FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced a new health care initiative that aims to gives health care coverage to 100 percent of black and African-American people in Kentucky.
“This is just the first commitment in making up for the inequality that Dr. King said was one of the most severe: inequality in health care,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re going to be putting dollars behind it, we’re going to have a multifaceted campaign to do it. It is time, especially during COVID-19.”
In light of the events happening in Kentucky and across the country for nearly two weeks, Beshear ordered a review of the Department of Criminal Justice Training's (DOCJT) curriculum.
Secretary Michael Brown said the review will look at how current and future police officers are trained. There is also a plan to develop an eight-hour online training course that will cover issues including implicit bias, use of deadly force, deadly force, and firearm deployment.
“Kentucky has one of the highest requirements in the country for officer training, and it has served us very well,” Secretary Brown said. “We are committed to providing at least eight hours of in-service training to all of our officers by the end of the calendar year, focused on specific and timely topics.”
When asked if eight hours was enough training, Beshear said no it wasn't but that it was a start.
Beshear announced the Kentucky State Police and the National Guard are leaving Louisville because the marches that have taken place in Louisville have been peaceful.
“While those units are no longer stationed in Louisville, the calls for justice obviously continue and we need to listen,” said Gov. Beshear.
Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman appeared at Monday's daily briefing to provide a Board of Education update. Last week, Coleman proposed three immediate changes she says will help schools better represent students.
The proposed changes are:
- Appoint a non-voting member to the board that is a current student
- Mandate statewide implicit bias training for all school staff
- Develop new strategies and programs to recruit more persons of color to be teachers
“As we have seen over the past week and a half, our society is crying out for change, and as I look into the crowds of people, I notice often it is our young people leading the way,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Let me be clear: public education was made to meet this moment.”
Coleman shared that in a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, end-of-year test scores are higher for black students who have a teacher who looks like themselves. Black students who have just one black teacher by third grade are 13% more likely to go to college and black students who have two are 32% more likely.
“We want to work with our colleges and universities, including our HBCUs Kentucky State University and Simmons College, to recruit the best and the brightest who have a passion to change their community,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.