Kentucky business leaders and education advocates are teaming up to start a new funding source for innovation in education. The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky—also known as the The Fund—is being launched to help with grants and extra fundraising for the Kentucky Department of Education.
Billy Harper, a Paducah businessman and the Fund's chairman, says the new group won't replace traditional funding, but will be around to help fund innovative ideas or collect grants for them.
"We're not going to replace what we're doing that is funded by tax money or the Department of Education. But we're going to take the role of funding the research, or funding trial ideas to move Kentucky in a new era instead of just doing what we've done in the past," Harper says.
It won't be an advocacy group, Harper says. Only one state, Colorado, is going this route, he adds.
"It is innovative, it's new, but this is what we're trying to do to move Kentucky out front and look for better ways for education," he says.
The Fund's first role will be to distribute a grant from the Gates Foundation to help innovative teachers.