Quick Takes

Cameron wants increased teacher pay, ‘far-left’ out of classroom

By: - March 1, 2023 10:50 am

Daniel Cameron

Kentucky Republican candidate for governor Daniel Cameron released his plans for Kentucky’s education system if elected in November. They include raising starting pay for teachers and keeping “far-left” policies at bay. 

In a Wednesday press release, his campaign said his framework aims to “keep the far-left from indoctrinating our students” and that the attorney general “understands that our schools exist to prepare students to be productive citizens not incubators for progressive causes.”

 “Kentucky parents deserve the best possible education for their children,” Cameron said. “My framework puts parents, students, and teachers ahead of any ideology or radical influence. We have been told we need to make a choice between supporting our teachers and giving parents a say in their children’s education. That does not have to be the case, and, in my administration, that will end.”

Here’s the four points of Cameron’s framework:  

  • “Defend Kentucky’s Values. I will end the teaching of Critical Race Theory and stop the Kentucky Department of Education from promoting any curriculum or policy that encourages the teaching of woke ideologies in our K-12 public-education system. Students should go to school to learn the skills necessary to be productive citizens, not to distrust or fear their classmates because of the color of their skin or to have identity politics forced on them.”
  • “Raise Teacher Pay. In my first budget I will propose legislation that raises the starting-pay for teachers and ensures that no teacher’s salary is below the new starting-pay benchmark. I will also propose a bill giving a stipend to every teacher in Kentucky to help offset the personal expenses they incur purchasing school supplies.”
  • “Reduce Bureaucracy. Burdensome paperwork and bureaucrats have made teachers’ jobs harder. In my Administration, I will work with educators and administrators to reduce this burden. Our teachers should be focused on teaching, not red tape.”
  • “Keep Politics Out Of The Board Of Education. I will only appoint members to the Kentucky Board of Education who understand the needs of teachers, refuse to allow our students to be indoctrinated, and welcome parents’ involvement. I will not appoint members who favor bureaucracy and woke virtue-signaling over the success of our kids.”

Education has quickly become a topic in the gubernatorial election as 12 Republicans head to the May 16 primary. 

Another candidate, former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft said in early February she plans to dismantle the state board of education and Kentucky Department of Education and replace them “with people who empower parents and will make sure teachers teach the ABC’s not the CRT’s.” 

After Craft’s plans were announced, another Republican nomination seeker and Somerset Mayor Alan Keck said he wants “holistic solutions to the challenges (kids) face. I’ll also fight to ensure parents have a choice and a voice in the process.” 

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has supported raises for teachers and school personnel in the past. During this legislative session, he has asked the General Assembly to support his Education First Plan in response to the teacher shortage and to address learning loss students experienced during the coronavirus pandemic. It calls for funding a 5% pay raise for all public school employees on top of some recent raises school districts allocated. Beshear also is proposing universal pre-K and social and mental health services. 

The Democratic Party of Kentucky released a statement Wednesday afternoon from Executive Director Sebastian Kitchen calling Cameron’s policy on increased teacher pay and a recent announcement from another Republican candidate, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, on support of medical marijuana “major planks of Governor Beshear’s agenda.”

This story has been updated with new information. 

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.