courtesy Gillian Marksberry

A Kentucky high school valedictorian was barred from giving his planned speech at his high school’s graduation ceremony.

18 -year-old Christian Bales and student council president Katherine Frantz were told Friday, hours before Holy Cross High School’s graduation they would not be giving their speeches.

The Council on Postsecondary Education presidential search committee will continue its work Thursday to find a replacement for Bob King who is retiring this summer.  King took over the reins of the statewide university governing organization in 2009.  

UK Student Center Opening Honors Bill Gatton

Apr 30, 2018
Stu Johnson

The official opening of the University of Kentucky’s new Student Center Monday included honoring a key contributor to the $200 million project.  The UK Board of Trustees is expected to name the state of the art facility the Bill Gatton Student Center.

Bill Gatton made a $20 million gift toward the construction of the 378,000 square foot facility in 2014.  Gatton, who made his money in real estate, banking, auto sales, and investing is UK’s largest philanthropic supporter, giving nearly $60 million to the school. 

EKU studies

Literacy in the Digital Age: Transformations of the Reading Brain was a topic recently at Eastern Kentucky University’s Chautauqua Lecture Series.

Dr Maryanne Wolf, The John DiBiaggio  Professor of citizenship and public service and the Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University in Boston talked with WEKU’s Cheri Lawson.

Stu Johnson

Model Laboratory School in Richmond will, for now, be staying as is. Eastern Kentucky University officials had considered becoming a charter school as a way to help fund construction of a new facility.

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to accept the resignation of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.

The board's decision comes one day after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin replaced most of the board with new members. The appointments mean everyone on the board has now been chosen by Bevin, who took office in December 2015.

Stu Johnson

Professors, students, and staff at Eastern Kentucky University rallied in support of higher education Thursday in the heart of the Richmond campus.  

Stu Johnson

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents decision Friday to suspend a number of academic programs brought with it silent protests.  One of those involved EKU’s nursing program.

EKU President Outlines Potential Budget Reductions

Mar 22, 2018

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson is alerting the university community of far reaching cost saving measures now under consideration.  That could include job reductions totaling 200.

In a campus wide email, Benson said the Budget Advisory Committee was charged with coming up with a plan to deal with an anticipated $25 million budget impact over the 2019-2020 fiscal years.  He says the budget dilemma involves additional pension costs, along with projected state cuts in funding, plus decreased tuition revenues.

Murray State University is moving forward with restoring and enhancing the residential college destroyed in an explosion last summer.

The Murray State Board of Regents has voted to proceed with restoring the existing structure of J.H. Richmond Hall and allocated two million dollars of university funds to further enhance the building.

The Kentucky House Budget Committee acted Tuesday to put $7 million into an emergency school loan fund.  It’s aimed at helping 12 eastern Kentucky school districts struggling with coal-related financial issues.

If enacted, school districts could each tap into the loan fund for up to a half million dollars this fiscal year.  Money for the already existing fund comes from excess per pupil dollars in the seek program, the primary funding method for k through 12. 

Cheri Lawson

Co-creators of the social justice artwork “Unlearn Fear and Hate” hosted their first coloring party in conjunction with the Lexington Public Library .

As WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports , dozens of people from all walks of life showed up for the first in a series of six parties 

Teachers Running for Office Rally at State Capitol

Feb 1, 2018

Forty current or retired educators are running to become state lawmakers this year as leaders of the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin consider cuts to public education and an overhaul of the state’s pension systems.

A group of about 20 of the candidates rallied in the state Capitol Wednesday, saying last year’s passage of a charter schools bill, years of budget cuts and the pension crisis had driven them to run.

One of Kentucky’s best known education advocacy organizations participated in a seven state polling project.  The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence took part in the “Accelerating the Pace.  The Future of Education in the American South” report.

Brigitte Blom Ramsey is executive director of the Prichard Committee. “I think what we learned through the polling is that voters are also calling for increased education outcomes and investments to support those outcomes,” said Blom Ramsey.

