Montgomery Co Board rescinds motion to build new ELC: The Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to rescind a motion from the Feb. 22 board meeting to build an Early Learning Center at a new site. A motion was made by board member Donna Wilson after she read a statement before a large crowd on hand... “My vote to build a new ELC did not give consideration to the overcrowding issues at Mapleton...Wilson admitted she was “shocked and very disappointed” information about the problems at Mapleton was not presented earlier.“It is very difficult to fix what you don’t know. It is crucial for board members to know all the facts in making decisions,” she said. (Mount Sterling Advocate)
Judge reduces charges against teens accused of attacking gay classmate: A gay Jackson County teen testified three classmates threatened to push her off a cliff and crush her head with a large rock, but a judge ruled there was not enough evidence for felony charges against the three. After a hearing Thursday, District Judge Henria Bailey-Lewis reduced the charges against Ashley Sams and Corinne Schwab to fourth-degree assault and menacing, both misdemeanors. Sams and Schwab, both 18, had been charged with attempted murder and kidnapping in the case, which has gotten widespread attention because of an allegation that they attacked Cheyenne Williams as a result of her sexual orientation. (H-L)
Principal selection responsibility unclear: Metcalfe County School System officials are waiting for state officials to tell them who will be charged with choosing the next principal for Metcalfe County High School. The district’s superintendent, Pat Hurt, is reviewing applications and checking references, but she cannot present a list of names to the school’s site-based decision-making council until she receives word from the Kentucky Department of Education on who should make the final decision.“If the council is to name the new principal, I will set up their training and set a meeting to give names to them to begin the new process,” Hurt said. “If I am to select the principal, I am ready to narrow the field and begin interviews.” (Glasgow Daily Times)
Hillview annexes new Brooks Elementary - Teachers union, board opposed plan: Brooks Elementary School employees will continue to see part of their paychecks go to the city of Hillview. The Hillview City Council voted April 19 to annex the new Brooks Elementary School — an act opposed by the Bullitt teachers union and the school board. They contend the city's 1.5 percent income tax will cost teachers, who already pay for supplies for the school's large number of low-income students. “I ask each of you to search your heart and your budget,” Donna Lawlor, vice president of the Bullitt County Education Association, said before the vote was taken. “Are you willing to put these children ahead of the city?” Council members disagreed that their action would cost the children. “We're not taxing the kids,” said Councilman Greg Burton. (C-J)
Education leader tries to rally support for charter schools: Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says he's trying to ease opposition to charter-schools legislation with education leaders around the state in case the issue is considered during a special legislative session in May. "We've asked all our partners to give us feedback on what needs to be changed about the legislation that would either get their support or make it palatable so that they wouldn't actively block it or withdraw their support for Race to the Top," Holliday said.
Education leaders' opinions are key to support from House Democrats, according to House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. He said that as of Wednesday, there weren't enough votes in the Democratic-controlled House to pass a measure that would allow charter schools. (H-L)
Cuts made district-wideThree teaching positions among the cuts: School districts across the state are being forced to make budget cuts and the Marion County Board of Education made some of those painful decisions last week. Three teacher positions were among the cuts that the board approved during a special called meeting Tuesday, April 20. (Lebanon Enterprise)
Locust Grove Elementary staff, parents to be polled: Every staff member and parent at Locust Grove Elementary is being asked to fill out a confidential survey about satisfaction with the school following an outpouring of concern over how school administrators handle questions from parents and teachers. Superintendent Paul Upchurch made the announcement April 15 at the end of a school district town hall meeting where parents spoke to him and school board members for nearly two hours about issues at Locust Grove. The district has been holding town hall meetings several times a year so anyone from the community can address the school board.
During the last meeting, parents said their questions about Locust Grove's multi-age classrooms, reading assessments and teacher resources have been characterized as “complaints” and dismissed by principal MariAnn Arnold and other school officials. (C-J)
Architect of JCPS student-assignment plan to retire: A long-time administrator with Jefferson County Public Schools has announced that she will retire this fall. Pat Todd, who has been the director of student assignment with the district for 14 years, said Tuesday she notified her staff and Superintendent Sheldon Berman of her decision last week. “I just think it’s time,” she said. “I am confident that things are moving along well; I wouldn’t be leaving if I felt differently.” (C-J)
Case closed in Maner school abuse suit - Fayette system will pay $3.7 million awarded to Maner: Defendants have agreed to pay the $3.7 million judgment in Carol Lynne Maner's sex-abuse case against Fayette County Public Schools. Maner, who won the judgment in 2007, said Monday she was relieved to have the case finished. Last month, the Kentucky Supreme Court let the original judgment stand. The only other avenue available for the defense would have been to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. (H-L)
Toyota gives $500,000 to help schools: Toyota U.S.A. Foundation has given the University of Kentucky $500,000 to help improve the teaching of math and science in 13 Central and Northern Kentucky school districts. UK's Partnership Institute for Mathematics and Science Education Reform will use the money to develop teacher-driven teams in grades K-12 in each participating school district that will develop strategies for better math and science learning. Faculty from UK, Georgetown College, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, Transylvania university and Bluegrass Community and Technical College will provide mentoring and technical support for the local teams. (H-L)
City board delays budget decisions: Without a state budget, school systems across the state are struggling to meet deadlines in preparing for the 2010-11 year.At their regular meeting Thursday evening, the Harlan Independent Board of Education chose to delay a decision on staff contracts for next year to see if the proposed special session of the legislature will provide answers to their funding questions.“I have been extremely torn over this,” Superintendent David Johnson told the board. “We are faced with the cruel reality of not knowing how much money we will have.” (Harlan Daily Enterprise)
Hopkins County schools plan job cuts: Hopkins County Schools officials plan to eliminate 14 teaching positions and nine classroom aides because of the lack of a state budget and decreases in enrollment. “A lot of this depends on the budget,” Superintendent James Lee Stevens said. “There may be some of those positions come back.” The General Assembly adjourned last week without approving a state spending plan, leaving school districts in the dark as to how much funding they will receive for the upcoming academic year. (KSBA)