To help inform, I am writing my Perspective today on a practical matter. Last Thursday evening I attended a Town Hall Meeting in Frankfort sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education. The meeting was to gather public input on Kentucky’s post-secondary and adult education system, and to gather feedback on the drafted strategic agenda for 2016-20. That agenda is focusing on three priorities: Opportunity, Success, and Impact.
I participated with a group focusing on the ‘Impact’ dimension, and I took the opportunity to advocate for increasing the KTG (Kentucky Tuition Grant) and CAP (College Access Program) funding. These are need-based state grant programs to assist Kentucky students who attend a college or university in the Commonwealth. These two programs are especially helpful to students attending a private institution such as Georgetown College. A problem is that education funding from the state is so limited that literally thousands of low income students eligible for the funds each year will not receive them.
Such a situation makes neither educational nor economic sense for Kentucky. The Commonwealth is blessed with a strong public university system. And it is also blessed with quality private institutions. Both systems need and deserve more support!
Increased support for students wishing to attend a private college in Kentucky can save the state millions of dollars, while still producing the well-prepared graduates it needs. Described another way, every student who is educated at a private institution is one less student for which the taxpayers will have to pay thousands more dollars to educate.
As a Kentuckian, I strongly hope that the legislature will allocate significantly more funding for education. As president of a private institution, I also affirm the educational and economic benefits provided to Kentucky by its independent colleges and universities. In their cumulative effect, the independents are one of the best bargains to the taxpayers of Kentucky. Their students deserve increased support!
On We Go!