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Legislators in the classrooms

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By Jimmy Higdon

Each fall, I participate in the “America’s Legislators Back to School Program,” sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures. This program is designed to give students a chance to meet personally with legislators to give them an idea of what it is like to be an elected official. For me, it is a rewarding opportunity to help bring civics to life for these future voters and leaders. I’ve visited with elementary school students in Casey County at Liberty, Jones Park and Walnut Hill and over the next few months I’ll be visiting with students in other schools in my district.
Just as the “Back to School Program” offers our young people a fresh approach to civics, it’s important we continue our efforts to give children new ways to learn in school. This week, the Interim Joint Committee on Education heard from school districts in Danville, Eminence, Jefferson and Taylor counties on how they are using innovative, research-based teaching methods to better meet the needs of students. Designated as “Districts of Innovation” by House Bill 37 in 2012, these selected school districts have more flexibility in curriculum, instructional models, funding and school scheduling. Teachers are allowed to tailor instruction to meet each student’s learning style, needs and goals, and to allow students to progress through subject material at their own pace. I was pleased to learn these school districts are increasing the number of college and career-ready graduates through this program. Other Kentucky school districts can apply for the designation through a second-year application process that will take place later this year.
On 9/11, we mourned the loss of innocent lives at the hands of terrorists. On this day it is also important to honor our brave first responders, as well as our men and women in the military who made sacrifices in the aftermath of those horrific events. We will always remember this tragic day, but we will also continue to celebrate our nation's resilience.
Please continue to write or call me with other information you might need or questions you might have. My number in Frankfort is 1-800-372-7181, and my home is 270-692-6945. I will continue to keep you updated on what’s happening in Frankfort.