Via Bowling Green Daily News
By Jack Dobbs
The following passage is an excerpt; click here to read the full article.
Mike Gregory, a professor of law at Harvard University and Youth Advocacy and Policy Lab director, began working with KSVT after exploring the Rose decision and its impacts on other states’ policies.
Through the forums held across Kentucky so far, Gregory said he’s discerned a disconnect between the public discourse around education and what people say personally.
“One of the most powerful things that I’ve noticed is that if you’re an outsider and you’re reading the newspapers about what’s going on legislatively and politically about education in Kentucky, that doesn’t really match what you hear when you go into communities and listen to actual students, parents and educators talking about their schools,” Gregory said.
Gregory added that participants have focused more on health, wellness and post-graduation opportunities than “ideological” issues discussed among policymakers. He said similar sentiments have been shared across “rural, urban, red, blue, all kinds of lines of division.”
“The ‘agenda’ (of participants) is, ‘we just want to give kids a good education, we want to be competitive economically,’ ” Gregory said. “We also want to have a healthy democracy. You can’t have a healthy democracy if kids aren’t being given these capacities.”
He added that Kentucky’s educational rights are some of “the strongest in the country” due to the Rose decision, a fact he wants more people to understand.
“What a constitutional right means is that it’s not dependent on headwinds, it’s not dependent on funding – it’s a constitutional right,” Gregory said. “It’s sacred, and all it takes is for people to stand up and demand that it be respected, and people have the power to do so.”