Can’t we just all get along…to help students achieve?
The lawmakers and executive branch in Kentucky have been embroiled in budget development and policy discussions this spring. On both sides, there are principled and understandable points of view about the state of government finances and the priorities for the Commonwealth. And there are noted differences in how they propose addressing the significant needs of people, agencies, communities, and businesses that must work together for the good of all.
My perspective of course comes from higher education, specifically the community college. We are, by mission, required to serve the needs of our local citizens. Proposed cuts require us to reduce services and classes. Any businesses or families with declining income would have to cut back as well. At the same time, students and employers have growing needs for support.
Employers ask us to increase training for good, high-skill jobs. Students look to improve their lives and family situations by being educated and trained to get those jobs. Can’t we find a way to address pressing budgetary needs without short-changing students, who are working hard to better themselves, and businesses, who are contributing to the success of our region by investing here? Colleges like BCTC stand ready to help find new solutions. We will continue to do right by students if policy makers can find the will and resources to do right by higher education. That is what people who are willing to pay their dues (or tuition) deserve.
Augusta A. Julian, Ed.D