Kentucky Public Radio

Reports from public radio stations in Kentucky.  

Public schools across Kentucky will be scored on a scale of 1-100 under the new Unbridled Learning Accountability data to be released on Friday. The top 90 percent of schools will be labeled Distinguished; Proficient for schools in the 70-89th percentile, and Needs Improvement for the remaining schools.

The Governor's Commission on Tax Reform will likely miss a November 15th deadline. Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson chairs the panel and says progress is being made, but more discussion is needed to finalize a report. 

The early snowfall is compliments of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. In Pike County, it's a first for the school system's personnel director Ralph Kilgore.

Even before the full impact of Hurricane Sandy is known, some Kentucky volunteers are on their way to lend a hand. The Bluegrass Chapter of the Red Cross has sent out six trained responders. Two of them are helping out in New York, one in New Jersey, and two others are being positioned in West Virginia.

The first shipment in a huge deal to export coal to India hasn’t yet left Appalachia. The deal was announced in August: Kentucky-based Booth Energy agreed to send up to nine million tons of coal a year to India for 25 years, at an estimated value of $7 billion. The first shipment was supposed to be on its way by the end of September.

For the first time, the state has official figures on how much money Kentuckians bet online or over the phone on horse races that take place in the commonwealth. State Senator Damon Thayer says about $47 million was wagered in the first half of the year.

Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says the state's four-year-old fuel and pesticide testing lab has not lived up to its initial billing. James Comer told members of the state's interim joint committee on agriculture that his predecessor, Richie Farmer, sold the fuel lab as a great investment and moneymaker for the commonwealth.

A public figure with extensive state and local government experience is among those people who will help Eastern Kentucky University find a new president. EKU President Doug Whitlock announced in August he would retire next summer.

A spokesman for Kentucky Senate President David Williams says Williams would consider a judicial appointment if Governor Steve Beshear offered the position. Williams and Beshear are bitter rivals. And rumors have been swirling in Frankfort that Beshear is planning to offer Williams an open circuit court seat in his southern Kentucky district. Williams is a trial lawyer by trade.

While the high cost of gas hurts most consumers, Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says farmers are especially hard-hit. James Comer says fuel costs impact every part of food production, leaving farmers with little recourse when gas prices spike.

Some state lawmakers are blasting a proposed change to how Kentucky students with disabilities are tested under the statewide assessment and accountability system. The Kentucky Board of Education has proposed limiting the assistance given to disabled students when they take the new exams later this academic year.

Twenty-nine Kentucky school districts plan to apply for a new round of Race to the Top grants. The U.S. Department of Education will dole out $400 million to districts this December. The DOE wants recipients to use the money to personalize student learning.

This fall marks the 150th anniversary of Kentucky’s largest Civil War battle. To honor that event, planning is well underway for the October re-enactment of the Battle of Perryville.

Coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia will send millions of tons of coal to India, under the terms of a 25-year contract that was signed Wednesday. The deal is being hailed as a sign of hope in the coal export market.

During a Wednesday morning meeting with faculty and staff at Eastern Kentucky University, President Doug Whitlock announced his retirement.  Whitlock, who has spent his entire higher education career at EKU, says his administration will end at the conclusion of this academic year.