Legislative update: Changes should improve school safety, quality this year

14th District State Senator

Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 — It is a busy time of year for Kentucky families as students get back into the school routine, and the many after-school activities get into full gear. I wish all the students, teachers, school staff and parents a great year. With each new school year comes great opportunities and chances to achieve new levels of learning and great experience.


Last August, I recalled in my column that J.T. Whitlock would run one of his favorite messages, “Drive Slow and Let Them Grow!” This simple phrase is still relevant today. I know we can all use that reminder to be cautious on the road as our young children walk to and from school, load up on buses or meet their rides to go home. Drive slowly, buckle up and put your phone down.

All who touch the school system have experienced challenges over the last few years. From COVID-19 disruption to natural disasters in eastern and western Kentucky to our constant concerns and prioritization of school safety, our school personnel and families have a lot to face. While not easy, time and effort are worth it to ensure our students have a successful year ahead of them.

In the legislature, we are eager to see the many successes the upcoming school year has in store. Over half of state revenues were dedicated to public education in the recently enacted budget. Lawmakers committed over $500 million in additional funds to schools, many of which chose to maximize the financial flexibility provided to provide raises for school personnel.

On school safety, the Interim Joint Committee recently heard from the state school safety marshal and the Kentucky Center for School Safety about how school safety legislation passed by the General Assembly is being enacted into law. If you look at the local level at your child’s school, you will see dedicated efforts to ensure our students, teachers and administrators are safe. I encourage you to visit ket.org/legislature/archives to watch that meeting from July 15. You can also visit the KET website and watch a recent edition of ‘Kentucky Tonight’ that featured an hour-long conversation on school safety. These are resources containing important information for parents, students and personnel alike.

In closing, I want to thank every person who plays a role in ensuring the best education possible for students in the 14th Senate District. It is a pleasure to work with our superintendents and hear from people in our community. If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 502-564-8100 or the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also reach me at 270-692-6945 or email Jimmy.Higdon@LRC.ky.gov.

I wish each student, teacher and parent nothing but the best as you return to the classroom. Have an awesome school year!


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