Democratic mayoral candidate and Metro Councilman David Tandy, D-4, unveiled his education plan yesterday at the Newburg Community Center, the west Louisville Democrat says will provide the necessary tools for every child to learn in a safe and supportive environment.
“I envision a Louisville where the community works together to ensure that primary school students learn basic skills, and all high school students graduate prepared to successfully enter the workforce or college,” Tandy said in a press release. “I am committed to ensure that every Louisville family has the supports they need – whether social, economic, or medical — to be successful.”
The Tandy plan includes:
· Making libraries, computers, and gyms available to the public after school so that our education resources are available to the entire community, and to keep children occupied between 3 and 6 p.m., when they often are unsupervised.
· Recruiting parents and volunteers to support our students with additional academic help and through programs such as Security Dads (where fathers patrol hallways, offer tutoring help, and attend after-school events).
· Promoting events like “Light’s On After School” or “School’s In” night to encourage parents to meet their children at school to help with homework, visit with on-site tutors, and meet with teachers and staff.
· Helping to secure funding for full time nurses throughout JCPS to promote and support healthy students and to lower the overall absenteeism rate.
· Expanding after-school, weekend, and summer programs through school-based community centers or other non-profit entities such as faith-based community development centers, providing positive activities that encourage educational achievement and prevent delinquency.
Hoping to make education a centerpiece in the mayoral race, the Tandy camp believes the Mayor’s Office has the bully pulpit that can set the tone on education initiatives with school officials and state leaders, but there are questions about exactly what the mayor of Louisville can do to improve Jefferson County Public Schools, besides offering generalities and words of encouragement.
“Councilman Tandy believes education is the platform for creating jobs in this city,” says Megan Brown, Tandy’s campaign manager. “With a better educated workforce business will want to create more jobs. That’s why it’s so critical that we have the best schools and best education system. And that’s something we should establish early that continues on past the high school level.”
Trumpeting the education horn isn’t a bad move for Tandy and it distinguishes his candidacy to a degree, however, from a political perspective it doesn’t help that the Jefferson County Teachers Association decided to Democratic mayoral candidate and Metro Councilman Jim King, D-10, instead. However, expect the Tandy campaign to hit on education being the cornerstone of any issue in the city, whether it’s job creation or public safety.