Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock is staying neutral on the proposal to bring the University of Pikeville into the state college system. EKU is one of two universities expected to lose students if UPIKE becomes public. The other is Morehead State University, which is actively campaigning against the move.
Gov. Steve Beshear is in Louisville today to talk with education representatives from over 20 states. Louisville is hosting a conference on the Common Core State Standards this week. Attendees include higher-education leaders who want to align their college and career readiness standards with those in place at public schools.
Education professionals in Louisville say if Gov. Steve Beshear’s early childhood education initiatives are approved, it may drive more collaboration between public and private child care providers. Beshear has allocated $15 million in his budget to offer early childhood learning to thousands more children who are slightly above the poverty line, but that money can only go to public schools. However, not all public schools offer what parents want for their children.
41 Kentucky high schools will soon be receiving grants, but the money won't be going to teachers or administrators. Students will be deciding how the money is spent. The program is called Students Taking Charge, which is part of Kentucky Action for Healthy Kids. It distributes $500 grants to schools in the hopes that students will take the reins, explore projects that might improve health and nutrition, and use the funds to implement effective changes.
This year’s Republican presidential hopefuls have been making their way through Ohio over the past couple weeks looking for votes in the state’s March 6thprimary. The candidates have some unified themes when it comes to education, mostly around cutting back on federal and state spending on public schools and increasing school choice. Currently, the federal government chips in only about 10 percent toward the cost of public education in America. But even that small amount is more than the federal government used to contribute.
Debbie McCoy’s 16-year-old daughter Brittany will walk across the stage with her peers on graduation day, but she won’t leave the Frankfort Convention Center with a diploma. Instead, Brittany, who has learning disabilities, will walk out with a certificate that says she completed her time at Franklin County High School. Her mother calls that distinction heartbreaking. Legislation now making its way through the state House would change the name of the document from “certificate of attainment” to “alternate diploma.” Senate Bill 43 won unanimous approval in the Senate and cleared a House panel Tuesday. It now awaits a vote by the full House.
Maysville historian Jerry Gore will be rewarded for his educational efforts with an award from the National Education Association. Gore will be receiving the Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award, during the NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner in July. "I am highly humbled and highly honored because I do not see it as an honor to me but an honor to community and state," Gore said on Tuesday. "It relates to the lessons we learned from slavery and Underground Railroad that have ties to what we are learning today."
President Wayne Andrews of Morehead State University doesn’t want to divide the pie and give a slice to the University of Pikeville. President Paul Patton of Pikeville says he wants to graduate more students from eastern Kentucky who will stay and work in eastern Kentucky. Monday night’s Kentucky Tonight program heard these views as well as those from two other guests, Rep. Leslie Combs, who supports former Governor Patton, and Bell County Judge Executive Alvey Brock, who opposes a move to make the University of Pikeville a part of the state’s system of higher education. Judge Brock opposes the move based on Patton’s idea to use the twelve-county coal severance tax fund to aid the University of Pikeville’s move into the higher education system.
An ongoing dispute between a second-grader at Anne Mason Elementary School and the Scott County Board of Education is emerging as an issue with potential national implications, pitting the board against the U.S. government and the American Diabetes Association. The case involves a 7-year-old, fitted with an insulin pump, who wants to attend school with his siblings and friends at Eastern Elementary.
Mike Mullins, who took over the reins of Hindman Settlement School in Knott County in 1977 and helped turn it into a regional cultural and educational center, died Sunday night, apparently of a heart attack. He was 63. As executive director of the school, Mr. Mullins' tasks ranged from fund-raising to fixing broken pipes. He tackled each with a hands-on, no-nonsense and down-to-earth approach, according to his friends. His impact extended far beyond Knott County and Eastern Kentucky.
As University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto watches state and federal dollars dip, a new source of funding has emerged: research grants from abroad. “We live in a new normal,” he told members of the Frankfort Rotary Club Thursday. “The expectation of the traditional sources of funding – state and federal support – are going to be flat, and we’re realizing in Kentucky this year, they may even decline for the next several years.” But by expanding research partnerships abroad and looking for opportunities to collaborate with foreign countries, Capilouto said UK can weather the economic storm.
Kentucky adults considering returning to college have a free resource to help them make decisions about higher education. Adults Returning to School is published by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), the state agency that administers Kentucky student financial aid programs and provides college planning materials.
More low-income Kentucky families would be able to send their child to public preschool under a plan to expand eligibility requirements. Half-day preschool programs are currently open to 4-year-olds in families with income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. In his budget proposal, Governor Steve Beshear would raise that income cap to 160 percent of the poverty level.
