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Letters to the editor published 8.16.18

Funding of schools, criminal justice reform

So, you don’t think you have a bone to pick about our prisons? Do you care about funding our grandchildren’s schools? Do you care about the future of our community’s economic wellbeing? Do you perhaps know someone’s family affected by the opioid crisis?

Then perhaps you should take a look at Kentucky’s criminal justice system and the resulting prison occupancy.

HB 396 died in the 2018 Kentucky Senate. The House Judiciary Committee never called the bill for a vote. To quote Rep. Jason Nemes,  “the opposition was just too fierce.”

According to an article in the Herald-Leader by John Cheves, “Kentucky’s prison admissions have grown by 32 percent over the last five years, fueled by drug offenses and other low-level crimes. In Fiscal Year 2017, taxpayers spent $570.5 million on the corrections department. That sum is expected to rise to nearly $600 million within the next two-year state budget while most other parts of state government are cut.”

Jessamine County just voted on a move ahead to build a new facility which will quadruple inmate space.

Carolyn Dupont is a 2018 candidate for Kentucky Senate. Kendra Peek reported on a lecture by Carolyn Dupont saying Kentucky’s rate of incarceration continues to go up, and nine of the top 10 offenses for which people are incarcerated are low-level, non-violent offenses. As an educator, Dupont, in her lecture, gives us some insight on where this reform could lead us and help increase the future funding of our schools.

The stalling of criminal justice reform means my grandchildren’s education funding was cut because we can’t seem to step up to the plate and change the way we look at drug-related and non-violent crimes. Even if we spend the money saved on prison and criminal justice reform on rehabilitation, I think the money saved on building just another brick and mortar prison is a win-win situation.

Prince Dinger

Nicholasville

 

Thanks for support of charity golf scramble

We send special thanks to everyone who came out to support the 17th annual Jessamine County Charity Golf Scramble sponsored by Sheriff Kevin Corman on Friday, June 8.

Jessamine County’s support of this event ensures we continue to reach Kentucky’s youth in a positive manner.

We send a special thank you to Sheriff Corman and the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office staff, who worked so hard to make this year’s event a success.

We also thank everyone who played, those who sponsored holes and donated gifts and prizes. Your support in this way is greatly appreciated.

Another successful event thanks to all of our supporters. 2018 marks our 43rd summer to reach Kentucky’s youth in a positive manner.

The Ranch provides a week-long camp experience to boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 11 from throughout Kentucky who could not otherwise afford to attend camp. We strive to redirect the lives of these children, to build their self-esteem, moral character and teach them to have respect for themselves, others and law enforcement professionals.

For more information about the camping program, feel free to contact us at 270- 362-8660. Thanks again for an outstanding event.

Jerry Wagner

Executive Director KSA and Ranch

 

Vote for Carolyn Dupont, the candidate with a passion for public ed.

This November, I’m voting for the candidate that has a passion for public education. Carolyn Dupont clearly understands the importance of a strong early intervention program. She grasps the need to fully fund public schools. I encourage all voters in the 22nd district to vote for Carolyn Dupont for the Kentucky Senate.

I am well-positioned to make this recommendation. I am a parent of a son with a disability who went through the public school system. In 1990, I took part in writing the regulations for the birth through five programs as a parent representative on the Interagency Coordinating Council.

I have a master’s degree in interdisciplinary early childhood education and have been a teacher in public schools since 1995, so I know the impact the budget cuts of the last decade have had on public education.

During my years as a preschool teacher, I have seen a tremendous growth in the numbers of children with disabilities entering the classroom.

When I began teaching, autism, for example, was considered a rare disability. Now, one in 64 children is found to be on the spectrum. The services of the preschool program are vital to the well-being of so many of our children and families. The number of classrooms needs to be increased due to the increase in the number of children with disabilities.

The law requires these children be served. Yet, preschool funding was cut 6.25 percent during the last budget. How can we add necessary classrooms when funding is cut? And this is only one example of the damage the budget cuts are inflicting on our public schools.

Our current senator in Frankfort for the 22nd district has voted for cuts to education over the last 10 years. He has garnered praise for his vote against the pension bill, but one vote against a clearly unconstitutional and bad bill does not make a supporter of education.

His longer record — four votes for charter schools, consistent votes for budget cuts and failure to sponsor legislation on public education — suggests he has no passion for public education.

Arlene Jacina

Nicholasville