Governor Beshear announces new education plans despite budget shortfalls

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Surrounded by fourth and fifth grade Meadowthorpe Elementary students, Governor Steve Beshear announced his new education initiative, Transforming Education in Kentucky (TEK). He says this is the first major review of the education system since 1990.

The goal of the initiative is to re-examine the education system and figure out how to better serve current students and future students. He also says he wants unified goals state-wide.

Beshear says there's no question that the next two years will be the biggest budget challenge and he says despite the task force, they'll be no new money to fund new programs.

"That doesn't mean we need to hunker down and do nothing," Beshear explained. "It is time to re-energize the public in Kentucky. It is time to bring people together and figure out how we go from here to the next level."

Beshear says the task force will focus on preschool and primary education. He says despite the budget shortfall, he won't make cuts to primary education programs that are already in place.

"I think this effort over the next 18 moths will get us in a position so as there is new money, we'll know how to best spend it."

Beshear says the task force will start meetings in the next couple of weeks after he travels around the state for a series of press conferences and town hall meetings. Beshear is hopeful these appearances will raise awareness as well as help him gather information on what people want to see changed.

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