Paul takes note of what's working at model school in Louisville's West End

04/28/2014 04:52 PM

To help catch young people before they go down the wrong path, communities need to look to creative set-ups, like the West End School in West Louisville, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said after touring the school Monday.

It’s a private school that charges no tuition for at-risk students in elementary and middle school. All the costs are covered by donations from foundations, individuals and companies, according to the school .

Paul has been making an effort to reach out to economically-challenged communities, including the west end of Louisville — one of the poorest areas of Jefferson County which also happens to be largely African-American. Paul also has sought to reach out to minority groups and express some new messages in order to expand the base of the Republican party. He has made repeated trips to West Louisville, where few Republican officials have spent much time over the years.

In Monday’s visit to the West End School, Paul said he was impressed by what the school had accomplished with just donations since the free, private college prep school does not receive any state or federal funds.

The all-male school, which started in 2005 as three students in a house on Chestnut Street, gives at-risk elementary and middle school students a safe environment to stay and learn. It has since moved to the former Carter Elementary School, whose alumni include former basketball star Darrell Griffith and boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Paul said he believed the school’s success story is a piece of good news in a time where bad news takes center stage.

Paul also held a roundtable discussion Monday at a glass factory in the area to discuss his Economic Freedom Zones initiative and said he believes the concepts of lowering taxes to spur economic growth and other incentives could work in West Louisville.

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