Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Jack Conway released his education plan in Louisville Tuesday.
In it, Conway continues his push for more early childhood education programs in the state. His plan aims to expand access to preschoolers in families at 138 percent of the poverty level.
The big question is, though, how the state would pay for that expansion.
Conway said the state can restructure how much of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement money would go toward early childhood education, which currently receives about one-fourth of the funds. State government could vie for more federal support and apply for more grants, too, he said.
However, Conway said eliminating government waste would be the major source of funding.
“Potentially we could maybe double the funding for early childhood education in the first budget, and that is something that I am going to shoot to do,” he said during a news conference at the main public library in downtown Louisville.
Conway also said he wants to increase Internet access in public K-12 schools and create a system for high school juniors and seniors to better evaluate their options for higher education, including talking with business leaders about economic opportunities.
Conway’s plan says he would make “tweaks” to the Kentucky Core Academic Standards testing process after gathering input from parents and other stakeholders. It also says he supports local decision-making on curriculum choices.
And with the cost of college tuition continuing to soar, Conway said he would challenge presidents of universities receiving state funds “to do more with less” and to “have an accounting of all the administrative costs that are built into their budgets.”
Conway also said he would renew state support for the “Bucks for Brains” program, which matched taxpayer funds with private contributions to enhance research at Kentucky universities.
Conway faces Republican Matt Bevin and independent Drew Curtis in the November election.