Conway Looks To Steer Conversation Toward Education
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jack Conway is promising, if elected, to bring new focus to preschool and other early childhood programs as part of a broader education plan released Tuesday. It's an issue the Attorney General hopes will produce a stark contrast between himself and GOP opponent Matt Bevin in the minds of voters.
Flanked by running mate Rep. Sannie Overly, his wife, along with parents and teachers, Conway unveiled plans to press for more local control over decision-making in K-12 schools, an “earn while you learn” statewide apprenticeship program, and increased investment in preschool.
"Within my first year as governor, 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, according to cn|2.
That goal would jump to 200 percent eligibility for three and four-year-olds by the end of Conway’s first term. The Democrat did not offer specifics on the costs of his proposals – an opening on which Bevin is likely to pounce. The Republican has criticized programs like Head Start as costly, bureaucratic, and limited in their effectiveness.
"It isn't to say we don't educate our young people. It's to say let's rethink how we spend the billions of dollars that we're currently throwing at this problem," Bevin told a Chamber of Commerce Business Summit in July. "That's what I'm calling for. Being better stewards of the few dollars that we have."
Conway is also championing an information sharing program to direct high school juniors and seniors to job opportunities in the Commonwealth.