Education

Education
8:25 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Henderson County Schools Looking at New Security Systems

A western Kentucky school district is expected to hear proposals for installing new audio/video secure entry systems throughout the district.

The Henderson County Board of Education is taking up the idea at its meeting Tuesday evening.

The Gleaner reports South Western Communications of Evansville, Ind., gave the board a price of $39,760 to cover installation of 14 systems at 13 locations. The system offers color video of the person wishing to gain entry into a facility along with two-way audio communication for positive identification before entry is allowed, according to the proposal description.

The only district school to have a buzzer security system is the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center, which opened in August.

Education
5:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Southern Kentucky School Districts Consider Merger

The Monticello Independent and Wayne County school boards both meet Monday night to consider a merger proposal.  The state board of education rescued the Monticello school system in February by lending it a million dollars to keep its three schools open until the end of the academic year.  The state then assumed financial management of the district.  Associate Education Commissioner Kevin Brown says merger is the only viable solution at this point.

"There's no scenario that exists that would give Monticello Independent enough revenue to meet that shortfall for next year," explains Brown.  "Because of declining attendance in the district and other reasons, the writing just basically on the wall that it's not able to survive."

Under the state takeover, Jim Hamm was appointed to manage Monticello schools and he told WKU Public Radio on Friday the city and county school districts were very close to a merger agreement.  If the local boards fail to reach an agreement, the state can force merger under current law.

Education
1:41 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Three Finalists Named for Superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools

Owensboro High School

Three finalists have been named for superintendent of Owensboro public schools. The Messenger-Inquirer reports the finalists are county school administrator Mark Owens, economic development leader Nick Brake, and Oldham County principal Rob Clayton.

The three were chosen from a pool of 16 applicants.

The new superintendent will be selected in early May to replace Larry Vick, who is retiring.

Education
4:14 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Kentucky School Boards Offered Financial Incentive to Increase Dropout Age

Kentucky education commissioner Terry Holliday says the first 57 school districts that raise their dropout age from 16 to 18 will be given a $10,000 state grant.

Holliday made the announcement Wednesday during a state Board of Education meeting in Frankfort. Just before the announcement, board members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution urging Kentucky's 174 school districts to raise the dropout age as soon as possible.

The board has for years been urging state lawmakers to raise Kentucky's legal dropout age to 18.

A compromise reached during this year's legislative session allows local districts to make their own decision on raising the age, but with a provision that once 55 percent of districts have done so, the change will be made statewide within four years.

Education
12:25 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Report: WKU Provost Candidate for Same Job at University of Alabama

WKU Provost Gordon Emslie
Credit WKU

The WKU Herald reports that WKU Provost Gordon Emslie is a candidate for the same position at the University of Alabama.

Emslie previously worked at the University of Alabama-Hunstville. Emslie took the WKU Provost position July 1, 2010.

The Herald report says Emslie refused to comment about his candidacy, but WKU President Gary Ransdell told the paper Emslie informed him of his interest in the Alabama job last week.

Education
9:32 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Effort to Place Armed Guards in Tennessee Schools Moving Through Legislature

A proposal meant to put more armed guards in Tennessee schools has begun moving forward in the General Assembly. It offers money for schools to hire retired police officers and allows teachers with law enforcement backgrounds to carry a gun to class.

Whether a retired officer hired part-time as a security guard or a teacher already on the payroll, both would have to go through at least 40 hours of special training.

The legislation has the backing of Governor Bill Haslam and has trumped other proposals aimed at more broadly allowing teachers to go armed to class.

Some Republicans still want to mandate armed guards in every school, but others say the only reason they support this bill is because it doesn’t. Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville says schools aren’t as dangerous as they’re made out to be.

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Education
9:34 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Lawmakers Reject Bill Allowing Private Firms to Operate Tennessee For-Profit Schools

For-profit charter schools have been trying to make inroads in Tennessee. But a bill allowing investor-owned firms to manage day-to-day operations has been rejected in the Senate Education Committee.

The Volunteer State has required charter schools to be run by non-profits, even though the legislature has been friendly to for-profits in other fields such as virtual education.

Republican Joey Hensley of Hohenwald says the state is already moving to increase the number of charter schools.

“Then turning around and opening it up to for-profit companies to begin coming in, I don’t know if it’s good or bad but it’s a little bit concerning to me,” said Hensley.

The bill failed, with most of the committee’s GOP members refusing to vote.

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Education
6:49 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Glasgow City Council Passes Resolution Pledging Support for WKU Expansion

The WKU-Glasgow campus
Credit glasgow-ky.com

The Glasgow City Council has unanimously passed a resolution pledging the city's support for an expansion of the WKU-Glasgow campus.

Glasgow mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman says the resolution passed at Monday night's meeting offers the city's bonding authority to help fund a building expansion at the school's regional campus in Barren County.

WKU President Gary Ransdell has talked repeatedly in recent weeks about the need for the school to find alternative revenue streams in order to pay for major projects, in light of declining state aid for higher education.

WKU-Glasgow administrators say they need more classrooms, office space, and food services.

Education
10:44 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kentucky's Largest School System May be First to Raise Dropout Age

Jefferson County Schools could be the first in the state to act to raise the dropout age from 16 to 18.  School board member Chris Brady says he'll bring the issue up for discussion Monday night and could pursue a vote.

"I think it's in our best interest to set the expectation that everyone graduates by at least age 18 and to say it's not okay to dropout before that time," Brady adds.

Brady says it's important for JCPS to act quickly to send a message to the state and the community that the district wants to do everything it can to reach all students.  JCPS is the state's largest district.  
 
Governor Beshear just signed the bill last week. It leaves the decision up to individual districts. Once 55% of districts raise the age, it will become mandatory for all four years later. Over 6,000 Kentucky students drop out each year. Over 1,000 JCPS students are dropping out each year.

Education
8:13 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Lexington Attorney Files Open Meetings Complaint Against Murray State Board of Regents

A Lexington-based attorney with a history representing former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has sent a complaint to Murray State’s Board of Regents Chair alleging a violation of Kentucky’s Open Meeting law.

Jim Deckard sent the complaint to Dr. Constantine Curris Thursday. Deckard, referencing media reports, says a quorum of regents gathered at regent Sharon Green’s home and discussed board business the night before the board’s quarterly meeting.

At that meeting Curris entertained a motion to vote on whether or not to extend President Randy Dunn’s contract. The discussion wasn’t listed on the board meeting agenda. It was brought up under the guise of “other business.”  The motion to extend Dunn a new four year contract failed by a margin of 7 to 4.

Deckard made the following request in his letter:

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