The Fayette County School System is working to develop a corrective plan of action to address concerns outlined in a recent state audit.
School Superintendent Tom Shelton briefed board members Monday on the administration's strategy during an afternoon work session.
Released almost three weeks ago, an audit of the state's second largest school system found no criminal wrongdoing, but significant mismanagement. Superintendent Shelton on Monday described action steps one by one in areas like professional development and expenditure reporting.
Would-be entrepreneurs in rural Kentucky may soon receive federal start-up funds. Acting Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Doug O'Brien, made the announcement Wednesday in eastern Kentucky.
Eastern Kentucky University is gearing up to offer a new doctoral degree in clinical psychology. The Richmond school received Council on Postsecondary approval last week. EKU Director of Clinical Training Dustin Wygant says a main emphasis will be on preparing psychology practitioners to work in rural areas. "And that's gonna be quite clear in our materials and the kind of students we're trying to attract for this program are gonna be interested, not just paying lip service, but really interested in training and remaining in these underserved areas," said Wygant.
Centre College is looking for 40 first generation students to participate in a new scholarship program. Ten Grissom Scholars are expected to be enrolled in next fall's classes and 10 more each year through 20-18.
University of Kentucky officials are celebrating after receiving the largest gift in the school's history. UK graduate and Trustee Bill Gatton is donating $20 million to go toward construction of a new 330,000 square-foot student center.
The Commonwealth is seeing gains and losses in its race to reach top tier national status in key areas of education. In 2008, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence challenged the state to reach the top 20 by the year 2020.
The committee Wednesday released an update on the state's progress. According to the report, Kentucky is on track to meet the goal in areas like fourth and eighth grade reading, teacher salaries, and Advanced Placement credits. However, the state has lost ground in areas including eighth grade math and the share of higher education costs to families.
"Our district wants to do better," said Breathitt County High School principal Derek McKnight. "The fear is, if the state left tomorrow, would we go back to the same practices that we were seeing before? And I'm afraid that we would."
Credit Lexington Herald Leader
The Kentucky Board of Education has decided to keep control of the Breathitt County school district for up to three more years.
Kentucky's ACT scores are improving at a higher rate than students nationally. Kentucky's composite ACT average has improved almost a full percentage point over the last four years. State Department of Education Associate Commissioner Ken Draut says that's promising. "In the ACT world, a point one gain, point two gain is considered a very nice gain across time. What we're seeing across time is, you know picking up a full point over five years in several different areas," said Draut.
Monday is the first day of the fall semester at Eastern Kentucky University. Sharon Lott is beginning her tenure in EKU's American Sign Language and Interpreter Education program. She comes to the Richmond school after teaching 20 years in North Carolina.
Universities must comply with numerous laws, regulations and policies. Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson says there are federal reporting requirements for everything from financial aid, to accounting, to on-campus crime statistics.
Thousands of additional students in Lexington public schools are now eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch.
The free meal program expansion comes without a financial impact to the local school district.
When the new school year begins Wednesday in Fayette County, all students at 27 qualified schools can eat free. Child Nutrition Director Michelle Coker says only one school offered this program last year. "It was a surprise we had that many sites. That was a good surprise," said Coker.
University of Kentucky athletics is entering into a $210 million dollar multimedia marketing rights agreement with JMI Sports. The 15-year agreement is being called "one of the most valuable partnerships of it's kind."
School nutritionists from across the Commonwealth are trying to get more students to eat healthier meals during the instructional day. About 700 school cooks, managers, and administrators are meeting for a statewide conference this week in Lexington.
The Lexington-based International Book Project is initiating an electronic reader program in South Africa.
75 e-readers are scheduled to be shipped overseas later this summer. International Book Project Director Kristen Svarczkopf says each electronic instrument will feature several books with mostly African publishers. "So, this is a way that we could get books to people we haven't been able to before in really rural areas like the small shipment method does, but at a lower cost and has the added benefit of introducing them to technology," said Svarczkopf.
The University of Kentucky is one of 37 research schools receiving grant dollars to help retain science and math students. UK is getting almost two million dollars from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Eastern Kentucky University is about to become tobacco-free system wide. Eastern's main campus in Richmond and extended sites in Corbin, Danville, and Manchester will go smoke, chewing and snuff-free next week.
Allegations of mismanagement, fraud, and waste in the Fayette County School System were a "front and center" issue at Wednesday night's board meeting.
Budget Director Julane Mullins made the claims this week in an email to board members. She contends it is a 20 million dollar irregularity. The board meeting opened with an in-depth presentation by the school district's Financial Services Department Director Rodney Jackson. He told the board, "there is not 20 million dollars missing and there was never 20 million dollars missing."