Kentucky business leaders and education advocates are teaming up to start a new funding source for innovation in education. The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky—also known as the The Fund—is being launched to help with grants and extra fundraising for the Kentucky Department of Education.
First Lady Michelle Obama comes to Eastern Kentucky University in May to participate in the spring commencement ceremony. EKU President Doug Whitlock says his office got a call from a member of the First Lady’s staff almost a week ago. Eastern is receiving national attention for the help it gives Veterans working to further their education. Whitlock says it caught the eye of Mrs. Obama. A White House staff member asked if she could attend the University’s graduation ceremony. Saying it was more than okay, Whitlock says the school was seeking a speaker for the third exercise. In fact, he says it was the only one her schedule would permit.
After selecting new president, regents watch video introducing Dr. Michael Benson to EKU.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU News
Eastern Kentucky University’s next president sees fundraising as a key priority. Dr. Michael Benson, who’s currently president of Southern Utah University, says private contributions may be the best way to advance a science building under construction at Eastern.
Micky Zegaye (left) works with a tutor at Fugee Academy in Clarkston, Georgia. Photo by Maura Walz.
CLARKSTON, Ga. — Since the 1970s, federal court orders have governed how many Southern communities integrated their public schools. But new research shows, as those orders have been lifted, school districts are gradually re-segregating. But why? In the fading sunlight of late afternoon in a church basement in Clarkston, Georgia, Tucker High School junior Micky Zegeye studies for a math test with his tutor.
Birmingham, Ala. – Ever since the Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, the racial makeup of our schools has been in flux. Forced integration made the South’s public schools some of the most integrated in the country, but now – here and across the nation – our schools are re-segregating. The Southern Education Desk is taking a deep look at the issue with a multi-part series exploring this complex trend. In the second installment, the SED’s Alabama reporter Dan Carsen goes back in time to examine a strategy whites once used to sidestep public school integration, one that still shapes communities today — so-called “segregation academies”:
Listen in as students and faculty at Eastern Kentucky University exercise their 1st Amendment Rights. This stream comes this afternoon from the Powell Building on the Main Campus in Richmond. It's a demonstration of the power and fragility of America's Right to speak freely. Be warned, these citizens could say anything.
Officials with the agency overseeing Kentucky’s college financial aid expect to figure out how many students will be receiving benefits in the next week.The state doles out around $100 million in financial aid annually, but that money is on a first come first served basis. Erin Klarer is with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. She says more people are understanding the importance of higher education.
Like the rest of the nation, more of Kentucky’s grandparents have become a child’s primary care giver. Looking for support, many of the older parents gathered recently in Lexington. Nearly a quarter of America’s children live with a single parent. Nearly five-million live in their grandparent’s home. It’s nothing new to Lexington resident Sandy Flynn. 21 years ago, Flynn and her husband adopted their grandson. Then a couple years ago, Flynn took a set of two-year-old twins, plus three granddaughters into her home. She says that’s a pretty typical situation these days.
Two-story windows grace the exterior of the EKU Center for the Arts.
Credit David Perry / Lexington Herald Leader
Less than four months after the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts opened in Richmond, university employees were assigned to take over business operations of the center and address concerns including mishandling of cash, irregular student employment practices and improper handling of customer credit card numbers that potentially compromised security and threatened the university's overall ability to accept charge cards.
A Lexington attorney who has represented former Governor Ernie Fletcher has filed a open meetings complaint against Murray State's Board of Regents. In a letter mailed to board chairman Dr. Constantine Curris Thursday, attorney Jim Deckard alleges the board held an illegal meeting during a social gathering at regent Sharon Green's home the night before voting against offering president Randy Dunn a new 4 year contract.
Before layoffs begin at Eastern Kentucky University, its Board of Regents will promote early retirements. A plan approved this morning by the regents offer incentives to professors willing to work part-time. Chairman Craig Turner says they’ll also offer incentives to staff members who qualify for early retirement.
Three finalists in the search for a new president at Eastern Kentucky University were unveiled today. They are political scientist Michael Benson of Southern Utah University, Alan Shao, who's dean of the business school at the College of Charleston and Lamar University administrator Gregg Lasson. The chairman of Eastern’s Board of Regents calls the finalists an “outstanding group” with “demonstrated proven leadership.” The finalists will now undergo a series of public forums at EKU. The Richmond-based university hopes to have a new president before summer. He’ll replace President Doug Whitlock, who’s retiring.
