Education

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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."

J. Tyler Franklin

The state’s finance secretary approved the University of Louisville’s request to spend $1.25 million more on legal expenses Thursday, reversing a legislative committee’s decision earlier this month.

The financial sign-off marks the latest step in the back and forth drama over the cost of U of L’s reforms.

Last week, the state government contract review committee denied U of L’s request to double its legal spending in the coming year, citing concerns about the millions of dollars they have already approved in the wake of financial scandals at U of L this year.

Rhonda J Miller

A new elementary school under construction in Warren County is the latest building in the school district designed to reduce, or eliminate, the cost of energy.  The energy program is even earning money for the district.

Construction equipment and work crews crisscross the site of the new Jennings Creek Elementary on Russellville Road in Warren County. The walls going up are made of material that’s dramatically cutting the cost of energy for Warren County Public Schools.

School District Energy Manager Jay Wilson says there’s no secret to reducing energy costs. It begins with the design of the building.

"It’s a combination of having energy efficiencies built into the building envelope, such as insulated concrete forms..."


Flickr/Creative Commons

Kentucky is launching a new initiative that will provide more students with computer science education classes from elementary to high school.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt announced the plan Tuesday at Glasgow High School. The initiative will develop state-based computer science standards, and create professional development opportunities to encourage teachers to attain computer science credentials.

Commissioner Pruitt thinks computer science learning opportunities need to be available to all Kentucky students.

Clinton Lewis

The new president of Western Kentucky University believes the school needs to get back to the basics.

In his first convocation to faculty and staff Friday morning, Timothy Caboni outlined the process of developing a new strategic plan for the university. 

The process will be led by a ten to 14-member steering committee, which Caboni will co-chair.  A faculty member will be announced in a few weeks to serve as the other co-chair.  Working groups will also be formed to focus on areas such as student success, diversity, research, and scholarships.

Kate Howard

The University of Louisville hit a stumbling block in its attempted turnaround Monday when a legislative committee rejected its plan to spend $1.25 million on outside lawyers.

Five of eight members of the government contract review committee rejected the school’s amended legal contract. The legislators cited the millions of dollars that have already been approved in the wake of a scathing forensic investigation of the nonprofit U of L Foundation.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville has filed its appeal of punishment handed down by the NCAA for violations committed to the men’s basketball program.

The penalties were imposed after an investigation into allegations that former staff member Andre McGee arranged stripper shows and sex parties for Cardinal players and recruits over a nearly four-year period.

Pixabay

The future of sex education for some classrooms across the country is up for debate as President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget allocates a majority of funding towards abstinence-centered programs. Abstinence education is already required in Kentucky schools, where many high school students will encounter it in their mandatory health class. There, the classroom experience can end up being very different for female students compared to their male counterparts.

Megan Durbin is a few years removed from her sex education class at Calloway County High School, but she remembers it like it was yesterday. As a freshman she and the other girls were in separate classroom as a guest lecturer passed around a rose, telling each girl to remove a petal.


J. Tyler Franklin

A small, exclusive group of University of Louisville trustees will decide whether to sue, settle, or take no action to recover money misspent at the U of L Foundation.

The board of trustees on Thursday created a special litigation committee empowered to “take any and all actions it deems appropriate” to recover an estimated $40-$100 million in endowment funds allegedly overspent by former officials.

It's a fall tradition: Students don college sweatshirts and their parents, meanwhile, sweat the tuition bills.

One flash-in-the-pan movie this summer even featured a couple, played by Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, who start a casino to cope with their kids' college costs.

Annual tuition hikes have been pretty much a given in higher ed, but recently, there are signs that the decades-long rise in college costs is nearing a peak.

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