education

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to accept the resignation of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.

Wayne Lewis was named the interim commissioner with a salary of $150,000.

Pruitt has been commissioner since September 2015. Bevin said Tuesday before the board's vote he was unhappy with the state's recent decline in test scores but said the decision to keep Pruitt was up to the board.

Kara Lofton, WVPB

When Oklahoma teacher Sally Salmons saw momentum building toward teacher protests in her state, she immediately reached out to family ties and educators in West Virginia. She said teacher walkouts in the Mountain State provided her and colleagues across the state with the courage they needed to take a stand.

“We looked at West Virginia and said, ‘Now’s the time to get on it.’ I think it gave us confidence to really, finally cross that line,” she said.


J. Tyler Franklin

As one of its final acts of this year’s legislative session, the Republican-led Kentucky House of Representatives passed a resolution formally condemning Gov. Matt Bevin for saying that teachers neglected students by attending protests in Frankfort on Friday, leading to child abuse.

The reprimand came after Democrats and several Republican statehouse leaders demanded an apology from Bevin for the remarks.

Ryland Barton

After thousands of teachers traveled to Frankfort on Friday to protest, Gov. Matt Bevin said that somewhere in Kentucky children were sexually assaulted or ingested poison because they were left unattended.

Bevin made the comments to several reporters early Friday evening, hours after the Republican-led legislature overrode his vetoes of the state budget and tax reform bills amid noisy protests from teachers.

Patrice McCrary Facebook

A Warren County teacher is joining thousands of her colleagues from across Kentucky at the state Capitol Friday.  Busloads of educators arrived in Frankfort to continue their activism, exercised many times throughout this year's General Assembly.

Lawmakers increased funding for K-12 education and restored cuts to school bus transportation in the next state budget.  Governor Bevin vetoed the spending plan, and educators will rally in hopes of convincing lawmakers to override the governor’s veto.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Teachers from across Kentucky are planning to travel to Frankfort on Friday to rally for better funding for schools. Educators are protesting Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of bills that impact schools and communities.

Some school districts are closing so teachers can attend the Frankfort rally on April 13 while others, like Bowling Green, are holding regular classes and sending delegations of teachers.

Becca Schimmel

Students and university employees gathered on Western Kentucky University’s campus Thursday at a rally for higher education funding. The event was intended to bring attention to budget cuts, pension increases and faculty and staff reductions.

Governor Matt Bevin recently signed a new pension bill into law that will preserve most benefits for current and retired teachers but moves new hires into a hybrid plan that puts less risk on the state. Jeremy McFarland is a senior at WKU and was registering people to vote at the rally.

Teachers in Arizona are staging what they're calling a walk-in today. They're asking lawmakers for a 20 percent pay raise and for school funding to return to pre-recession levels. This comes as teachers in Oklahoma continue their walk-out. After more than a week of protests and dozens of closed schools across the state, Oklahoma lawmakers have already agreed to increase teacher pay and school funding.

Kentucky Teachers Plan Another Rally for Education Funding

Apr 11, 2018
Ryland Barton

Kentucky teachers who rallied last week at the state Capitol to support education funding plan to be there again Friday when state lawmakers reconvene to consider overriding the Republican governor's veto of budget and revenue measures.

The Kentucky Association of School Superintendents has encouraged local school leaders statewide to send delegations to the rally in Frankfort, said Tom Shelton, the group's executive director. Shelton acknowledged Tuesday that "closing school may be necessary if they have too many staff absent, but that is a local decision."

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin says it would be “irresponsible” for teachers in Kentucky to strike a week after thousands of educators descended on Frankfort to protest pension and education cuts.

Though state law doesn’t allow teachers to strike in Kentucky, the Jefferson County Teachers Association has called for educators to take a personal day on Friday to protest Bevin’s vetoes to the budget and tax reform bills passed by the legislature.

Flickr/Creative Commons/John Bratseth

A new private preschool catering to special-needs children is opening in Owensboro.

The 30-week program will accept children with and without special-needs.

 

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Play Smart Preschool is the third private special-education preschool in the state, with the other two in Frankfort and Louisville. The maximum class size will be 18 students.

Roxanne Scott

Dan Brennan has a hunch why some public service workers — like public school teachers — aren’t paid well.

“People could call it a calling and say ‘because it’s a calling, we don’t have to pay you that well,’” Brennan, a music teacher from Eastern Kentucky, said. “We don’t have to compensate you that well …you’d do it anyway.”

Brennan was one of the thousands who came to the Capitol on Monday to protest cuts to education funding as well as a change to the state’s pension system. Last Thursday night, lawmakers passed a last-minute pension overhaul. It would cap the amount of sick days that teachers could use towards retirement.

Creative Commons

The opening of charter schools in Kentucky could be delayed if a two-year budget passed this week by the General Assembly is signed by Governor Bevin.

The spending plan contains no funding for charters, which operate with greater independence than traditional schools and with a different level of accountability. 

Lawmakers approved the creation of charter schools in last year’s legislative session.  The state then began accepting applications with a goal of having some of the alternative public schools operating by this fall.

Ryland Barton

Thousands of Kentucky teachers filled the streets near the state Capitol in Frankfurt on Monday to rally for education funding.

Teachers and other school employees gathered outside the Kentucky Education Association a couple of blocks from the Capitol chanting "Stop the war on public education" and holding or posting signs that say "We've Had Enough."

"We're madder than hornets, and the hornets are swarming today," said Claudette Green, a retired teacher and principal.

Kentucky Districts Call Off Classes Due to Teacher Absences

Mar 30, 2018
Ryland Barton

Schools in several of Kentucky's largest counties were forced to close Friday when teachers angered by the abrupt passage of a pension overhaul refused to go to work.

The state's two largest districts in Louisville and Lexington were among at least eight school districts that closed schools due to widespread employee absences.

"A lot of sick days are going to be used today," said Patricia Lea Collins, the Head Start and preschool director for the Pike County school system, where schools were closed Friday.

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