Sunday, May 03, 2009

Quick Hits

Kentucky may face $1 billion revenue shortfall: The Beshear administration said ... that the state's revenue shortage in the next fiscal year could exceed $1 billion -- more than twice this year's level. Such a shortage would mean more spending cuts and perhaps further tax increases or other ways to raise revenue, such as expanded gambling... Rep. Carl Rollins, chairman of the House Education Committee, said it's hard to see how the school funding formula could continue to be spared from cuts. "Unless he gets the legislative leaders together and they have a plan to somehow raise revenue, I don't see how we cannot cut everybody some," said Rollins, D-Midway. (Courier-Journal)

Swimming Without a Suit: America needs to invest money and energy into schools with a sense of urgency that the economic and moral stakes demand. Speaking of financial crises and how they can expose weak companies and weak countries, Warren Buffett once famously quipped that “only when the tide goes out do you find out who is not wearing a bathing suit.” (By Tom Friedman in the New York Times)

Economic crisis supplants Obama's education reforms in first 100 days: While President Barack Obama outlined his plans for education reform during his first 100 days in office, there has been little action, according to some officials. However, Obama's plans for higher standards and rewards for quality teachers have earned him praise from educators whose schools will be seeing an influx of federal dollars. (National Public Radio)

More people considering teaching but few following through: Calls are flooding into the office of the University of Missouri-St. Louis' teacher-certification adviser as more people consider education as a fallback career. Despite the increased interest, university educators say they're not seeing an increase in the numbers of people showing up for classes or certification exams. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

About 300 U.S. schools shut down to prevent spread of swine flu: Three times as many U.S. schools were closed Thursday out of concern for student health as were the previous day as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that there have been 109 U.S swine flu infections and state authorities reported dozens of other probable cases. "School closings will probably not themselves stop a pandemic," said Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Cleveland's Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. "But they slow down the spread of the virus and give us a little extra time to study it and figure out how to treat it." (Los Angeles Times)

Middle-class students struggle to find money for college: More students are becoming stressed over trying to figure out how to pay for college, high-school counselors say, as tuition continues to increase and more families are finding their income and savings falling short. Compounding the problem, some scholarship funds are drying up because of the weak economy and federal student loans have relatively high interest rates. (The New York Times)

Corbin Bus driver tells his side of slapping incident. Man claims he was poked in the eye by first grader; second driver also suspended: Despite previously published reports that a Corbin bus driver has been suspended without pay following an incident on a school bus last week, the News Journal has learned that was in fact suspended with pay. The incident in question centers around a driver who admittedly struck a first-grade student, but only after the student made contact with the driver first. The incident was one of two last week, the other involving a driver who left a child unattended on a school bus. (News journal)

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