No, this isn't really a post about the Republican Senate candidate that has all the liberal blogs apoplectic - though it does seem Republicans view "ability to annoy liberals" as the most important quality a candidate can have these days.
My family and I had a quick stop in Kentucky last week - while it wasn't long enough to catch up with everyone it was nice to see our old house, visit a few people, and basically check in on things. My wife the professor saw some old colleagues and heard the whispers - faculty layoffs are one or two years away. The local paper reports the state legislature is at it again - cutting education funding.
While we really left Kentucky because there were amazing opportunities elsewhere, the sad fact remains that we were looking for other opportunities. The biggest reason was simple, and I've said it before. Education simply is not a priority in Kentucky.
And now that senate candidate Kentucky Republicans are so enamored with - the odds-on favorite to win - thinks we should abolish the US Department of Education. You know, the government agency that sent more than $175 million to the state's schools in that terrible evil "stimulus package" that not a single Kentucky Republican in Congress supported. The agency that sent something like $730 million to Kentucky's schools in FY 2009.
The most pressing, critical, and obvious need for the Commonwealth of Kentucky is to infuse its education system with resources and talent - to make it a priority. They're moving in the opposite direction, and they're picking up speed. They can't seem to get a casino bill passed there, but they've already gambled away their future.