Institute 193 Director Paul Brown

A non-profit arts organization in Lexington is one of 48 institutions in the country being awarded a major grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. According to director Paul Brown, it's the largest grant Institute 193 has ever received. 

Stu Johnson

The 2018 general assembly opened with a rallying cry from teachers, concerned about proposed pension changes. Prominent federal and state politicians spoke at the capitol rotunda Tuesday.

The Stand Up for Education rally found Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth and Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes urging attendees to vote, register to vote, and file to run for the legislature.

The University of Kentucky is addressing hazing and alcohol abuse among student organizations.  The UK Board of Trustees got a briefing during their December meeting.

State Education officials say they are making progress in meeting accountability and improvement standards.  A key report will be filed with the federal government next month.

Officials with the Kentucky Department of Education say the state’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act is moving forward.  Representatives with the U.S. Department of Education this week provided feedback to the state plan submitted in September.  Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says overall he’s pleased with the state’s progress and the assessment by federal officials.

Stu Johnson

Preliminary work continues to convert Eastern Kentucky University’s Model Laboratory School into a charter school.  Come January a steering committee will tackle a number of key issues.

Midway University Launches First Wrestling Program

Dec 13, 2017

For the first time in its 170 year history, Midway University is starting a wrestling program.

The school’s head coach will be Jake Brumbelow, who started two wrestling teams at colleges in Georgia.

“You’re going to get a lot of blue collar kids that end up becoming firemen, police officers, and teachers and that kind of thing.   They’re hard working guys and it’s just a really good fit for that area and the culture of the sport and for campus,” said Brumbelow.

Eastern Kentucky University Public Relations

On a cold day when indoor recreation might be the best choice, Eastern Kentucky University officials broke ground Monday morning for a new student recreation and wellness center. The $40 million dollar facility is financed through a student fee.

When completed the student rec and wellness center will be twice as big as EKU’s existing facility and will include basketball and racquetball courts, a pool, a weight room and a rock climbing wall.

The Lexington council has taken the first step toward rebranding the city’s day treatment center.  It would rename the facility in honor of Audrey Grevious.  The educator and civil rights leader died in January.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay believes the naming of the center for Grevious is appropriate. “She had a really good feisty attitude.  She was outspoken.  She was clear.  You know exactly what was on her mind,” noted Kay.  “She was really a treat to work with, so I think this would be a fitting honor for her.”

Cheri Lawson

Music is one way young students  in a program at Eastern Kentucky University will  help spread holiday cheer.

As WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports, kids with the Foster Academy for Musical Excellence hope to offer the gift of familiar tunes this season.

Stu Johnson

Eastern Kentucky University will apply with the state of Kentucky to make its Model Lab School a new charter school.   

EKU’s Board of Regents also took action Wednesday to freeze the university’s tuition for a year.

Stu Johnson

Three Fayette County high schools will soon implement a new approach to career readiness. 

Plans for launching what’s being termed the Academies of Lexington were unveiled Tuesday at Bryan Station High School.

The future of the Model Laboratory School at Eastern Kentucky University is coming before the university’s board of regents Wednesday morning.

A Model Task Force will offer recommendations that are likely to include a move to a charter school structure.

During the next month, Kentuckians are being asked to offer their thoughts on proposed academic standards for bible literacy courses taught in public high schools. 

The final standards are expected to be in place for elective classes to be offered during the next school year.

Stu Johnson

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson is expected to undergo faculty evaluation early next year. 

Members of the executive committee for the school's faculty senate met Wednesday to discuss survey format and content.

Eastern Kentucky University is considering freezing student tuition for a year.   Word of the proposal was announced in a campus-wide email Wednesday.

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education is expected to vote Friday on recommended funding to support higher education institutions over the next two years.  That biennial request will go to the governor, legislative leaders, and the state budget office.