State Supreme Court Takes a Stand on Charter School Bill
With a unanimous decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court has struck down HB 563, or the Education Opportunity Account Program, which the General Assembly passed during the 2021 legislative session. Franklin Circuit Court and now the state Supreme Court have found the law, which could have sent tax dollars to private schools, as unconstitutional.
Kentucky Democrats declared victory against the GOP-led bill, and Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is seeking his party’s nomination to run against Gov. Andy Beshear next year.
“The Supreme Court unanimously slapped down Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky GOP, their partisan power grab, and their attack on our public schools,” said Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Colmon Elridge. “The ruling also made it clear Daniel Cameron doesn’t understand the Constitution and can’t present a competent, coherent legal case. Daniel Cameron is supposedly the state’s top lawyer, but this ruling is an embarrassment for him and the Matt Bevin leftovers that fight for him in court because he’s incapable. At a time of record surplus in Kentucky, Governor Beshear has rightly sought to invest more needed resources in our public schools, for our students and our educators. Those investments have wide support and should be above partisan politics. If Republican legislators want to change how schools are funded in Kentucky, they should let the people decide, but we would understand their hesitation after Kentuckians slapped down their extremism and out-of-touch policies in November.”
On the Move
Another Courier-Journal reporter is leaving the Louisville newspaper. Teacher-turned-reporter Mandy McLaren announced her departure from the paper on Friday.
“A new opportunity awaits, but I am overcome with sadness to be leaving my CJ family,” she said online. “For five years, they’ve both challenged and championed me, helping me launch a second career that I’ve come to find just as meaningful as my first.”
Juvenile Justice Fight
GOP Lawmakers grilled Beshear administration officials this week over riots and a “loss of control” at juvenile justice facilities. Officials say they’re dealing with staffing shortages and an increase in violent youth offenders.
As the issue comes before the legislature Beshear outlined a new system where the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will operate three high-security detention centers for male juveniles 14 years of age or older who have been charged with offenses indicating a higher potential for violent, disruptive behavior.
“The current juvenile justice system has been in place for over 20 years, and it has not evolved to fit the needs of today’s at-risk youth and adequately respond to increased youth violence and involvement in gangs,” said Gov. Beshear. “A new detention classification system will allow DJJ and the commonwealth to better enhance public safety while ensuring that Kentucky’s youth have the tools and opportunities for a successful second chance.”