4th District State Representative Debate: Lynn Bechler v Jarrod Jackson
The candidates for Kentucky’s 4th District House of Representatives seat differ on the future of higher education funding in the commonwealth.
Democrat Jarrod Jackson and incumbent Republican Lynn Bechler debated for a half hour at the WKMS studios on subjects ranging from stimulating job creation, combating the state’s 18 percent jobless rate, funding the Affordable Care Act and reforming the Kentucky tax system.
But both candidates shared different views on state budget cuts to funding post-secondary education.
Jackson says those cuts need to be dialed back to support an educated workforce.
“Education is currently fifty-two percent of the state budget, but the amount allotted to secondary-education is dwindling and I think that’s one of those areas that you can’t compromise," said Jackson. "With any government there’s unnecessary spending that needs to be toned down, secondary-education, post-secondary education I do not put that into the class of unnecessary spending. I think that’s one of the most valuable investments we can make in order to combat poverty, stimulate economic growth.”
But Bechler says the legislature needs to broaden educational opportunities in the commonwealth by focusing more on vocational and career training programs.
“We have people who are ready to go to college; we have many people who choose not to go to college," said Bechler. "I think what we need to do is look at getting our high school students career or college ready. We need to do a better job whether its vocational schools or other things. I believe competition is the best thing, and if we had junior colleges working to get people in colleges, then the cost of secondary education would go down.”
The candidates face off November 4.
The 4th district covers all of Caldwell, Crittenden, Livington counties and part of McCracken county.