Kentucky Has a Science Problem May 2, 2016

Kentucky Has a Science Problem

With the opening of the Noah’s Ark theme park just over two months away, buttressed by up to $18 million in tax breaks from taxpayers, people are starting to reflect on what it means for the state of science in Kentucky.

Ark Encounter Large

The editorial team at the Lexington Herald-Leader wonders, for example, how Governor Matt Bevin could visit Germany to attend a major industrial fair called Hanover Messe while the Tourism Development Finance Authority gave the multi-million dollar tax break without opposition from him:

At Messe, where countries and companies compete to present the most cutting-edge technologies, Bevin could see robots play ping pong and dance, and listen to a presentation on using plankton for lightweight bionic solutions. Back home, he can see dioramas of dinosaurs playing with children.

You can’t talk about the importance of math and science while simultaneously giving tax benefits to groups fighting against it and gutting the ability for students to learn it:

In Kentucky politicians elbow each other aside to deny climate change and defend the wonders of coal while extolling the STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — disciplines that hold out hope to solve one and replace the other.

This state is [perennially] short of money thanks to an outdated tax code and breaks like this one. Bevin is cutting investment in education at every level, rolling back access to the medical care children need to show up at school ready to learn, is lukewarm at best about assuring they have clean air to breathe and water to drink.

This isn’t just a Kentucky problem; this is a Republican problem. When you have Presidential candidates, Congress members, and governors who deny climate change, believe in Creationism, and oppose comprehensive sex education, you can’t seriously claim to be a party that’s looking to the future. You can’t say you support science or education.

Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis may have every legal right to build their theme park, but it’s a travesty that taxpayers are giving them a handout that goes against the work of science teachers across the state.

(Thanks to Dan for the link)

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