Education

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.

Western Kentucky University is once again in wait-and-see mode.  The school has announced plans to trim its budget by an additional $16 million. 

State budget cuts and increased pension obligations have already forced the elimination of 119 positions to help make up for a $15 million budget shortfall.

Staff Regent Tamela Smith says the reductions have affected morale and placed more responsibilities on remaining employees.

"You've taken on more work, probably without any additional compensation. You're having to do more, and in some cases, learn new skills even," Smith told WKU Public Radio. "The people that remain, it's very hard on them for a variety of reasons. You can't not be concerned about your job at this point."

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.

Kyeland Jackson

Gov. Matt Bevin’s secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has resigned to accept an appointment to the state Board of Education.

Hal Heiner announced his resignation in a news release Monday. The Louisville businessman was one of Bevin’s GOP primary opponents in 2015. He has worked in the Bevin administration since December 2015.

Wikimedia Commons, Ichabod

Allen County schools will now have a school resource officer for each of its four schools after the Board of Education decided to hire two additional officers.

 

Previously Allen County schools had two resource officers, who were splitting their time between the schools. Assistant Superintendent of Operations Brian Carter said the district decided to add the new officers because of the recent school shootings at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky and Parkland, Florida.

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.


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.

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