Education

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The superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools says the pension proposal unveiled by Kentucky’s Republican leaders is "second-rate" compared to the current retirement system. 

Dr. Nick Brake applauds GOP leaders for not raising the retirement age to 65 for teachers, but fears that other reforms, if enacted, would make it harder for the state to attract quality educators.

Wikimedia Commons

The governing body of University of Louisville athletics has given Interim President Greg Postel the go-ahead to begin termination proceedings against men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The U of L Athletic Association unanimously approved the motion after meeting behind closed doors for about two hours Monday.

Pitino was placed on unpaid leave last week after he was implicated in a federal investigation into the alleged bribery of high school recruits.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday morning. Members are expected to hear about the federal corruption investigation into college basketball recruiting that includes the U of L men’s program.

The university last week acknowledged its involvement in the federal probe, placed men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave and placed athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave.

J. Tyler Franklin

University of Louisville’s interim president said he won’t allow “current events and distractions” to keep the school from moving forward as it navigates the latest scandal in a series of troubles.

Interim President Gregory Postel said the school is cooperating with federal prosecutors and the FBI as they investigate what he called a “dramatic story”— allegations that the school’s basketball program was involved in a bribery scandal that funneled money to the families of top basketball recruits.

warrencountyschools.org

An effort by a Warren County high school principal to help notify students about an upcoming deadline for  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, caused one parent to complain about 'profiling.'

It's one example of how schools are struggling to navigate the sensitive territory related to race and immigration.

Warren County Public Schools received a notice from the Migrant Legal Action Program asking them to remind students about the Oct. 5 deadline to apply to renew their DACA status. Without the approved status, they could be deported.

Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky’s education leaders say they are encouraged by some of the results from statewide assessments during the 2016-17 school year. 

However, achievement gaps among certain groups of students remain in many areas. 

According to data released Thursday from the Kentucky Department of Education, overall achievement increased slightly at the elementary and middle school levels, but was down somewhat among high schools.

Rick Howlett

If athletic director Tom Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino depart the University of Louisville amid the latest scandal allegations, it’s likely the public university will remain on the hook for hefty portions of their pay.

Both have earned tens of millions of dollars during their tenures at U of L. Pitino, whose salary last year was about $5 million, is reportedly one of the highest paid coaches in college hoops.

Wikimedia Commons

Federal investigators announced charges Tuesday in a wide-scale corruption scheme in college basketball.

Federal court documents implicate university and amateur coaches, officials with Adidas and sports money managers.

Court documents imply that the University of Louisville was part of the investigation, which includes a secretly recorded meeting in which one university coach allegedly discusses illegal payments to a recruit’s family.

U of L’s interim president, Gregory Postel, confirmed the school’s involvement in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Facebook Founder Visits Rural Kentucky Schools

Sep 26, 2017
Bruce Parsons

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in West Virginia and Kentucky over the weekend to see some innovative ways that schools are using new technology.

Zuckerberg has been traveling the country working on his New Year’s resolution to speak with people in every state. On Sunday, he met with educators and students from across Eastern Kentucky.

Students showed Zuckerberg a small mobile house, called a tiny home, that they built in a high school shop class. He also toured a drone assembly lab and took a moment to play a virtual reality video game with some students who designed it.

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The Hardin County School district is adjusting its spending habits in anticipation of budget cuts at the state level. The News-Enterprise reports it's in reaction to Gov. Matt Bevin telling state agencies to cut 17 percent from their budgets.

 

Hardin County schools are temporarily freezing spending for professional development. Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt doesn’t expect the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding to be affected. That funding makes up a large portion of the school’s revenue. State lawmakers haven’t increased SEEK funding in several years.

Henderson County Schools

Henderson County Schools have begun random drug testing of some students this academic year.

The random drug testing started this month at Henderson County High School, North Middle School and South Middle School. It applies to students in athletics and other extracurricular activities at those schools. Random drug testing is also for high school students who apply for a parking permit and anyone else opted in by their parents.

Megan Mortis is a spokeswoman for Henderson County Schools. She says the drug testing is confidential, with students identified by numbers.

“We are working with a private corporation that generates a random number of participants, 10 from the high school, three from North Middle and three from South Middle, that would be randomly selected every week. It is on random days and at random times.”

Warren County Regional Jail

An 18-year-old student at Bowling Green High School was arrested Thursday on charges of terroristic threatening.

According to the arrest record from the Bowling Green Police Department, Rosalio Grajeda confessed to being involved in a plan that “would have likely resulted in death or serious injury to students and teachers at the school. He acknowledged that there was a plot to cause harm and confessed to researching past school shootings.”

Police department spokesman Ronnie Ward said no weapons were found and no students or staff were injured.

Grajeda is in the Warren County Reginal Jail.

Bowling Green School Superintendent Gary Fields said in a letter made available to the media Thursday that students reported the potential threat to administrators at the high school.

Matt Markgraf

Murray State University President Bob Davies said he hopes for a bipartisan Congressional effort to find a long-term solution for DACA recipients working towards university degrees and contributing to society.

DACA is the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for people known as "DREAMers" who entered the country illegally as children. The Trump administration announced this week it will end DACA and will work with Congress to address immigration issues.

Western Kentucky University is reacting to President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend the DACA program which has given undocumented students temporary protection from deportation since 2012. 

In many cases, DACA or Deffered Action on Childhood Arrivals, has given young immigrants known as Dreamers the opportunity to pursue a college education.

Kentucky’s public universities are debating whether to break off from the state’s troubled retirement system and create a pension plan of their own. 

New Western Kentucky University President Timothy Caboni says it’s an idea that has to be considered.   He told WKU Public Radio that pension obligations are consuming an increasing amount of money from university budgets. 

"One of the things I've learned in the last few months is how much of a cost driver pensions are for WKU," stated Caboni.  "In one of our pension systems, the university's contribution in the past decade has gone from eight percent of an employee's salary to 48 percent."

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