The finance and budget committee of Western Kentucky University’s Board of Regents had a special meeting Friday, when it approved a 2012-13 operating budget that includes a 4.8 percent tuition increase. Pending approval by the full board at the June 22 meeting, the university will have a total operating budget of $388,597,000 for the 2012-13 fiscal year. That’s an increase of about $3.5 million, or 0.9 percent, from the current year’s budget.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has contracted with a private company to implement a kindergarten screener program, but the state still needs to approve the regulatory to require all public schools to screen incoming students. If approved this summer, the screening would help teachers determine how prepared students are before entering school by assessing their skills on a group or individual basis.
What began as a school project has turned into a campaign for 12-year-old Noah Jones to make sure no foster child in Kentucky is made to feel like they, or their things, are trash. Noah, of Bowling Green, is home-schooled. About two years ago, he was given an assignment to come up with a project to improve his community. He decided he wanted to collect bags and backpacks for children in foster care so they have something in which to carry their belongings when they are removed from their homes. He called his organization A Case For Dignity. It was started in August 2010.
Later this year, a new task force that includes lawmakers, educators and athletic officials will study the lack of regulation of middle school sports and offer recommendations for the 2013 General Assembly. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association oversees high school athletics, including coach education, health and safety rules, and regulations over play. But there is no such oversight for middle school sports.
Thanks to last winter's mild weather and few snow days, many Kentucky schools are closing in May for the first time in years. It's quite a change from last year, when making up seven snow days kept Fayette schools open until June 3. It also that means students, parents and teachers can look forward to almost three full months of freedom.
It’s a balancing act for teachers and parents of school children. There’s the need for in class instruction, while allowing them to blow off some steam at the end of the school year. A clear spring day found hundreds of students playing games in Lexington’s Woodland Park. The annual fun day included singing in Spanish and amounts to a three hour recess from classes at Lexington’s Maxwell Elementary. Tom Davis, who’s Maxwell’s Physical Education teacher, is retiring after 31 years at the downtown school. Davis says the kids crave exercise
Franklin County Public Schools has a new superintendent after the Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to hire local educator Chrissy Jones for the district’s top leadership role. “I’m just really going to get in there and get my nose to the grindstone,” she said after the official announcement, attended by Franklin County principals, teachers and Jones’ friends and family, who applauded and gave her a standing ovation.
A proposal to use coal severance tax dollars for college scholarships might have failed during the General Assembly earlier this year, but the idea is far from dead. Two proposals are vying for Gov. Steve Beshear's approval through the Department for Local Government, which distributes grants funded by coal severance money.
FRANKFORT – Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson joined state energy and education leaders this week to recognize 12 Kentucky schools for their efforts to lower energy costs by improving efficiencies in their buildings. Each school earned an “ENERGY STAR” designation, part of a federal program that identifies education institutions that are among the top 5 percent in the nation for energy efficiency.
The nation's top public high school is in Kentucky, according to rankings released Sunday by Newsweek magazine. The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, a residential high school on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, topped Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools. The school, which opened in 2007 and is funded by the state, ranked fifth in Newsweek's 2011 list.
Kentucky’s public and independent colleges and universities conferred a record 63,000 degrees and credentials during the 2011‐12 academic year, representing an overall increase of 4 percent over last year. The report shows the largest one‐year increase was at the associate level with substantial increases in all sectors. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System led with an estimated 9,503 associate degrees, an increase of 20 percent or 1,600 degree earners from just one year ago.
UK Music Students and their instructors have been ushered into the digital age with some new equipment introduced this week. The University of Kentucky School of Music is the proud owner of some 18 new, state of the art Yamaha Disklavier pianos. The instruments contain on-board computers that record, playback, and store musical arrangements. They were dedicated and demonstrated at the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center on Monday. Vocal Major Rebecca Farley sang a selection from Phantom of the Opera accompanied by, in essence, a phantom piano player.
The Kentucky Board of Education is resubmitting changes to the way students with learning disabilities take reading comprehension tests. Last year, the board approved a regulatory change that would prevent certain students from having teachers read them portions of reading comprehension tests. Now, the state is allowing some students in special circumstances to bypass that regulation.
The University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved the 2012-2013 budget Thursday, including a 6 percent tuition increase for students. The state cut higher education by 6.4 percent in its final budget, which is about $9.7 million for U of L. The $482.6 million general fund budget approved by the board covers the university’s primary operations, including salaries and it includes tuition increases for students and funding cuts to departments totaling $6 million.
Kentucky’s 8th grade science scores in the latest national assessment exceed that of the nation’s average, but the state made less progress overall. “The average scale score for our 8th graders in science is six points above the national average,” said Lisa Gross, spokeswomen for the Kentucky Department of Education.
