Democratic candidate for mayor Shannon White released her education achievement plan today. (Fellow Democrat Greg Fischer released his environmental plan today, see WFPL for more) Here is White’s plan:

In order to have a world class city, we need a highly educated workforce. In my Administration, education would be the highest priority.

My mother, Chris Corbin, has been a JCPS teacher for 27 years and is currently the principal at Maryhurst.   She is the driving force behind my love of educational excellence.  She taught me how education can transform lives.  I believe every child should have the opportunity to shine.

Overall, my Education Plan includes the following:

1.) Reaffirm our support for the JCPS Student Assignment Plan and work hard to ensure that all children are educated equally.

2.) We must make it more accessible and affordable to obtain a GED in our community.

3.) Fully fund after school programs to keep children engaged and off the streets while granting them access to additional tutoring assistance.

First of all, we must reaffirm our support for the JCPS School Assignment Plan.

I believe kids who are already segregated by economics in our neighborhoods, MUST have the opportunity to be educated at a higher level. There are many neighborhoods in Louisville where the majority of folks don’t have a high school diploma, much less a college degree.  We must give these children who come from low income areas, hope for a bright future.  They need to be able to see and know that they CAN graduate from high school and achieve greatness in their lives. Children learn by example and success needs to be the primary goal for all students. So, I agree with the current JCPS student assignment plan that calls for schools to enroll 15% to 50% of their students from neighborhoods where the average household income is below $41,000. These children need to see examples of success in order to have a chance to get out of poverty. Only when our children are educated equally and are given the same access to education and diversity will we succeed as a city.

Secondly, we must make it accessible and affordable to obtain GED’s.

Currently, the Louisville Free Public Library in partnership with JCPS offers a half off discount for GED test takers if they make less than $10,000 a year. But, if you make less than $10,000 that is only $192 a week and $25 is a lot of money. We need to offer this test for free and offer additional testing centers that would offer not only the test but tutoring as well. Because once you get your GED or high school diploma, you can be instantly enrolled at JCTC or other vocational institutions to further your education.

In fact, people who have a GED, make $8,000 more than those who have never finished high school.  People drop out of school for various reasons and once you’re out, it’s hard to find motivation to go back and get your degree.  We need to encourage those folks to better themselves by obtaining a GED.  Having that degree will lead to greater career possibilities, which means more money for families and local neighborhood.  I believe strongly that getting a GED is a gateway to success.

And lastly, as mayor, I would work hard to fully fund after-school programs within low income neighborhoods to be sure that our children become even more educated than their parents.

Kids, who are in after-school programs, are more likely to stay out of trouble, finish their homework and study for upcoming tests. These children need to be encouraged to achieve greatness by working hard in school so that they can go to college. These kids need help from tutors and mentors to stay on track and focus on the future.

Many children from working and single parent homes have no place to go after-school and end up roaming the streets, only to cause trouble. Police acknowledge that the highest arrest rate for young people occurs between 3-7pm in between school and dinner time. We need to be sure that our kids have a safe place to go, that helps them be better prepared for educational excellence.

In closing, I believe that our children are the future of Louisville.  One of our top priorities should be to invest in their education.

We need to get behind the JCPS School Assignment plan to help every child in our community achieve greatness, we need to make GED’s accessible and affordable for those who’ve lost hope and dropped out of school and finally, we need to keep our kids out of trouble and fund after school programs in low income areas.

Please visit my website, http://www.white4mayor.com, for more information on my education plan.


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