Committee Supports Kentucky's Adequacy Lawsuit
The struggle for education
adequacy in Kentucky's public school system will reach
a critical level during the next year, according to the Prichard
Committee for Academic Excellence. On November 25, 2003, the Prichard Committee
that it has voted to support the lawsuit filed by the Council for Better Education
"to ensure adequate funding for the education of every child in Kentucky's
The Council, the organization that originally brought
the landmark Rose v. Council for Better
Education case in 1985, filed a complaint
this September against the state's legislative leaders.
Council v. Williams claims that the state has failed to implement an
adequate funding system and asks the court to "enter judgment declaring and
determining the amount of additional funding" needed to comply with the Rose
decision. Although Kentucky's students have made considerable progress since the
1989 Rose decision, in recent years, due in part to revenue shortfalls,
the adequacy of Kentucky's education funding is once again being questioned. Two
recent costing-out studies
have suggested that an additional $750 million to $892 million is needed to allow
students to meet the state's learning standards.
As reported in a recent
article in the Kentucky Post, Lisa Gross, a spokeswoman for the Department
of Education, considers the Prichard Committee to be "the single most
important grassroots effort that we've seen in education at least in the 20th
and 21st centuries." The Prichard Committee played a central role in the
effort surrounding the Council's original Rose lawsuit. The Committee organized
a grassroots campaign and rallied the public around the crucial need for increased
funding for the state's schools.
The Committee will once again employ some
of these same efforts to assist the second lawsuit, including conducting public
engagement forums and identifying primary areas where additional funding is needed.
The Committee may also aide the litigation
process through the presentation of evidence or the completion of an amicus
brief. In addition, the Prichard Committee will collaborate with its fellow
members of the Partners
for Kentucky's Future, a statewide coalition of more than 50 organizations
advocating for additional educational funding. As reported in the Kentucky Post,
the Partners will organize a statewide campaign and forums as a means to educate
the public about the need for adequate funding for Kentucky's public schools.
Prepared December 11, 2003