The president of the Kentucky Board of Education says new academic standards for science education in public schools include material on evolution that has been in place since 2006.
David Karem says Kentucky worked with 26 other states on the scientific standards, which were approved Wednesday by the state Board of Education on a 9-0 vote.
Karem told WKU Public Radio Thursday that the evolution teachings will more closely align Kentucky's curriculum with entry-level college requirements. And he says it's in no way an effort to step on anybody's religious beliefs.
"I think the point is that there is no intent in the scientific standards that are being adopted that go into a person's religious beliefs or interfere with them in any way," said Karem.
The President of Kentuckians for Science Education, Robert Bevins, said climate change and evolution may be politically controversial for some people, but they aren't scientifically controversial.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education voted Thursday to cap tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students at the state’s public schools at three percent. It’s the smallest average tuition hike for Kentucky’s public institutions in 15 years.
WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to the CPE at its meeting at Lindsey Wilson College, and asked for a five percent increase for WKU.
In an email to faculty and staff Thursday afternoon, Dr. Ransdell said WKU will have to endure a budget cut due to the smaller-than-hoped-for tuition increase.
"A five percent increase would have given us a balanced budget for next year with no cuts," the WKU President wrote. "This CPE action, however, means that we have budget work to do before taking a balanced budget to our Board of Regents in June."
"We will take this in stride as we have done for the last several years. I have asked the Vice Presidents to begin making recommendations as we begin budget reduction conversations on Monday. Every effort will be made to protect as many jobs as possible and to act in the best interest of our students and employees. I will be back in touch in due course as options take shape. "
CPE President Bob King said the board felt that tuition increases should be kept "as minimal as possible" given the "challenging economic environment" that students are facing.