The choice of school is a victory for our children | Our opinion

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We believe that when it comes to deciding where to send their children to school, it should be their decision alone and government agencies and teachers’ unions should stay out of their decision-making process.

Parents know what is best for their children far more than a teachers’ union or the Better Education Council, so it makes sense that in the end, they have the final say on where they want to go. send their children, be it to city, county or private schools.

In the last session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the legislature passed some very good legislation in House Bill 563, which would provide tax credits to donors supporting private school scholarships – a piece of the law that Circuit Judge Franklin Phillip Shepherd ruled prohibited by Kentucky’s constitution when it was challenged in court by the Better Education Council.

Warren County Public Schools were named key plaintiffs in this lawsuit when House Bill 563 was challenged by the Council for Better Education, which was originally tabled in June.

Another key provision of House Bill 563 eases the path for non-resident students to attend public schools outside their district by directing school boards to develop policies for non-residents and allowing such students to attend public schools outside their district. be counted as part of the average daily school attendance outside the district – a key factor in how schools are funded in Kentucky.

Shepherd ruled on Oct. 8 that elements of the controversial choice of school law were unconstitutional, but that his ruling did not apply to provisions making it easier to attend out-of-district schools.

Shepherd’s decision to allow school boards to develop policies for non-residents and allow such students to be counted as part of the average daily attendance of the school outside the district is, in the words of the Bowling Green Independent School District Superintendent Gary Fields A “Victory For Families”.

Fields is fair in his wording of this welcome decision because he understands that just because a child lives in the county school district doesn’t mean he should have to go to county schools. The same goes for departmental schools. If parents living in the city’s school district want their children to attend a county school, they should have that option as well. Ultimately, parents know better what their kids need and if they want them to go to city or county schools but live in different neighborhoods, they should be allowed to choose.

It was also good news to learn of the decision that the lottery that city residents living in the county school district were forced to participate in each year – eagerly awaiting a phone call to see if their children entered. city ​​schools – is completed. The county school system can no longer limit the number of children living in their district who will be allowed to enroll in the city school system.

In our opinion, the lottery that has been going on for years was nothing more than a shakedown by Warren County Public Schools and in the final analysis was an unfair tactic used against parents and their children who just wanted to go. in a school in the city’s school district.

We suggest that groups like the Kentucky Department of Education need to establish their facts before going out and saying Shepherd’s ruling invalidates all aspects of Bill 563.

Shepherd, who said he would clarify his decision “in terms that even the most hard-line bureaucrat can understand,” rightly noted Monday that the Kentucky Department of Education had misinterpreted its decision.

We applaud Justice Shepherd’s ruling in this far too long case in our city and other cities as well.

We haven’t always agreed with Shepherd’s rulings in the past, but we believe he ruled correctly in this particular provision of Bill 563.

The “Our Opinion” articles in the Bowling Green Daily News represent the majority opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of other Daily News employees.


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