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### Optimal Timing for Educational Restructuring

To the editor:

There have been recent legislative developments in the KY State House that aim to bring significant improvements to our educational systems.

HB208, known as the School Choice Constitutional Amendment, proposes to enable our state legislature to allocate funding for a portion of K-12 educational expenses for students not attending public schools. If approved in the upcoming general election ballot, this amendment could have a transformative impact. Additionally, HB9 seeks to eliminate DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and sometimes Belonging) administrators and programs within our public higher education institutions.

In recent years, the legislature has introduced bills supporting public charter schools and state reimbursement of corporate donations for private education. However, these initiatives were impeded or invalidated by the state Supreme Court due to funding constraints outlined in the constitution.

The repercussions of these limitations have been detrimental to our children. Recognizing that no single educational model suits every child, it is essential to provide supplementary funding for alternative options. This approach would afford economically disadvantaged parents the opportunity to select the most suitable educational environment for their children, similar to what affluent parents can currently do. It is morally unjust to confine a child to a system that does not cater to their individual needs solely based on their location or their parents’ financial status.

Introducing alternative options will also incentivize public schools to address parental concerns more effectively. Numerous studies have demonstrated that private school alternatives not only enhance academic performance for their students but also elevate the standards of nearby public schools through healthy competition.

Despite these proposed changes, public schools will remain the preferred choice for the majority of students. As a product of Oldham County’s exceptional public education system, I reflect on how Kentucky lags behind in providing public funding for charter schools or private education expenses, a distinction shared only with North Dakota.

On the higher education front, there has been a notable proliferation of DEI administrators dedicated to promoting opportunities selectively for specific racial or demographic groups. However, a recent Supreme Court ruling has challenged many of these initiatives by prohibiting the consideration of race in admission policies, including “affirmative action” programs in higher education admissions.

HB9 aims to abolish DEI administrative roles and uphold policies that are impartial to color at public universities. This aligns with Justice Roberts’ perspective that “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

It is imperative that we propel Kentucky’s K-12 and higher education systems towards progress. Providing parents with educational choices and advocating for color-blind policies in higher education are crucial steps in this direction.

Lance Pearson, Ph.D.

Pewee Valley