Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway was in Washington today (Wednesday) announcing a settlement with a company he says was preying on military veterans. In the past few years, with wars raging overseas, Congress ramped up educational benefits for veterans. That caught the eye of for-profit colleges, according to Attorney General Conway. Conway announced that his office has reached a settlement with the website G-I Bill dot com for two point five million dollars. The website is owned by California-based QuinStreet Incorporated. Conway alleges the group knowingly misleads veterans.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is taking his fight against for-profit colleges to Washington D.C. Conway has scheduled a news conference with various members of the Obama Administration and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tom Harkin to reveal more about his investigations into the colleges. The main focus will be on deceptive practices some colleges use to to lure veterans to enroll.
Western Kentucky University’s Board of Regents passed a budget for fiscal year 2012-13 at a special meeting Friday. The $388.6 million budget includes a 4.8 percent tuition increase. WKU now has the third-highest tuition of Kentucky’s state universities, behind only the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
In an economy when jobs are scarce and money for college is even sparser, two-year colleges trump four-year universities in Kentucky when it comes to student success and affordability, according to the Leaders & Laggards report card on public postsecondary education, which was recently released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Every few years, the organization ranks education systems in each state, ranging from elementary schools to colleges, giving them letter grades similar to a school report card.
A U.S. Chamber of Commerce report rates Kentucky’s higher education system below the national average in cost versus benefit. The Institute for a Competitive Workforce put out its Leaders & Leggards report showing Kentucky’s four-year institutions cost more than the national median, but they have a lower graduation rate than other schools.
The newly named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering says his profession continues to broaden its scope. John Walz comes to UK from Virginia Polytechnic and State University where he headed chemical engineering. Walz takes over this fall for Tom Lester who is stepping down from the position he’s held since 1990. John Walz says chemical engineers used to be relegated to refineries and chemical plants. He says engineers reach into a lot of areas today.
Outrage over the University of Kentucky's decision to lay off one of its longest-serving and best-known black employees continues to ripple across Lexington and beyond. Chester Grundy, who started UK's first Black Student Union in 1969 and went on to found the Martin Luther King Cultural Center and direct it for more than 30 years, was laid off last week. As the news has filtered through cyberspace, his former students and fans are making their voices heard.
A week after the University of Kentucky laid off 1 percent of its employees, President Eli Capilouto called the cuts an unavoidable part of moving the university forward with goals to improve undergraduate education, build new classrooms and pay employees more. "We deeply regret — deeply regret — the loss of any jobs here, but we know and feel very confident that we have the workforce, the expertise and the excellence to provide a student the best education they can find anywhere," Capilouto said Wednesday in an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents has approved a 235 million dollar budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The operating budget amount is about one percent higher than a year ago. State appropriations for Eastern decreased six point four percent. The budget does not include an across the board salary increase for faculty and staff. It incorporates a five percent tuition increase for undergraduates in Kentucky.
After more than two years of planning, the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences is ready to implement a program that will allow UK students to take courses "linked" to international universities. Global Connections is targeted at students who are not able to study abroad.
After teaching high schoolers the ins and outs of government, history and economics for 27 years, state Rep. Derrick Graham has retired from Frankfort High School. Leaving his alma mater was a difficult decision, but Graham, 52, says he’ll be able to focus more on his increasing legislative duties as well as visit family who’ve moved away.
By Ivy Brashear, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Meaghan Dunn is a pretty typical high school senior. She plays intramural soccer, is preparing for college and even gets the occasional bout of laziness known as senioritis. But one visit with her in the microbiology lab on the campus of Western Kentucky University, where she’s studying bacteria, reveals she’s more than an average senior.
Some full-time University of Kentucky lecturers have received notice that they will be laid off at the end of the next school year, but officials say the cost-cutting move is a "contingency plan." Regulations require lecturers to get 12 months' notice that their jobs will end, so some deans have chosen to send letters that tell lecturers their contracts will end next spring, Assistant Provost Richard Greissman said.
Education Week’s annual report,Diploma’s Count, shows while Kentucky has made significant improvements in the number of students graduating over a ten-year period, the commonwealth still falls behind the national average. The big news announced this week: between 1999 and 2009 the graduation rate rose to 73.4 percent, which is the highest it has been since the late 1970s, according to the report.
The 7th annual conference of the International Town and Gown Association, took place at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky June 4 though 8, 2012. On June 6th, a group of about 20 attended a breakfast session for mayors, university presidents, city managers and other campus and municipal officials.
The majority of the state's public universities are not following the University of Kentucky's lead in laying off a large number of employees to balance the budget. UK announced this week that 140 employees will be laid off and 160 unfilled positions will be eliminated. But other public universities like Murray State, Eastern and Western Kentucky aren’t doing the same. Those schools are using hiring and pay freezes to deal with budget cuts from the state.
The Council on Postsecondary Education and the state’s public colleges and universities have launched KnowHow2Transfer.org, a statewide transfer website that provides Kentucky Community and Technical College students with a clear roadmap to transfer planning.
The University of Kentucky will lay off about 140 people in full and part-time positions across campus, losing roughly 1 percent of its workforce in the most severe budget cuts the flagship school has seen in recent memory. UK Spokesman Jay Blanton said another 120 vacant full-time staff positions and 44 vacant faculty positions will be eliminated, but no faculty will lose their jobs.
In college towns, locals are often in conflict with school officials and students. An organization dedicated to eliminating such conflict holds its annual conference this week at Eastern Kentucky University. Kim Griffo, who’s executive director of the International Town and Gown Association, sees a lot of friction between students and their neighbors.
Kentucky’s Council on Post Secondary Education will launch a website this week to help students who are transferring from community and technical colleges to four-year universities. “They would start at community colleges and then a good deal of their course work would not transfer toward the degree," said Rep. Carl Rollins, D-56. The called “Know How 2 Transfer” is a result of 2010 legislation, HB 160, sponsored by Rollins. The law creates better consistency among general education courses in community and technical colleges.
Two key components to a healthy lifestyle can be found in what we eat and how we exercise. The “eating” part of that formula is an issue at least three times a day. Vegetarian cooking has long been regarded as a step in the right direction. In some cultures, such culinary thinking goes back thousands of years. Suhasina Bhapkar and her assistant work under a mirror as they prepare a meal at the Fayette County Extension office… “A little, that’s a potato..add some mustard seed….it’s called peppery..in hindi..it’s called durkah,” said Bhapkar.
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.