The Warren County Board of Education will meet in special session Tuesday night to decide on a new superintendent.
The three finalists are Allen Barber, a Warren Central High School graduate who currently works in school administration in Eagle Point, Oregon. Rob Clayton is a middle school principal in Oldham County, Kentucky, and Dr. Franzy Fleck is a superintendent in Burbank, Illinois.
The new superintendent of Warren County public schools will take over for Tim Murley who retired earlier this year.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents held its quarterly meeting Friday at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Cumberland campus.
The board approved a $928,704,000 budget, which includes a tuition hike for students and a salary increase for faculty and staff for the 2013-14 academic year.
The budget includes a 2.86 percent increase in tuition for in-state students. Tuition will rise from $140 per credit hour to $144.
“KCTCS remains committed to providing Kentuckians with a quality education that is both affordable and convenient,” said Board Chairman P.G. Peeples. “Our statewide system of 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses continues to be the best postsecondary education value in the state.”
The board also adopted KCTCS President Michael B. McCall’s recommendations for a two percent salary increase for full-time faculty and staff. The two percent or $1,000 (whichever is larger) salary increase will apply to faculty and staff who receive favorable performance evaluations.
A national report shows Kentucky double digit gains in the last decade in the number of high school graduates.
The Commonwealth’s graduation rate moved from 63% for the class of 2000 to 77% for the class of 2010. The increase of 13.5 points makes Kentucky the third most improved among all states.
The data is reported in a special issue of Education Week, a national publication that focuses on P-12 education. The report called “Diploma Counts” finds the upward trend in the graduation rate continues to be driven by improvements among minority students.
“While we have shown drastic improvement in the graduation rate, we still have a long way to go,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Our goal is that every student not only graduates from high school, but also graduates ready for college and career.”
The report indicates more than 11,000 students in the class of 2013 will fail to earn a diploma. That translates into 64 students dropping out each day. Dr. Holliday is optimistic that a new state law will help keep students in school by raising the dropout age from 16 to 18.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Board of Regents meets this week to consider tuition rates for the next academic year. The board will vote on a recommendation to raise tuition 2.8% for the 2013-14 school year.
The Council on Postsecondary Education has authority to determine tuition rates for Kentucky’s state-supported universities and the KCTCS. At its April meeting, the CPE set a tuition parameter of three-percent for all schools.
Under the $2.8% hike, in-state students would pay $144 per credit hour. Out-of-state students from contiguous counties would pay $288 while other out-of-state students would be charged $504 per credit hour.
The Board of Regents is expected to approve the tuition increase at its meeting Friday at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland.
The president of the Kentucky Board of Education says new academic standards for science education in public schools include material on evolution that has been in place since 2006.
David Karem says Kentucky worked with 26 other states on the scientific standards, which were approved Wednesday by the state Board of Education on a 9-0 vote.
Karem told WKU Public Radio Thursday that the evolution teachings will more closely align Kentucky's curriculum with entry-level college requirements. And he says it's in no way an effort to step on anybody's religious beliefs.
"I think the point is that there is no intent in the scientific standards that are being adopted that go into a person's religious beliefs or interfere with them in any way," said Karem.
The President of Kentuckians for Science Education, Robert Bevins, said climate change and evolution may be politically controversial for some people, but they aren't scientifically controversial.
Ohio State University President Gordon Gee is retiring following the revelation of recorded remarks in which he criticized Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, and the Southeastern Conference.
The university announced Tuesday that Gee is retiring as of July 1.
Gee made the joking remarks to the university's Athletic Council in December, during an update on Big Ten expansion. The recorded comments were obtained by The Associated Press, which published a story about them last week.
Gee also questioned the academic integrity of schools in the Southeastern Conference and the University of Louisville. He said Big Ten presidents would never agree to admit Louisville or Kentucky.
Trustees had called Gee's remarks unacceptable and placed him on a remediation plan after learning of the comments earlier this year.
Gee has been a successful college president but also prone to verbal gaffes, once calling Ohio's governor a "dummy" and likening the job of running a university to the Polish Army.
Without congressional action, interest rates on federal student loans will double starting July 1.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says the GOP and Democrats agree that interest rate decisions should be taken out of the hands of politicians, and that interest rates should be based on economic factors. However, disagreements remain over specifics, like how fast and high the rates could rise.
On the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell said young Americans already have enough to worry about without Washington creating more problems for them.
"The youth unemployment rate for 20 to 24 year olds is over 13 percent," asserted McConnell. "In Kentucky, it’s more than 14 percent. And once many students graduate college, they face a highly uncertain future."
Rates on all federally-backed student loans are set to jump from 3.4% to 6.8% next month.
Under a Democratic proposal, interest rates would be left alone for two years as Congress works on permanent reform. The extension would be funded through the elimination of some tax breaks.
Republicans have put forward a bill that would employ a variable market rate, like a mortgage, that doesn't change over the life of an individual student's loan.
Warren County parents and teachers will have the chance Monday night to hear from the three men vying to be the next schools superintendent. A public forum will start at 7 p.m. at Greenwood High School.
Allen Barber is a Warren Central High School graduate and currently works in school administration in Eagle Point, Oregon. Rob Clayton is a middle school principal in Oldham County, Kentucky, and Dr. Franzy Fleck is a superintendent in Burbank, Illinois.
Community Relations Coordinator Don Sergent says the next chief of schools in Warren County will face a couple of challenges.
"We're a growing district and a very diverse district, so they're probably looking for someone who can handle the issues that arise out of that growth, which a lot of times means building, and we've done a lot of that, and then the diversity dealing with ESL, the English as a Second Language population," explains Sergent.
The Warren County Board of Education will hold interviews with the finalists later this week, and a new superintendent will be named by June 21.
State Rep. Derrick Graham has been named the new chairman of the state House Education committee, Democratic leaders announced today.
Graham is a Frankfort native who recently retired as a social studies teacher at Frankfort High School. He is a well-known education advocate and previously chaired a budget subcommittee on education.
“I want to congratulate Derrick, my friend and colleague, on his appointment as the House Education Committee’s newest chairman,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a statement. “He has dedicated his life to education and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities Kentucky faces academically."
Five House members of the Democratic majority have applied for the open chairmanship, the news release said.
Eastern Kentucky University says it's giving the buyouts to 127 workers who applied for them and were accepted.
The school's executive director of human resources, Gary Barksdale, says most people who chose the buyout are rank-and-file staff workers. The program was not made available to faculty or vice presidents.
Buyout packages were calculated based on an employee's years of service. They include a $1,500 payment for health insurance costs.