The power of public schools is evident


The story of public education in Kentucky truly began in 1891 when Section 183 of our Commonwealth’s constitution was ratified, requiring our General Assembly to “provide for an efficient system of common schools throughout the state.” Roughly 100 years later, that story reached another pivotal chapter when the Kentucky Supreme Court, in deciding 1989’s Rose v. Council for Better Education, reinforced that mandate and paved the way for historic education reforms. Bottom line: public schools have long been considered essential to Kentucky's future.

Now, in 2021, following an unprecedented global health crisis and resulting economic recession, Kentucky’s public schools find themselves under a microscope like never before. The value of our constitutionally mandated system faces severe scrutiny, while the financial and legislative means of providing quality public education nears a tipping point. As communities seek to rebuild and reestablish normalcy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remind them of the significant roles their local public schools continue to play. We strongly believe the power of public schools is most evident in the stories we tell. Stories of hope and transformation. Stories of equity. Stories of inspiration. Stories of success.

Together, the Kentucky Association of Educational Cooperatives, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Kentucky School Boards Association are launching a collaborative effort to highlight the incalculable impact of Kentucky’s 171 public school districts on their local communities. Through the sharing of authentic success stories occurring within our schools, we will elevate dialogue on the importance of public education. From the powerful first-hand accounts of students, parents, educators, administrators, staff and other stakeholders, we will affirm the critical work of our Commonwealth’s common schools and the need for ongoing support.

We are pleased to unveil the #TellingOurStoryKy campaign. For use in showcasing and celebrating public education stories throughout 2021, Kentucky districts will be provided with a comprehensive #TellingOurStoryKy toolkit, complete with templates, tips and guidance documents for spotlighting success at its source. From these resources, districts will be empowered to highlight local stories on a monthly basis; social media content, articles in existing publications, media releases and more. In many cases, the tools can be used to enhance what districts are already doing to promote student successes.

Sponsoring organizations, led by the KAEC, will offer brief training webinars to introduce the campaign and walk district representatives through the toolkit. For more information, contact your regional educational cooperative. Thank you for your partnership and for your unyielding support of public education in Kentucky.

Ms. Nancy Hutchinson (KEDC Executive Director) and Mr. David Young (CKEC Executive Director) Telling Our Story KY on The Breakdown with Sam Dick, WKYT News.