By next month, the top candidates for provost of the University of Kentucky should be on campus for interviews in the most-watched job search since President Eli Capilouto came on board in 2011. UK's top academic officer will be in charge of improving educational offerings in an uncertain and underfunded future. But observers say the hire could also be important in creating more diversity in UK's top leadership group, which is dominated by white men.
Kentucky's public school districts are gearing up for a new state regulation that specifies how and when educators can restrain or isolate students who are unruly. The regulation, which went into effect Feb. 1, allows students to be physically restrained — preventing students from moving torso, arms, legs or head — or placed in a secluded area away from classmates only to protect them from hurting themselves or others. It also bans the use of physical restraint or seclusion as student punishment. Students can be restrained for intentionally destroying property. Advocates have been calling for such rules for years.
U.S. Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier takes a tour of the BCTC Leestown Road Campus
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News
A high ranking federal education official has gotten an up-close view of programs offered at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. A full community and technical college experience awaited Doctor Brenda Dann-Messier in central Kentucky. The Assistant Secretary of Education was briefed at the community college’s new Leestown Road campus. Dann-Messier then toured Toyota’s Advanced Manufacturing Center.
After more than three years of unsuccessful attempts to raise Kentucky's high school dropout age from 16 to 18, House and Senate leaders have struck a compromise that appears poised to pass. The compromise plan would allow school districts to voluntarily raise the dropout age from 16 to 18 beginning in 2014. Once 55 percent of the state's school districts raise the age, remaining school districts across the state would have four years to make the change.
The best way to gauge the performance of Kentucky’s teachers has long been debated. By holding educators more accountable, lawmakers believe Kentucky can graduate smarter students. The traditional image of a teacher evaluation shows a school principal, slipping into class, and observing the instructor in action. In places like Gallatin County, it’s a bit more formal. School Superintendent Dorothy Perkins says her principals use a system that does a good job of identifying areas where a teacher can improve, and then creates a plan for fixing those problems.
Kentucky persistently low-achieving schools would be able to become charter schools to improve performance and test scores under a bill discussed Tuesday in the state Senate Education Committee. The charter schools bill adds charters a a fifth option for what the state now calls "priority schools—schools that persistently get low scores. The current options include re-staffing of teachers, firing the principal, giving the school up to outside management or closing the schools.
Six Kentucky's public universities can immediately start construction on more than $300 million in construction or renovation projects, including a $110-million renovation of Lexington's Commonwealth Stadium. Governor Steve Beshear signed House Bill 7 into law on Thursday.
Over 1,000 unemployed youths are expected to attend KentuckianaWorks 8th annual Youth Opportunity Showcase Saturday to meet potential employers face to face. “If you get there before 10, you’ll see people lined up outside the door waiting to get in. It’s a little bit like the Macy’s wedding sale where you would see people rushing the door at ten o’clock," says Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckyianaWorks, the federally mandated body overseeing job training and placement in the region.
A plan to cut Eastern Kentucky University’s budget by ten percent carries with it some expected employee layoffs. The explanation about the budget alteration came in an email from Eastern President Doug Whitlock to faculty and staff. Whitlock says about 75 percent of the Richmond school’s budget covers employee salaries and benefits. In meeting the directive of the board to make a ten percent cut, the Eastern President says forced layoffs are possible.
A new ‘green’ Capital Education Center is now open. The former heating and cooling facility had been dormant until its renovation into a visitors’ destination. Governor Beshear says more than 60 thousand students, teachers, and other guests visit the Capital Campus each year. He says ‘the building will serve as an outstanding resource to promote energy efficiency, sustainability, and more.’ The building is insulated wit recycled denim and features a viewing platform on the roof wit solar panels, a wind turbine, and a rooftop garden.
94th District state Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville
A Pikeville lawmaker wants to cement and expand a pilot scholarship program aimed at boosting college-going rates in Eastern Kentucky. Democratic Rep. Leslie Combs has filed a bill that would make permanent the nine-county program — created last year with an executive order by Gov. Steve Beshear — and spread it to all 34 coal-producing counties, including eight in Western Kentucky. The program would continue to use coal severance tax dollars to provide grants to college juniors and seniors to help them finish their four year degrees.