Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Teachers union ignores savings opportunity

The Kentucky Education Association's "Legislative Information" web page fails to even mention the one 2009 bill that would have the largest financial impact on state schools and the children they serve. A new Kentucky group hopes to remedy this oversight.

Senate Bill 145 would exempt school construction projects from prevailing wage requirements and allow many millions of dollars currently being funneled toward labor unions to instead be used to directly benefit students. Kentucky Opportunity Coalition spokesman James Milliman isn't surprised the teachers union isn't interested in providing this obvious value to students.

"We expect full opposition from the unions on this," Milliman said. "It is clear that our commonwealth’s local school facilities are in crisis. We must explore all means to provide the best education to Kentucky’s children while lessening the budget burden placed on taxpayers."

Kentucky's prevailing wage requirements force school districts to significantly overpay for school building projects.

"We could build almost five schools for the price of four with this exemption," Milliman said.

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