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved a 6 percent tuition increase for the upcoming academic year on Tuesday, bringing the total cost of tuition, fees and housing for in-state undergraduates to $16,518 a year. The increase got push-back from some trustees, who said they worry about the long-term escalation of tuition costs and its effects on Kentucky families. In the past 10 years, UK tuition has increased 147 percent.
As the University of Kentucky deals with a 6.4 % budget cut for the upcoming fiscal year, a steering committee is looking at different models for developing a spending plan. Like many colleges and universities, UK has an incremental budgeting model. The current fiscal plan is used as a base, with the budget adjusted up or down from year to year. That model depends on stable funding, which hasn’t been the case for Kentucky.
Georgetown College will formally apply to become a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II member following unanimous approval by the Board of Trustees Saturday. The decision is another step in an 18-month process and includes a 100-page report compiled by Collegiate Consulting that explored Georgetown College’s options of staying in the National Athletic Intercollegiate Association (NAIA), moving to NCAA Division 3 or NCAA Division 2.
The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents has approved a five percent tuition increase for undergraduate Kentucky residents. The board, meeting Thursday, also gave its approval to a merger of the non resident and so called targeted tuition into one rate for out of state students. Students living just outside Kentucky had previously paid less that other out of state students. Resident and non resident grad students will also face about a five percent tuition hike.
High school anatomy class has nearly always meant dissecting frogs, pigs and cats. But times are changing. More students in Lexington want an alternative that doesn’t involve the use of once-living animals.
The Council on Postsecondary Education has approved a six percent tuition increase for the universities of Louisville and Kentucky. The council also capped tuition at four percent for community colleges system and five percent for the state’s comprehensive universities. It’s expected these rate increases will result in over $40 million for the institutions but schools are still expected to accrue deficits due to cuts to the state budget and rising maintenance costs.
University of Kentucky officials want to raise tuition by 6 percent for students and rule out raises for faculty and staff next year as they deal with a $43 million hole in the school's budget. For in-state freshmen and sophomores, that means tuition would jump from $9,128 this year to $9,676 in the 2012-13 academic year. For out-of-state students, tuition would increase from $18,740 a year to $19,864. UK's tuition will have grown 147 percent since 2002 if the UK Board of Trustees approves the tuition increase, as expected.
University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey says he expects the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to approve U of L’s request for a six percent tuition hike that would take effect next academic year. Ramsey says for more than a decade now, his and other public institutions have had to find ways to offset annual cuts in state funding, and for the third straight year, U of L is seeking a six-percent tuition increase, the maximum allowed by the council.
Geoffrey Mearns says there are several things he won’t do as Northern Kentucky University president. He’ll balk at sitting in a dunk tank during student celebrations, as some colleagues at Cleveland State University have done. And he wouldn’t be too excited about taking a quiz, as NKU President Jim Votruba did this year when he was replaced by a student as “president for a day.” Mearns, 52, will have his chance, starting Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. when NKU’s governing regents are expected to elect him as NKU’s fifth president.
Prospective Eastern Kentucky University students who live just outside the Commonwealth could pay significantly higher tuition rates. E-K-U administrators want to increase tuition by five percent for students who come from Kentucky. But the increase could be bigger for new students who come from just beyond the border. Many pay less than the standard out of state students. E-K-U staff resource analyst Starr says Smith that could end. They want all out-of-state students to pay the same rate.
In 2010, the University of Kentucky tried an experiment: professors in the College of Arts and Sciences took 20 summer school classes out of the lecture hall and into cyberspace, trying out the school's first large-scale attempt at online education. This summer, there will be 70 classes with more than 3,000 students already signed up. For Arts and Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh, online summer school classes are less about entering some brave new world of online education and more about getting more students to graduate in four years.
When the current Kentucky legislative session ends this week, many issues will be left on the table for future years. One of those issues is charter schools. Kentucky is among nine states without charters, and the push to change that has been polarizing in Frankfort. A compromise to create a pilot charter project was close to passage last month, but it fell apart.
Two fraternities at Murray State University will face hearings within the next few weeks before the university’s Interfraternal Council Judicial Board to determine what sanctions the organizations might face for incidents that occurred at parties earlier this month. The MSU chapters of both Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Gamma Rho remain on suspension from hosting social activities, said Mike Young, assistant vice president of student affairs.
Some one thousand Eastern Kentucky University employees and another four thousand students are being asked this week about their views on a possible ban on tobacco use. A draft plan would prohibit the use of tobacco products on all E-K-U campuses. Then, next fall, Wellness Analyst Leanna Bowles says there’ll be a 30 day comment period.
A spokesman for University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says the school is disappointed with some aspects of the final budget compromise worked out by the legislative conference committee. Jay Blanton says the administration was already bracing for a significant cut in state support, but conferees delivered a double whammy when they refused to allow the state’s flagship university to increase its debt capacity an additional $200 million dollars for campus construction.