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Candidates Discuss Kids Count Report

To mark the release of its Kids Count data book, Kentucky Youth Advocates hosted a mayoral forum in Louisville Thursday. The candidates discussed how they would improve education and child well-being in Louisville.The Kids Count report looks at education, crime, homelessness and other issues that affect children. Compared to other counties, Jefferson County was ranked particularly low in reading and math proficiency and graduation rates.When asked how he would remedy this, independent candidate Jackie Green said he would distribute affordable ousing across the city and make the JCPS student assignment plan obsolete."That makes every community diverse. That makes every school diverse," he said. "Kids can go to their local school, parents can be involved in that school, the neighborhood can be involved with that school and the school with the neighborhood."Republican Hal Heiner acknowledged that Metro Government has no authority over schools, but he said that doesn't mean the mayor is powerless."That position has the ability to pull people together," he said. "To focus on issues like this and help support this superintendent and this school board and encourage from them, demand from them, that our school system move ahead faster."To reduce dropout rates, Democrat Greg Fischer said he would try to improve parental involvement in education."We can talk to the parents and grandparents in the schools; let them know what's available and how they can engage with their child," he said. "Most parents are engaged in the elementary level, then they tend to fade off as they get to middle school and high school. We've got to stop this."Democrat Greg Fischer said he would give parents a larger role in their children's education.The full discussion: