Sunday, February 28, 2010

School News from Around Kentucky

House leaders considering adding debt to fund jobs bill: House leaders are considering adding to the state's debt in an effort to put Kentuckians to work replacing school buildings, roads and waterlines. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Thursday that leaders might add more capital projects to their two-year budget proposal and would borrow money to pay for them. "We believe that the way we put Kentucky back to work is that we create jobs," Stumbo said. "We believe that a jobs bill is important." (Herald-Leader)

Bible literacy bill clears Senate: The Senate passed a measure Thursday that would establish guidelines for teaching Bible literacy in Kentucky’s public high schools.Senate Bill 142, sponsored by Sen. David Boswell, D-Owensboro, passed 37-1 with little discussion and now goes to the House.The bill calls for the Kentucky Board of Education to establish guidelines for an elective course on the Bible's literary structure and its influence on “literature, art, music, mores, oratory and public policy.” (Courier-Journal)

Five-step method accurately grades exceptional learners: It is possible to grade students with disabilities and English-language learners in a way that is fair and accurate using a five-step method, write University of Kentucky educators Lee Ann Jung and Thomas R. Guskey. The steps include making sure the standard is achievable, modifying standards if necessary, grading based on the altered standard rather than grade-level achievement and including information about the basis of the grade in the student's report card. (Educational Leadership)

Commissioner Holliday - no snow day waivers to be granted; KDE seeks second testing window: Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said Wednesday he has formally asked the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to approve a second assessment testing window to give districts a choice: test during the scheduled April 19-30 dates or during a two-week period in May, an option sought by districts behind on classroom time due to last fall’s H1N1 absenteeism and/or this winter’s ongoing snow and ice. However, Holliday also said he will not grant any weather-related waivers of the required 177 instructional days “unless it would be impossible to get their days in by July 1.” (KSBA)

Legislature considers waiver for schools with 20 missed days: With his schools already out for 28 days with the flu and snow and nearly another month of winter to go, Breathitt County Superintendent Arch Turner is looking for relief to schedule make-up days. That relief could come in a bill introduced this week in the state legislature. House Bill 487, sponsored by Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville, would allow local boards of education to ask state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday by May 1 to waive up to 10 days in districts that have missed 20 or more days. (H-L)

Budget plan trims 2 school days - Plan still about $400 million short in second year: A state budget proposed last week by House leaders gives the state a starting point, but legislators say there is still a long way to go. The proposal is about $405 million short of a balanced budget in the second year, nearly double the first projections last week. It would provide a balanced budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1. State Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) said he and most of the members of the House are encouraged by the first steps. “I like the direction it’s taking, and I think most everybody is on board right now,” he said. “Based on what I’m seeing, I think this can be a very good budget, but there are some hard decisions and some tough cuts.” ...Shelby County Superintendent James Neihof said that would cost the district between $200,000 and $240,000 in salaries alone. (Sentinel News)

Education Cuts Should be Off the Table: Given Kentucky's woeful national education ranking, it's hard to believe we'd want to handicap ourselves even more. But that's exactly what the state's lawmakers are attempting with their proposal to trim expenses by cutting two days from the school year. Are they kidding? With Kentucky consistently ranking anywhere from below average to way below average in virtually every educational category, shouldn't we be devoting every penny possible to improving our status? (WDRB)

1 comment:

Dash said...

In 2000 passage of H.B. 538 clears house panel to give additional $1.5million PVA pay raise! Under proposed legislation for a beginning Starting PVA salary of $82,521 in Jefferson County with four years of experience handling in excess of 500,000 parcels. PVA salary would go from $67,924 to $85,000 per year!(CJ 2/16/00,p B6)
In 2010 KY PVA's 09-10 budget costs are $12 million; estimated 680 deputy PVA's cost $41 million.
Teacher salaries average much less.Ky pays more to tax assessors than it's school teachers who teach our children! Whoa!