhood education component would rely on existing facilities within Kentucky’s public schools.

“We can actually build out capacity in our current school districts,” Conway said. “We’re going to ask our school districts to put up some of their facilities.”

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@charter.com.


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