education

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s budget doesn’t include any additional money for the state’s performance-based funding model for higher education.

The Council on Postsecondary Education says it needs more money in order to continue implementing the state’s performance-based funding model. 

The performance-based funding model is designed to reward colleges and universities for increasing the number of degrees earned. 


J. Tyler Franklin

Governor Andy Beshear has signed a bill into law requiring all Kentucky school resource officers, or SROs, to carry a gun.

“The threats to our children in our schools is very real,” Beshear said, citing incidents where guns were found on school campuses, a thwarted school shooting plot in Shelby County, and the 2018 shooting in Marshall County.

“I simply cannot ask a school resource officer to stop an armed gunman entering a school without them having the ability to not only achieve this mission, but also to protect themselves,” he said.

Jess Clark | WFPL

In 19 Kentucky school districts, when a student misbehaves, teachers or principals can still use a paddle to spank students on the behind. Last year, educators used paddling to discipline students at least 284 times — mostly in Eastern and South-Central Kentucky. The state keeps track of how often schools use it, and on who.

Kentucky is one of 19 states where corporal punishment is legal in public schools. That means it’s legal for educators in public schools to inflict pain as a form of discipline, usually through spanking. But state lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban the practice.

 


Beshear Calls For “New Tone In Frankfort”

Feb 18, 2020
Rachel Collins | WKMS

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear made several stops in western Kentucky Monday hoping to garner support for his proposed budget, which is currently under review with the General Assembly.

His stops included Murray State University, where he highlighted several education initiatives, and Murray Middle School where he spoke extensively of the need for “a new tone in Frankfort.”

“Maybe the most important thing that could come out of this session is a change in the tone in Frankfort; it’s time that we started treating each other the way that everyone is supposed to treat each other in a business or in a school...that we don’t call each other names and if we disagree, we disagree civilly so we can come together the next day,” he said.

 


WKU

Nominations are now being accepted for the first-ever Distinguished Educator Awards being offered by the Western Kentucky University College of Education and Behavioral Science.

The awards will recognize 10 P-12 educators in the WKU service area for their contributions to the teaching profession.

WKU will honor finalists and category winners at an awards ceremony at the Augenstein Alumni Center on April 14.

Jess Clark

A federal district judge heard arguments Tuesday in a case brought by several Kentucky Board of Education members ousted by Gov. Andy Beshear.

The members, all appointed by former Gov. Matt Bevin, are asking the court to stop the Beshear-appointed board from meeting.

The seven former board members say Beshear’s decision to remove them shortly after his election was illegal. They asked a state court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the new board from meeting in December, but the state court denied that request. Now, the Bevin appointees are suing in federal court.

 


Creative Commons

Corporal punishment would be outlawed in the state’s public and private schools under a measure passed in the Kentucky House Friday morning.

Kentucky is one of 19 states where it’s still legal for school staff to inflict pain on students as a form of discipline – usually with a wooden paddle to the behind.

“A child learns what he lives,” Rep. Maria Sorolis (D-Louisville) said on the floor, speaking in support of the ban. “If a child learns with violence, he will learn to fight. We are sophisticated enough now that we can teach and discipline to disciple, rather than to merely punish.”

J. Tyler Franklin

A Kentucky House committee has given the green light to a bill that would require all school police officers to carry guns, with the goal of preventing school shootings.

The proposal is an update to a school safety bill that passed last year, which required every school to hire a school resource officer, or SRO. This year’s legislation would mandate every SRO carry a gun.

“I know as a parent when I drop my children off at school I want to make sure that they are going into a safe environment,” bill sponsor Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) told the House committee Tuesday. “If we are going to say these schools are going to be safe, and you’re having sworn law enforcement officers, they’ve got to be able to do their job if a situation were to get to that potential tragedy.”

 


Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

Democrats in the Tennessee General Assembly are calling on Gov. Bill Lee to increase the state’s spending on public schools.

They claim an increase in the school funding formula is the first step to improving literacy rates.

For years, public school advocates have pursued legal challenges to Tennessee’s school funding formula, called the Basic Education Program. They claim it’s outdated.

 


Creative Commons

Kentucky lawmakers are once again considering a controversial measure that would use a tax credit program to send low- and middle-income students to private schools. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have filed identical bills to create the Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

Scholarship tax credit programs are already in 18 states, including in neighboring Indiana, according to the national pro-school choice nonprofit EdChoice. Kentucky’s proposed Scholarship Tax Credit Program would create scholarship funds to send low and middle-income students to private school. Students would have to meet one or more of the following requirements to be eligible for a scholarship:

 


Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

More details are coming out as Tennessee prepares to launch the Education Savings Account program in Shelby and Davidson counties.

In a legislative hearing Monday, the state’s Department of Education said it’s using money from a dormant career initiative to be able to start school vouchers this year.

According to education officials, the money will pay for an outside vendor to be in charge of processing school voucher payments.

The amount charged by Florida-based ClassWallet is $1.2 million — twice as much as what was initially appropriated for the first year of implementation.

 


Fayette Co. Public Schools

The frequency of school shootings across the country has Campbell County High School art teacher Brian Harmon and his students on edge.

“It’s scary,” Harmon said. “I’ve been teaching for 18 years, and I’ve seen the anxiety for that increase throughout the years.”

He realized just how anxious students were last year during an unannounced fire drill. The class was working on a sculpture project when the alarm went off. Harmon said his students froze and looked at him. No one would go into the hallway until he checked it first to see if it was safe.

“We live in a world where my kids don’t just react and go outside because it’s a fire drill,” he said. “They look to me and see ‘Am I supposed to go outside, or is this some kind of active shooter situation?’”

Public Domain

Most of the former board of education members ousted by Gov. Andy Beshear are continuing their lawsuit against the new administration, and moving the challenge to a federal court.

Beshear replaced the entire board of education on December 10, the day he was inaugurated as Kentucky’s 61st governor, fulfilling a campaign promise.

The same day, the board appointed by former Gov. Matt Bevin filed a lawsuit against Beshear, arguing that he didn’t have the authority to fire them before the completion of their appointed terms.

Lindsey Wilson College

A collaboration of Kentucky colleges is adding a fifth member. 

The collaboration that launched with the fall semester of 2019 is called the University Center of Southern Kentucky. It's based at Somerset Community College.

The newest partner is Lindsey Wilson College. The founding partners are Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State, University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.

The collaboration gives students the opportunity to complete an associate’s degree at Somerset Community College and then earn a four-year degree through one of the partner colleges. 


Fayette Co. Public Schools

Off-duty police officers hired to do security at Kentucky public schools would be required to carry guns under a bill sponsored by a top Republican in the state Senate.

The proposal comes a year after the legislature passed a sweeping school safety bill requiring every school in the state to employ a school resource officer. That bill didn’t say that the officers had to be armed.

Campbellsville Republican Sen. Max Wise was the primary architect of the school safety bill and is sponsoring the gun requirement, Senate Bill 8. He says the legislature always intended to have armed officers in public schools.

 


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