Saturday, May 01, 2010

School News from Around Kentucky

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)


Nicole Fisher said...

In the case of "Judge reduces charges against teens accused of attacking gay classmate", I feel this story isn't plausible. I read the entire story and there is no proof in the case and with what proof they do have, "the cell phone video", they said each said that they make YouTube videos all the time. The stories don't add up. In the case of saying it is a hate crime because the teen is gay; I feel this is just to get attention. This is just my opinion however. I’m not discriminating, I just stating the obvious as to what I interpret. The charges were dropped because of lack of proof and how the story didn’t seem factual. The bruises they did found they said didn’t coincide with the story the teen stuck with. I don’t find this to be a hate crime. I find it to be a cry for attention.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for the young lady, sorry, too, for the fact that so many Kentuckians ---especially educators, those who KNOW better, those who are paid to LEAD---choose to remain silent about the discrimination gay Kentuckians endure in the public schools.

Andria Roaden said...

While reading the blog, “School News from Around KY” I found a few of the articles to be very interesting. The article I had concern about was: judge reduces charges against teens accused of attacking gay member. It must be hard for this teen that has to deal with her sexual orientation at school every day anyways. I find it awful that her classmates would threaten or even put her in potential danger. I do not think that the judge should have reduced their charges due to the lack of evidence. This is giving them another change to do the same thing over to this girl. I think that students forget that we are at school for education and to learn. It should not matter what sexual orientation you are everyone should be treated equally.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Ms. Roaden...Most of the heterosexual members of this blog still seem to think gay/lesbian teens aren't made fun of any more than their straight counterparts....I just wish I could post my name like you can. Educators like myself aren't expected to be "out" in Kentucky.

Alicia Southworth said...

For Judge reduces charges against teens accused of attacking gay classmate:
After reading the whole story, I can see in worry for Willams who was told by her friends that they wanted to kill her. Although after reading what happened in court, I am not sure there is enough evidence to prove that against the other two girls. I feel as if she did video the inncident, then it needs to be played if they can even use it because it could had been tampered with. I feel as if the issue of Willams is a very serious one because all people deserved to be treated equally and to live the life they want as long as it is not harming others. With this I don't know that this case can be won but she does need to stick up for herself and defend her rights.

Carly Walton said...

Regarding Toyota:

I think it’s amazing that a company like Toyota has arranged to give the University of Kentucky $500,000 to help improve the teaching of math and science in 13 of Kentucky’s northern and central county school districts. $500,000 can go a long way in order to improve the way that math and science are taught in today’s public school systems. Schools may now be able to implement new kinds of technology that may not have been available for purchase on a strict, state mandated budget. In today’s economy this amount of money is a substantial gift because our government doesn’t have this kind of money to provide schools with funding. You see this every year when school faculty receives pink slips because of the fact that the budget does not suffice. For Toyota to be so generous, it’s obvious that this gift will bring great results.

Megan Fields said...

In the Jackson County case of the teens accused of threatening to push a gay classmate off a cliff and beating her head with a large rock, I feel the charges should not have been reduced due to the fact that bullying in schools has become a major issue in our society, not to mention, the issues that correspond with her sexual orientation preferences. The bullying in our country has gotten out of hand and when you add discrimination to this, we have a major problem. Many teens in this country are being bullied at school and in some extreme cases, like those seen more recently in the media, some are being bullied "to death." We need to make a stand against bullying in schools and impose tougher penalties upon those who are bullying.

Anonymous said...

I grieve for homosexual students who continue to suffer in our public schools.....