education

Matt Markgraf

Prosecutors won't yet seek attempted murder charges against the 15-year-old suspect in a deadly shooting spree at Marshall County High School and will charge him with first-degree assault for now.

Assistant Marshall County Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters Wednesday that the 15-year-old boy will face 12 counts of first-degree assault instead of attempted murder because they feel they have a better case for those charges right now. Darnall pointed out that the penalties for first-degree assault are the same as for attempted murder.

Daviess Co. Public Schools

Superintendents across the state are reacting to governor Matt Bevin’s proposed cuts to transportation spending for school districts. The proposal would require local districts to cover 75 percent of those costs--much more than the 42 percent they pay now.

Pulaski County Superintendent Steve Butcher, is concerned that the proposed cuts would make it difficult to get kids to school.


Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

Governor Matt Bevin’s budget bill would keep per-pupil funding for Kentucky’s public education students at its current level. But the plan would still chip away at support programs and requires local school districts to pay a larger share of student transportation costs.

Administration officials say budget pressures created by the pension crisis has made it “harder to protect” public education from cuts.

Creative Commons

Governor Matt Bevin’s proposed budget is drawing mixed reaction from the Kentucky School Boards Association. While the KSBA is glad the governor is promising to maintain per-pupil spending, the group has other concerns.

In his state of the commonwealth address Tuesday night, Bevin suggested schools consider dipping into their reserve funds to make up for any spending cuts they could see in the next year. Director of Governmental Relations for KSBA, Eric Kennedy, said not every school district would be able to follow the governor’s suggestion.

WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University says the school will work in the coming weeks and months to improve its outcome in the next two-year state budget.

In a statement to media Wednesday, Timothy Caboni said the budget outlined Tuesday night by Governor Bevin would amount to a $4.6 million funding reduction for WKU.

The spending plan also eliminates $750,000 that is used to fund the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

An elementary school in Owensboro is launching a program that uses a student’s fingerprint to keep count of meals served for breakfast and lunch. 

Sutton Elementary is piloting the program of finger image recognition technology called Biometrics.

Kaitlyn Blankendaal is the food service supervisor for Owensboro Public Schools and said the goal is to give students more time to eat.

Kentucky education officials say a higher percentage of children who took a screening test have been determined to be ready for kindergarten.

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports 51.4 percent of children who took a standard screening test this year were deemed ready to start school, an increase from the 50.1 percent last year. Fewer students were screened in 2017 because the state changed the kindergarten enrollment cutoff date from Oct. 1 to Aug. 1. Among other things, the evaluation asks children to count to 30 and recite the alphabet.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville’s accreditation is no longer under probation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS, announced today that U of L met nine “concerns in areas of governance, administration and finance”  it set down to lift the probation.

The university was placed on probation by SACS a year ago amid concerns raised by Gov. Matt Bevin’s reorganization of the board of trustees, along with a list of other issues.

Wikimedia Commons

Former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the university’s athletic association.

Pitino was fired for cause last month by the association’s board amid an FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court, says the school effectively fired Pitino in late September when it placed him on administrative leave and locked him out of his office. It says Pitino should have been given 10 days’ notice and an opportunity to be heard, as specified in his contract.

flickr creative commons

Kentucky is among states that have cut public education funding most deeply over the last decade, according to a new report from the Center on Budget Policy Priorities.

Through its funding formula, the state sets aside 15.8 percent less for per public school student than it did in 2008 — the third largest drop in the nation, behind Oklahoma and Texas.

Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research for the CBPP, said the cuts hurt states’ economic competitiveness.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is increasing the number of opportunities to earn certificates in response to a recent executive order by Governor Matt Bevin. That order provides scholarships to those seeking a certificate without pursuing an associate degree. 

Certificates are credentials that lead to a workforce job and can be earned with a degree or as a stand-alone credential. Those wanting a certificate must complete a minimum of 12 hours of classes.

Changing Course: A School Cooperative Aims To Remake Coal Communities

Nov 27, 2017
Benny Becker

Betsy Layne High School serves rural Floyd County in the eastern Kentucky town of Stanville, population 206. Students there produce a video program called “Bobcat Banter” where they usually talk about sports and student life. But early last year “Bobcat Banter” introduced some special guests.

“We’re here with Mr. and Mrs. Gates from the Gates Foundation,” the students said.

The world’s richest man and his partner in life and philanthropy, Melinda Gates, had dropped in for a chat.

WKU

The Intercultural Student Engagement Center Academy is accepting a $20,000 grant which will help aid the 2018 cohort of students.

ISEC Academy is a Western Kentucky University initiative that supports students who are first generation, underrepresented and Pell grant recipients.

The program provides participants with upperclassmen mentors, a living learning community and weekly study hours to help guide students to a four-year graduation.

Rhonda J Miller

A group of education officials representing districts across the country will be touring a Warren County elementary school Friday to get a close-up look at an energy-saving material used in construction. They’re visiting to learn more about the construction of net zero schools, or schools that produce enough energy on site to cover their needs.

Jennings Creek Elementary will be a net zero ready school, meaning it’s built in a way that allows it to eliminate the cost of energy. The school is one of a many in Kentucky using insulated concrete forms, or ICF, to reduce energy costs. Warren County is home to the nation’s first net zero school--Richardsville Elementary, which opened in 2010.

A high school that pulls students from both Barren and Hart counties is partnering with Western Kentucky University to create a part-time work and dual-credit program similar to the Learn and Earn program.

Learn and Earn sets college students up with part-time employment with local businesses upon completing the program. Caverna Independent’s program is called Transforming Outcomes through Performance and Scholarship, or TOPS.

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