Education a key theme this legislative session; A look at the bills filed
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Lawmakers have proposed a number of bills related to education this legislative session.
“The lack of students coming out of college with education backgrounds, I think everybody’s figured out we’ve got to do something,” said Rep. Kevin Jackson (R-Bowling Green).
The bills filed this session include addressing the teacher shortage, potentially paying student teachers, and a bill concerning student pronouns, among other topics. However, Senate Bill 150 which passed in the Senate last week is one of the controversial bills which would allow teachers to decide on transgender students’ pronouns.
“Allow teachers to out them to their peers and continue to misgender them and use the wrong pronoun for them, which we know leads to increased rates of depression and suicide amongst trans kids. Nearly 20% of who actually made a suicide attempt last year,” said Chris Hartman, executive director with the Fairness Campaign.
“They’re (GOP lawmakers) couching it in parents’ rights, ignoring the fact that there are so many loving parents who support and embrace their transgender kids,” said Hartman.
Jackson, a member of the House Education Committee, did not discern his view on the bill just yet, as it’s unclear if it will be brought up in the House.
“I’m sure leadership will have an opportunity to discuss this and whether they want to bring it to the House floor or not,” Jackson said.
Meanwhile, he is focusing his efforts on House Bill 32 which would allow school districts to hire cafeteria workers, bus drivers, school aids, or any other classified personnel without a GED or high school diploma.
“They still have to go through HR, and the fingerprint, and the background check, all that. If they do get hired, and they want to work toward their GED, then the school system will pay for it,” explained Jackson.
Right now, he says Warren County has about 100 openings for those classified positions, and he believes this bill would help fill those openings.
“If we can start filling some of those with people that really want a job and are willing to work, we’re going to be better off,” said Jackson.
This bill has an emergency clause in it which means it would take effect once it’s signed by the governor.
“It would go into effect immediately, so the school systems can start hiring for next school year, or the rest of this school year,” said Jackson.
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