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News from KDP Executive Director Mary Nishimuta

I’m popping this e-mail from Jacqueline back up in your inbox. Like she said, it's crucial we keep fighting for Kentuckians - starting with our children and their education.
With each student that enrolls in a charter school, funding will be taken away from a public school. Charter schools aren't held to the same standards as public schools. They often aren't required to give parents a voice, and can put children at risk of segregation. We can't sit by, so we're going to keep fighting against every attempt to defund public education. Kentucky needs more support for public schools, not less. 

Mary Nishimuta
KDP Executive Director 

Last week, charter school legislation went into effect in our Commonwealth. As an educator in our public schools, I know the strains this will cause for Kentucky’s children and our local school systems. Every time a public school student enrolls in a charter school, funding will be diverted away from public schools. Ultimately, this weakens our public schools and waters down the educational services provided, because charter schools are not beholden to the same high standards we have for our public school system. Any attempt to undermine our public schools – a system built on creating opportunities and equity, not just for some of us, but for all of us – flies in the face of our Commonwealth’s principle of “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”
In a time when transparency is needed now, more than ever, charter schools do not have the same accountability expectations as public schools. Pitch in what you can to support Kentucky Democrats while they continue to fight for public schools!
Charter schools often are not required to provide open records upon request; some are not required to hold open meetings that provide a voice for parents and community members, and their teachers are not required to be certified. Worse, charter schools can cut necessary services to “save money.” These services could include support for students with disabilities, meals, libraries, athletics teams, and transportation.
While charter schools are permitted to deny necessary services, the public school system is still required to continue to provide these services for the charter school students. All with your tax dollars. We can’t sit by, we have to stand up and do something. 
Think about that. Your tax dollars could be diverted away from your local public school just to have that public school continue to fund necessary services for students who attend a charter school that may not even be required to respond to your open records request or open their meetings to the public.
The equity that public schools exist to ensure could dissipate, and potentially put our children at risk of re-segregation. Often, charter schools target specific demographics such as socio-economic status or ethnicity. This practice would deny equitable opportunities to all Kentucky students, putting our students with the greatest needs at an even greater disadvantage. 
There's so much at stake for our children's future. Will you stand with us and support candidates who will fight for public schools? 
Our public schools, like any public system or private company, have areas for growth. We all want to be better, and we know that requires a commitment to our children and our communities. Diverting funds away from public schools doesn’t make us better. A lack of transparency doesn’t make us better. Slicing our small towns and counties into smaller, more divisive pieces doesn’t make us better. 
Collaboration, community, and committed investment in public education would, however, make us better.
Not just some of us – all of us.
Thank you, 
Jacqueline Coleman, Public School Teacher


KDP Issues Talking Points

The Kentucky Democratic Party has published talking points on its website:  http://kydemocrat.com/talking-points
 

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