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New non-profit launches campaign against the ‘voucher amendment’

Multiple organizations are banding together to stop Amendment 2.

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A coalition of “public education advocates and allied organizations” has formed a new 501(c)(4) called Protect Our Schools, and launched a campaign to defeat Amendment 2 this fall.

That amendment to the Kentucky Constitution would allow education funding to be shifted to private and religious schools, thus lowering the amount of funds available to fund our public schools.

The organization was registered with the Secretary of State on April 14, and launched its campaign on April 23. The initial incorporators are:

  • Eddie Campbell, president of the Kentucky Education Association
  • Will Powers, Policy & Public Engagement Coordinator for the Kentucky Student Voice Team
  • Tom Shelton, Executive Secretary of the Council for Better Education

Other organizations in the coalition include Jefferson County Teachers Association, Fairness, and the Kentucky Parent-Teacher Association.

In the press release announcing the launch, the organization notes that if passed, Amendment 2 will “will harm our students, our families, the Commonwealth, and would devastate public education.”

Tiffany Combs, speaking at the launch event

One of the speakers at the launch event, teacher Tiffany Combs, shared these comments about the place public schools have in our state:

“I was the student that came to school for my basic needs to be met. My dad had a third-grade education and was illiterate. My mom dropped out of high school when she was 16 because she was pregnant with my older sister. When I was four, my dad started his life-long struggle with opioids which left my mom without a high school degree, a career, and to raise four children under the age of 9 on her own. To say we struggled would be an understatement. There were many times that my Christmas presents would come from the school, school administrators would send extra food home with me, or teachers would make sure I had extra clothes. When I had a need that needed to be met public schools stepped up.

Schools and educators are already asked to do more with less every year. If the voucher amendment passes, vouchers will make that problem even worse. And when I’m in the classroom and have kids looking back at me — kids who deal with similar issues that I dealt with growing up — they’re relying on ME, and THIS DISTRICT to be a safe place, just like it was for me. If Amendment 2 — the voucher amendment — passes, will our public schools have what they need to be able to meet the needs of our students?”

The campaign will now go on a statewide tour, starting in Paducah next Tuesday, May 28th. Here’s the list of launch events:

  • Paducah – May 28, 5:30 PM
  • Owensboro – May 60, 6:00 PM
  • Bowling Green – June 4, 5:30 PM
  • Lexington – June 11, 5:30 PM
  • Ashland – June 13, 5:00 PM
  • Louisville – June 18, 6:00 PM
  • Northern Kentucky – June 20, 6:00 PM

To find more information related to regional launch events, visit mobilize.us/protectourschoolsky. To donate, go to https://schools-ky.com/42mQJ0.

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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