Education

Rhonda J. Miller

A $1 million grant awarded to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet is aimed at increasing the amount of registered apprenticeships throughout the state.

The purpose of this new funding is to help the state establish relationships with third-party organizations and connect apprentices with employers. The grant will also allow the Labor Cabinet to compensate businesses for expenses related to the required training and diversify the pool of apprentices in Kentucky.

WKU

The longest-serving professor at Western Kentucky University has passed away.

Mary Ellen Miller taught English at the school for 54 years. She died over the weekend in Bowling Green at the age of 83.

She had been recuperating at Greenwood Rehabilitation Center after suffering a fall.

A post on the WKU English Department’s Facebook page said Miller’s death “is an enormous loss for the English Department, WKU, our region, and the arts community”.

Fons Cervera

The new leader of the Kentucky Department of Education laid out his priorities on Wednesday, including the creation of charter schools, improving student achievement and taking over Louisville’s public school system.

Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis started his job in late April after the previous commissioner was forced out during a leadership shakeup.

Lewis said that the state shouldn’t award high school diplomas to students who can’t read at an eighth grade level.

Creative Commons

The board that governs higher education in Kentucky is considering a proposal to change the minimum guidelines for admission to public colleges and universities. 

For students wanting to enter a state-supported, four-year institution, they would need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, although schools would be allowed to set higher admission standards. 

CPE President Bob King says students with a lower GPA could be still be accepted, but they would have to enter into a learning contract with the college that would include a number of support services such as remedial classes and mentoring.

Western Kentucky University

The estate of a longtime Western Kentucky University supporter is pledging a $10 million endowment for student scholarships.

Annual investment earnings from the endowment will be added to the Jerry E. Baker Student Scholarship Fund, which was initially created by a direct bequest by Baker, who passed away last June.

Baker was a businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum in Warren County.

The new scholarship fund will provide support to WKU students who major or minor in music, dance, theatre, art, or horticulture.

WKU

The Western Kentucky University Finance and Budget Committee has agreed to send the full Board of Regents a proposed spending plan that increases student tuition and fees, as well as employee salaries.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 would increase undergraduate tuition by four-percent, and add $50 to the online course fee assessed to full-time students.

Kentucky Law Enforcement Magazine

Kentucky’s new Commissioner for the Department of Criminal Justice Training says he’s focused on preparing new and future law enforcement officers to safely deal with the opioid crisis. Payne said officers have to be careful when handling drugs such as fentanyl because they can become ill if their skin comes in contact with the substance.

“Nowadays that mistake can kill you because of things like fentanyl. So there’s all kinds of dangers, new dangers, because of drugs that we have to prepare these young people for and that’s sad,” he said.

Ryland Barton

Louisville’s practice of busing students around the city to try and create more diverse schools is under fire again as Kentucky education officials consider whether to take over management of the district.

Jefferson County Public Schools’ Student Assignment Plan lets students apply to groups of schools based on their address. In a massive state audit of JCPS released last week, interim education commissioner Wayne Lewis said the Student Assignment Plan negatively impacts minority students and that it “serves some, but not all students.”

Rhonda J. Miller

The president of Western Kentucky University unveiled phase two of the school’s budget cuts on Thursday. WKU President Timothy Caboni says this second round of cuts will result in $14 million in savings. The two rounds of budget cuts amount to $27 million.

The second round of cuts includes 10 filled staff positions and the elimination of 20 vacant positions. Of those 20, 12 are faculty and eight are staff.  The specific positions will be announced in about week, after employees are notified.

WKU

Western Kentucky University has named a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Terry Ballman will begin August 1, succeeding David Lee, who is retiring. 

Ballman is currently Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University in San Bernardino. 

“I was drawn to the mission of WKU as a student-centered applied research university that prepares students of all backgrounds to succeed in a global society,” Dr. Ballman said in a news release. “After visiting WKU’s beautiful campus, and meeting with dedicated faculty, staff and students, I was even more intrigued with the opportunity to serve.”

education.ky.gov

Kentucky’s interim commissioner of education has released an audit recommending that the state take over Louisville’s public school system.

The state board of education will have final say on whether to approve interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ request.

In a summary of the audit’s findings, Lewis said that the district has “deep-seated organization and cultural challenges.”

“The current state of JCPS is not the fault of any one leader or group. Instead, under the leadership of many and over a long period of time, serious challenges emerged and in many cases were permitted to fester,” Lewis wrote.

WKU Public Affairs

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education has approved tuition and fee ceilings that limit the amount public colleges and universities can charge in-state, under-graduate students. 

The CPE capped tuition increases at six percent over the next two academic years for the state's comprehensive and research universities.  Schools would not be allowed to raise tuition more than four percent in any one year.

For the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, tuition hikes will be limited to $12 per credit hour, with an $8 per credit hour maximum allowed per year.

As the wave of teacher walkouts moves to Arizona and Colorado this week, an NPR/Ipsos poll shows strong support among Americans for improving teachers' pay and for their right to strike.

WKU SGA

The president of the Student Government Association at Western Kentucky University says she’s lost confidence in the school’s administrators. 

After months of distress, Andi Dahmer is going public with allegations that some fellow SGA members have harassed and threatened her safety, and claims the university has done little to remedy the threats. 

The College Heights Herald first reported that Dahmer has been the target of harassment since the fall semester.  Dahmer says she’s done nothing to warrant the treatment, but thinks her political views may have contributed to the tensions.

Keaton Connor

Students at Marshall County High School participated in a statewide moment of silence this morning, to remember the lives of Bailey Holt and Preston Cope--two 15-year-old students who lost their lives to a shooter at the school January 23rd.

Marshall County High School junior Keaton Conner stood silently alongside other students and teachers as they circled the school to honor classmates who lost their lives only three months ago.

“It's a great way for us all to be together and to remember them and to remember what happened that day in a peaceful and respectful manner," Conner said.

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