The federal fiscal cliff was averted, but an agreement that delayed decisions about major spending cuts until late February has Kentucky school officials worried about potential layoffs and lost services for needy students. If Congress doesn't reach a compromise on the scheduled spending cuts, Kentucky's 174 school districts will lose $61 million a year in federal support during the next decade, according to numbers generated by the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Many of Kentucky's gains in K-12 education during the past 20 years could be erased, said Stu Silberman, director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a Lexington-based non-profit.
New security plans couldn’t be implemented at a better time in Hardin County Schools, as school safety becomes a top concern across the nation. HCS is adding extra security measures at some of its schools to ensure everyone in the building was allowed to enter by school personnel. The district is installing cameras at the front doors and buzz-in systems, which force visitors to ask for entrance into the buildings and to show an I.D.
By Bill Estep & Jim Warren & Lexington Herald-Leader
Many Kentucky school officials reviewed and strengthened their security policies on Monday in light of last week's school shooting in Connecticut, even as a false rumor about possible violence frightened hundreds at Lexington's Henry Clay High School. School safety experts had predicted that rumors would be a problem at schools this week in the wake of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and eight adults dead.
The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommitee approved the Kentucky Department of Education’s new restraint and seclusion policy proposal Monday. Kentucky is one of several states that don’t have a state law governing restraint and seclusion in schools so it's up to KDE to set that policy. The changes would increase training and parent communication and allow restraint and seclusion of misbehaving students in cases of imminent threats.
With the funerals underway of 26 shooting victims in Connecticut, Kentuckians have joined the nation in grief. Many are also seeking an end to gun violence. For Richard Mitchell with the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice says a priority is removing semi-automatic weapons from the hands of young people. Mitchell says more American students must learn how to resolve differences without violence.
The Kentucky Department of Education’s new restraint and seclusion policy proposal is in the final stages of approval this week and will go before the state’s Administrative Regulatory Review Committee Monday. Kentucky is one of several states that don’t have a law regulating restraint and seclusion for misbehaving students. Instead, the Kentucky Board of Education sets the governing policies, but the department has acknowledged changes to the regulations are needed.
The overall academic success of preschoolers is increasingly tied to social and emotional preparation. Under the current assessment process, the director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, says there are no good measurements. Terry Tolan says simply emphasizing language, reading, and motor skills isn’t enough.
The Bank of Kentucky has committed the first-ever million-dollar donation to Gateway Community & Technical College. The $1 million donation to Gateway’s affiliated foundation will go to help develop Gateway’s Urban Campus in Covington. The college and the foundation already are spending up to $17 million on the campus, which eventually will spread over about six square blocks in Covington.
A University of Kentucky police officer has been fired for inappropriate contact with a student after entering the student's dorm room. Officer David Thompson was terminated Wednesday after the Saturday evening incident at Haggin Hall, according to a statement by UK Police Chief Joe Monroe. The incident was investigated by the police department, and "the officer, as a result, was in violation of a number of university employment policies," Monroe said.
Kentucky Protection and Advocacy has asked the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence to include special education information for participants in next year’s parent leadership institutes. KPA is a federally mandated state agency that protects persons with disabilities. KPA attorney Leslie Jones says the agency spends a lot of time working with students.
Summer camps are nothing new, but some of Kentucky’s most enterprising youth are applying to be chosen for a spot in the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs. The school, to be held June 9-29 at Georgetown College, is a residential summer camp where high school students work in teams, expand on their ideas and create business models for their projects. It is patterned after Kentucky Governor’s Scholars and the Governor’s School for the Arts, according to the governor’s office.
The State Board of Education has acted to take over operation of the Breathitt County school district. The board Wednesday also moved to implement state assistance in the Monticello Independent school district. In November, the Department of Education completed a management audit of the Breathitt County schools. The findings indicated a significant lack of efficiency and effectiveness in the district’s management and governance.
Midway College this morning greeted its new president. A little rain didn’t dampen the fanfare for Doctor John Marsden. Members of the Midway College community lined what’s called the ‘Path of Opportunity’ which links the campus to the city of Midway. Accompanied by bag pipes and professors dressed in their academic gowns, Marsden and his wife Margaret proceeded along the path to a podium at Pinkerton Hall.
A former high-ranking researcher at the University of Kentucky has been penalized by federal investigators in a scientific misconduct case that spanned a decade and included allegations that he falsified data in at least 10 papers and numerous grant applications. Eric J. Smart, who was an associate professor and vice-chairman of the UK Department of Pediatrics and the Barnstable-Brown Chair in Diabetes Research, resigned from UK in May. He now teaches at Bourbon County High School.
As the number of immigrants coming to central Kentucky grows, the demand for English lessons also increases. But, there are not enough instructors here who can teach English-as-a-Second-Language classes. Lexington’s Multicultural Affairs Coordinator Isabel Taylor says ‘the numbers’ tell a big part of the story. Taylor says data gathered from the Fayette County School System shows about 15 hundred non-English speaking children were enrolled in 2005. By last spring, she says that number had almost tripled.
Credit Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Hidrafil
Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday he’ll make a concerted effort to support the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership offered by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Prichard has hosted the program for several years, educating and mentoring hundreds of parents to become involved in their child’s education.
Martha Raddatz, ABC News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent and moderator of the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate at Centre, will be the featured speaker at Centre’s 190th Commencement Ceremony on May 19. Raddatz has held her current role at ABC since 2008. Previously, she acted as the network’s State Department and senior national security correspondent. She and others at ABC News were recognized for their coverage of Sept. 11, 2001, with a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award.
In its campaign against hazing, Eastern Kentucky University expects student clubs to police themselves. The E-K-U Men’s Rugby Club was suspended Thursday night for freshmen initiations that included a paddle. The club cannot practice, play games, or even meet until August of 20-14. Eastern Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Reagle says the university does not have enough staff to closely monitor such organizations.
The search for a new president at Eastern Kentucky University begins in earnest this week. Members of the E-K-U community can offer their thoughts on the skills needed in the next president. Consultants hired to help with the search will be in Richmond the next two days to hear from administrators, faculty, students, and citizens. An open community forum is tonight on the Richmond campus. Presidential Search and Screening Committee Chair Craig Turner says public comments will be part of the mix
A Pre-Halloween snowfall in eastern Kentucky has kept thousands of school children home. The snow comes as a spinoff to Hurricane Sandy. In Pike County, where classes were canceled Tuesday, Personnel Director Ralph Kilgore says an October snow day is highly unusual. “I can remember when I was a young man in school, we had snow and we were practicing football in the snow, but that was back in the 60’s. That’s been a long time. Since I’ve been in the school system, I cannot remember calling school off in October, for snow,” said Kilgore.
Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen will continue to do special audits of school districts, after three turned up a variety of issues. Reviewing education funding was one of Edelen's campaign promises last year. And so far, he’s made good by auditing Kenton, Mason and Breathitt County school districts. Those reports found poor documentation of funds and occasional misspending. Edelen told lawmakers today he’ll continue doing the special audits to help school boards learn to keep tighter controls on their finances.
Eastern Kentucky University officials are looking into an allegation of hazing. The claim was filed against the men’s Rugby Club. E-K-U Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Reagle says officials are still trying to determine what happened. “We have an allegation. That is correct. We don’t know what has happened until we talk to students who happened to be there. But, there is an allegation that someone has made and that’s what we’re investigating at this point.” Said Reagle.