Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best And Most Absurd (4/7)

Thorn: School Choice… For Some

State Republicans finally landed a school choice bill, overriding Gov. Beshear’s veto of House Bill 563, which will undermine public schools and exacerbate achievement gaps. “School choice” … sounds like it came straight from the Republican messaging machine that brought “pro-life” and “right-to-work.” Like those other misnomers, school choice will afford some kids the opportunity to attend a school outside of their home district. Say… instead of JCPS, a kid can go to Oldham County. The funding that would have gone to JCPS? That now goes to Oldham County. But at least you get to choose where your child goes to school, right? Yeah right. Let’s see how many — and which — kids get to choose their school. Oh, and you’re still on the hook for your taxes, even if your kid wasn’t the lucky one to get in somewhere else.

Thorn: School Scholarships… For some

Speaking of misnomers, another section of House Bill 563, creates a system for scholarship tax credits. I’m sorry, they’re called “education opportunity accounts”… because who can be against education or opportunity? And, accounts usually have money in them, so… LFG with with the EOA! Who are we kidding? This is just another damn school voucher. Now, with an EOA, a few kids will receive scholarship funding to pay for private school tuition and other expenses. Once again, the funding — not to mention the child, themself — will leave the public school system and head to a private school, church or organization. The fortunate children will be chosen by newly formed, third-party organizations who will administer the EOAs. Not only is this yet another way Republicans are undermining public education, but this measure includes the bonus of a tax credit for wealthy people and corporations who donate to EOA organizations. So now they’re cutting into the state’s coffers as well as the public school system. 

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Thorn: Mitch Can’t Be Serious 

Earlier this week, during an event in Lexington, U.S. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell questioned the need for the latest round of federal stimulus that will send more than $2.4 billion to Kentucky. Whether his comments are performative politics to trash the Biden administration, or special interest squawking, it’s pathetic. The state is recovering from a devastating year, and the allocated money is a tool for a better future.

Thorn: Escape From The Infield 

The governor is out here still asking us to continue to make good decisions during the pandemic, but some of the worst decisions (outside of the General Assembly) in the state of Kentucky get made in the infield during the Kentucky Derby — which will be open for business this year. Churchill Downs announced they’ll be selling a limited number of tickets for the infield, around 25-35%, but is anyone so delusional that they think the boozed-up wildcards that buy those tickets are actually going to take and maintain reasonable safety precautions, or give a semblance of a fuck? Nah, we all know they’ll be acting like it’s a giant frat party. Seated tickets are one thing, but this is just irresponsible.

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