The House has approved a compromise to raise the dropout age in Kentucky gradually, after previous compromises have failed.
Senate Bill 97 would allow local school boards to choose whether to raise the dropout age to 18. After 55 percent of Kentucky’s school boards raise the age, it would become mandatory statewide in four years. The bill’s advocates say they believe the new dropout age will be in effect throughout the state by 2019.
State Representative Jeff Greer of Meade County has been shepherding the bill through the house. He called the compromise a victory.
"I view this as a tremendous victory for our state, we're sending a message to our young people."
The Senate also agreed to the compromise. This will send a dropout bill to Governor Steve Beshear's desk for the first time in the five years Beshear has pushed the issue.
Opponents of a Vanderbilt University policy banning discrimination in student groups want to enact a law to strip the private school of its police powers if it doesn't change its ways.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Mae Beaver of Mt. Juliet and fellow Republican Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon was the subject of competing press conferences at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville on Tuesday.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam last year vetoed a bill to do away with Vanderbilt's "all comers" policy, which requires student groups at the school to allow any interested students to join and run for office. Religious groups argue the policy forces them to accept students who don't share their beliefs.
Haslam said he disagrees with Vanderbilt's policy, but opposes targeting a private institution.
Kentucky's First Lady says new technology is offering young people new ways to access reading materials. Jane Beshear kicked off the 2013 Literacy Celebration Week Monday at WKU by speaking to an education class about the impact of reading on college readiness.
Mrs. Beshear says it doesn't matter if young people read books the old-fashioned way, or if they use an mobile electronic reader.
"I don't care how they read, as long as they read. We're in the technology age, so that's as engaging as anything. So if that's what it takes to get them involved, then I'm all for it."
After her visit to WKU, the Kentucky First Lady then toured the Housing Authority of Bowling Green to talk about how literacy growth can be incorporated into after-school programs.
A new report shows Tennessee with the fastest-improving high school graduation rate in the nation. The Tennessean reports Volunteer State education leaders hope to reach the 90 percent diploma threshold by 2020.
The report shows the Tennessee high school graduation rate has improved by 6.5 percentage points since 2001, with an average annual growth rate of 1.25 points between 2006 and 2010. During that time period, Tennessee improved at nearly double the national rate.
The report is the combined effort of the groups Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
In Tennessee, 80 percent of high school freshman say in school and graduate as seniors. That’s better than the national average of 78.2 percent.
Nationally, 200,000 more students received high school diplomas than in 2006, a trend driven by big gains in African-American and Hispanic graduation rates.
Kentucky's community and technical colleges around the state will take part in Super Sunday this weekend. Representatives from the schools will visit more than three dozen African-American and Hispanic churches. Following services, an information fair will reach out to prospective students and their parents.
"KCTCS has a strong commitment to diversity and ensuring that every citizen in this state has the educational opportunities that they need to succeed," said Dr. Michael McCall, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. "It's our responsibility to make everyone aware of college, that it is within their reach."