Speaking to the Daily News on Tuesday, state Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, defended his support for removing the nonvoting student member of the Kentucky Board of Education as part of a broader bill that would prevent the governor from reorganizing the body.
“There’s plenty of opportunities for students to have their voices heard with the board of education,” Wilson said, referring to House Bill 178, a measure sponsored by state Rep. Steve Sheldon, R-Bowling Green, that would also add proportional representation on the board for the two leading political parties in the state, based on voter registration data.
Speaking to the state Senate on Monday, Wilson opposed a floor amendment that would have preserved a student and active teacher representative, each appointed by the governor, that would have acted as nonvoting board members. The floor amendment was defeated, and the Senate ultimately passed House Bill 178 without the language included in the measure.
Explaining his opposition to the amendment, Wilson said he believes a high school student is too young to adequately represent a broader student constituency on the board.
“I know from looking at the experience of my own children as they have developed and went through the public schools, I know that they were in the process of developing their own thought process,” Wilson said, adding “those were not completely formed until they had been in college for some period of time.”