Kentucky School Advocate
General Assembly post-mortem
After the Kentucky School Advocate was printed last month, Gov. Matt Bevin’s veto pen crossed through several provisions in the 2016-18 state budget that affect P-12 education. The vetoes included:
• Deletion from the budget of preschool expansion to families up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, leaving it at the current 160 percent. Bevin cited fiscal constraints.
• Deletion of budget language that gave school districts the option to publish their financial statement and report card online with notice of the electronic address published in the newspaper with the largest circulation in their county. This means districts will have to bear the expense of publishing their financial statement and report card in the newspaper.
• HB 626, which set up the structure of “work ready” scholarships for certain high school students to attend college, established the framework of a $100 million bond pool for workforce training projects, and set up the performance-based funding model for higher education. The scholarship program and bond pool themselves are retained; however, the governor’s office will set their parameters.
• Deletion of nearly a quarter-million dollars each fiscal year for the Every1 Reads program in Jefferson County.
• Elimination of requirements that excess lottery funds be transferred to the General Fund. Bevin said his veto ensured this excess money would go to education.
Going for the green
Two Kentucky schools are among those named Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Eastern Elementary in Scott County Schools and Russell Cave Elementary in the Fayette County school district were among the 41 public schools honored nationwide for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education.
Eastern Elementary teachers incorporate environmental studies into their curriculum throughout the year. The school is a six-time ENERGY STAR recipient and has an impressive track record in reducing not only greenhouse gas emissions but water use and non-transportation energy. Students are part of energy and recycling teams and the school has a Health Committee.
At Russell Cave Elementary, students on the Green Team audit energy use and implement initiatives to reduce it. The school has reduced energy use by nearly 50 percent since 2010 and water use by nearly that much. Its science lab provides environmental lessons. The school also has a part-time nurse who works with families and teachers.
Boone County school board member and former KSBA President Ed Massey has been appointed to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Board of Directors. The Cincinnati museum celebrates the heroes who created the Underground Railroad, and seeks to inspire modern efforts in the struggle for freedom.
Massey also is a former president of the National School Boards Association.
The Harlan Independent Schools, headed by Superintendent Charles D. Morton, was erroneously referred to as Hazard Independent Schools in a story on non-traditional instruction days last month. We apologize for the error.