education

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When Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday that districts need to be ready to close with 72 hours notice, some districts were ready; others were not, based on a sample made by WFPL News.

One of the biggest challenges confronting districts is how to continue providing instruction when their students are not in classrooms.

Many districts already have state-approved plans for continuing instruction during closures, called Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) plans. These districts have already created materials to send home with students during a closure. Many plans include digital instruction. Students who don’t have computer access are supposed to get paper packets at the beginning of the school year, and are encouraged to reach their teachers by phone with questions during the closure.

Berea College

College administrators around the region are weighing their options as the coronavirus makes the lectures, events and dormitories of campus life potential means of transmission of the highly infectious virus. Several schools are opting for distance learning and suspending in-person classes.  

The Ohio Valley ReSource and its partner stations will update this story as more information about area colleges and universities becomes available. 

Jess Clark | WFPL

bill to end corporal punishment in Kentucky schools is facing hurdles clearing a state senate committee, according to advocates for the measure.

House lawmakers passed the ban on corporal punishment 65-17 in February. But supporters of the ban say it’s having trouble getting heard in the senate education committee.

Kentucky Youth Advocates director Terry Brooks said some lawmakers in the committee believe the matter should be up to local school boards.

“Frankly I am a little surprised and disappointed,” Brooks said in an interview.

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State lawmakers have proposed changing Kentucky’s new 5-star school rating system.

bill filed by Sen. David Givens (R-Greensburg) proposes changes to graduation requirements, grading metrics and how schools are identified for turnarounds. Givens said the bill is an “update” to the 2017 legislation that created the accountability system.

“This continues to refine that in very positive ways,” he said. “And that’s the motivation for the bill.”

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The state’s first charter school applicant, River Cities Academy, lost its appeal to the Kentucky Board of Education. The board decided Tuesday not to overturn a decision by Newport Independent Schools to deny the group a charter.

A group of parents in Northern Kentucky wanted to open the state’s first charter school, called River Cities Academy (RCA), pulling students from six districts along the river. According to the application, the school was to serve a “diverse learner population” in grades K-8, and focus on closing the achievement gap through experiential learning.

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.

 


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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.

 


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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:

 


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