Understanding the value that early childhood experiences play in the future successes of Kentucky’s youth, Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday discussed his proposal to expand preschool services across Kentucky. Surrounded by preschool students at Dixie Magnet Elementary School in Lexington, the governor called for raising the eligibility level for 4-year-olds in families whose income is at or below 160 percent of poverty level in Fiscal Year 2014 and increasing it to 200 percent by the end of his term.
Charter Schools, while still a focus of debate in Kentucky, exist just across the river in Ohio. In an experiment, a charter high school in Cincinnati now pays its students for perfect attendance and good behavior. The program proved successful on day one.
Rep. Carl Rollins pitched his “districts of innovation” bill to local school board members Monday, just hours before his House Education Committee was to host a hearing about allowing charter schools in Kentucky. House Bill 37 – the innovation legislation – would allow school districts to sidestep certain state regulations that govern Kentucky’s public schools with approval from state education officials. Rollins, a Midway Democrat, said the bill would let educators try charter-like reforms without siphoning funding from existing public schools. It cleared the House unanimously last week.
Central Kentucky superintendents were pleased to learn Kentucky is one of 10 states allowed flexibility under Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind laws. Instead of receiving testing data for NCLB and the state accountability system, schools will receive data from one source this year. President Barack Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan set provisions last year for the way states could receive waivers from NCLB mandates, according to a news release from the Kentucky Department of Education. States had to show progress in efforts to close achievement gaps and prepare students for colleges and careers.
A group of Franklin County freshmen are hard at work this year seeking a unique reward: the chance to graduate high school in half the time it will take their peers. About 50 teens from Franklin County and Western Hills High schools have joined a national pilot program called Excellence for All in hopes of earning a diploma in just two years.
In its recently released “Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition,” Princeton Review has included Centre College on its list of the nation’s top 75 best-buy private colleges. Centre is the only private college in Kentucky to make the list, and Kentucky is one of just 37 states represented. “Centre College remains committed to being a place of high achievement and high opportunity,” said John A. Roush, Centre’s president since 1998, “and this recent ranking affirms our efforts.”
Kentucky has been granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind standards. NCLB has been criticized the past few years as having unreachable goals for education. Kentucky was one of 11 states that applied for the waiver last fall and 28 more states have announced they plan to seek waiver later this year. In the first round ten states, including Indiana, were granted a waiver.
Budget cuts and education reforms are putting pressure on teachers and principals to improve student performance. And the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to help them. The chamber’s Leadership Institute program gives Kentucky’s principals the same training many corporate CEOs go through. The program costs $9,000 per principal, but is paid for with donations raised by the chamber.
A bill allowing charter schools in Kentucky will get a hearing in the House Education Committee. Chairman Carl Rollins has set February 14th as the hearing date, but that could change if the deadline for candidates to file to run for General Assembly seats is pushed back again. Rollins still doesn’t support charter schools, but thinks it's time for the bill to be discussed.
Kentucky’s two largest universities are facing grim futures with more budget cuts planned for the coming years. But the schools' presidents say they can survive. University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and University of Louisville President James Ramsey addressed the Senate Education Committee today. They did not attempt to talk their way out of proposed 6.4 percent budget cuts. Instead, both men talked highly of their current programs and their ability to survive past budget cuts.
As this year’s battle over the budget develops, there’s a new combatant on the field. As WEKU’S Stu Johnson reports, the Kentucky Education Action Team includes many of the special interests involved in education. The new education advocacy group includes parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders. And, it’s gaining influence. This week, the state school board this week passed a resolution supporting the group’s position on funding. It also called upon elected leaders to commit additional money for students. State school board chair David Karen says there’s power when various voices come together.
On Kentucky Tonight, we sometimes address complicated subjects, raising questions rather than providing answers. On some Monday nights, I leave my desk wondering whether we have dealt with the issue well enough so that Kentuckians can make intelligent decisions. New education issues cropped up this year—whether or not the University of Pikeville, a private institution, should be supported by state higher education dollars, thus becoming a public university; and the controversial subject of charter schools.
More cuts to Kentucky’s education budget will slow down the implementation of a landmark reform law. Senate Bill 1 is a wide-ranging education law that replaced Kentucky’s school testing system with stronger tests and content standards. Currently only English and math standards have been developed. And with a 4.5 percent cut planned for the Department of Education in Governor Steve Beshear’s latest budget proposal, new standards in other subjects are going to be delayed.
Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education is confident the commonwealth will receive a waiver from No Child Left Behind standards. Terry Holliday has been in direct talks with federal officials, and he says a big announcement confirming the waiver is coming next week.