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."
Kentucky's auditor will review mismanagement allegations made regarding the state's second largest school district.
State Auditor Adam Edelen says his office will conduct a special examination of financial mismanagement allegations within Fayette County Public Schools. A timeline for completion of the audit has not been set.
The superintendent of Fayette County Schools is rejecting an allegation of a $20 million irregularity within the system.
In an email to board members, also provided to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Budget Director Julane Mullins alleges, "suspected violations of law and numerous acts of mismanagement, fraud, waste, and abuse of authority that have resulted in the current state of affairs."
A West Coast school's plan to stop investing in coal could cause a ripple effect among institutions of higher-education. An official at one Kentucky university says such an approach would be unlikely in the Commonwealth, for more than one reason.
Stanford University announced last week that it will divest its almost 19 billion dollar endowment of all coal mining interests. The University of Kentucky's Treasurer says it's not the
Credit James McNair/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Michael McCall is the president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System—and he's among the highest-paid community college administrators in the U.S.
And he'll still earn six-figures after he retires in January.
In its latest story, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting found that KCTCS has agreed to pay McCall $324,321 for a year after he leaves his job. As president emeritus, he'll be expected to perform duties at the request of the next KCTCS president.
The University of Kentucky's tree canopy will grow by more than 400 plantings soon. Additional elm, oak, locust, and tulip trees will be planted over the next year. UK Vice President for Facilities Management Bob Wiseman says recent construction on the Lexington campus has resulted in the need to replace them.
The University of Kentucky plans to relax it’s on- campus alcohol policy for students of legal drinking age. The specifics of how the alcohol consumption policy will change are still to be worked out. The announcement came from UK President Eli Capilouto. He took recommendations from a student health and safety workgroup.
Former Northern Kentucky University athletic director Scott Eaton has pleaded guilty to stealing more than 311-thousand dollars from the school. State attorney general Jack Conway says Eaton entered his plea Thursday in Campbell County Circuit Court. He will serve the maximum term of ten years in prison.
The University of Kentucky's incoming student government president expects security issues to get top priority during his term. Mechanical Engineering student Jacob Ingram, who takes over the top student body post in mid April, says student safety off campus needs to improve.
"The big concern that I've heard this year throughout my time in student government has been about off campus safety, so how can we extend the safety protection, the feeling of being safe from campus out to where students are living," says Ingram.
The University of Kentucky's consideration of a public-private partnership for dining services got attention from two fronts during Monday's meeting.
The UK Board of Trustees meeting began with a student protest. The protesters asked the board to reject any and all proposals to privatize public dining services at the school. Their primary concern is with one potential vendor, the Sodexo Group. The students say Sodexo cited the Affordable Care Act as a reason to cut off full-time benefits for some of its employees at another school.
The just-approved state budget calls for a one and a half percent cut in operating funds for universities, but does include a number of capital projects.
Lawmakers appropriated 66 million dollars for completion of phase two of Eastern Kentucky University's science building. EKU President Michael Benson says work could begin in three months, "We literally could break ground on July 1, which we hope to do."
Presidents of Kentucky’s two largest public universities took their case before a House budget review committee in Frankfort Thursday. The Universities of Kentucky and Louisville both face a two-and-a-half percent cut during the next year as suggested in Governor Beshear’s budget.
Transylvania University's new president comes to Kentucky from New England. The new head of the Lexington school is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Dr. Seamus Carey succeeds Owen Williams who came to the liberal arts college in 2010.
Science Building on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University
Credit Eastern Kentucky University
A review of higher education budget issues has included a call for merging education administration and urging university presidents to become more politically vocal. The discussion occurred during a meeting of the state budget review committee.
Eastern Kentucky University is setting aside a half million dollars to boost pay for well over a hundred employees. E-K-U President Michael Benson says the Step-in-Grade Program is being supported by monies freed up by budget reallocations. Those affected by the move include custodians, laborers, relocation specialists, groundskeepers, and repair technicians.
Before you can ‘hit the ground running’, you’ve got to get the boots on properly. Some 184 students at Eastern Kentucky University are going through ‘boot camp’ this week. They all begin their student teaching assignments Thursday. Doctor Peggy Petrilli heads up the Professional Lab Experience Office at Eastern.
Central Kentucky educators from kindergarten through college will continue to push for career readiness initiatives in the New Year. There are 12 college and university presidents as well as school superintendents from 18 counties who are a part of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium.
A non-partisan economic policy group has released a report showing large gaps in per-student funding among school districts that approved tax increases this year. A majority of Kentucky school boards approved the maximum 4 percent property tax increase to help fund public schools.
Anthony Hayden, owner of the Lexington Academy of Barbering.
Credit Tessa Lighty / Lexington Herald Leader
Making the move from incarceration into a productive life can be helped with career training. During a visit today to the Lexington Academy of Barbering, Mayor Jim Gray met with ex-cons who are trying to learn a trade. The academy is directed by Anthony Hayden.
Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes (left) and EKU President Michael Benson (right) showing the new paint scheme for four city owned water towers.
Four water towers in Richmond should deliver a new and consistent message about Eastern Kentucky University. Over the next several months, the city-owned towers will be repainted with new logos. Some will underscore the partnership between EKU and the city. University President Michael Benson and Mayor Jim Barnes made the announcement this morning.
Advocates for public education raised their collective voices today in Lexington. They’ve been ask to lobby their state legislators for more money. Participants at the Education Summit heard from Lexington Paul Lawrence Dunbar senior Andrew Brennen, who says overcrowded classrooms and worn out textbooks are a concern.
Racist flyer found posted in classroom buildings at Eastern Kentucky University.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU News
White supremacist flyers have circulated around the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. They claim a “non-violent genocide” has been launched against so-called “white countries.” University spokesman Marc Whitt confirms several flyers were posted in classroom buildings that serve police and firefighter trainees. Whitt says an official investigation is underway.
Education advocates will meet Thursday to discuss funding for Kentucky schools at a Lexington summit. The meeting will include presentations from numerous education experts. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is slated to discuss school funding issues. And Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will talk about tax reform efforts.
The Army is ending 13 officer training programs nationwide, including the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Army approved the closures after a comprehensive review of resources last month. The 13 programs are mostly in rural areas that are producing too few officers to justify their operation. Along with UT at Martin, Tennessee closures include Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University. The only Kentucky program shuttered was at Morehead State University. Morehead Military Science Chairman Lt. Col. Robert Mason said the cuts may be aimed at changing the program's demographics.
After some years of decline, enrollment this fall at Eastern Kentucky University this year is holding steady. Over 16-thousand students now attend classes at EKU. Vice President Elizabeth Wachtel says declines are not necessarily bad. Wachtel says the school might now be at its optimal size.
Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson
Eastern Kentucky University is working to improve its staying power with prospective students, potential donors, and the community at large. The field is narrowing for a new position of Vice President for University Relations and EKU Branding. The first of three open meetings with finalists is scheduled later Monday on the Richmond campus.
Successful early childhood education efforts in southern Kentucky are bringing the U.S. Secretary of Education to the Commonwealth Friday. Arne Duncan plans to spend part of the afternoon in Williamsburg. He is scheduled to visit with a Whitley County family in ‘Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program. Save the Children administrator Mark Shriver says the program is currently found in ten Kentucky Counties, serving more than 12 thousand children.
A well known fast food restaurant chain is promoting the General Education Document program in almost half of Kentucky’s counties. People dining at McDonald's restaurants in 53 counties will be encouraged on customer tray liners to take the GED test.