A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear unveils ‘Education First’ budget ending 14 years of cuts; funds health, pensions, social workers

Gov. Andy Beshear outlined his first budget to lawmakers on Tuesday prioritizing education, health care and protecting our children, underlining his belief that a budget is a statement of values. “It is a budget that not only ends years of painful cuts, it also makes a major investment in public education, fully funds expanded Medicaid, makes a historic investment in protecting our children, directs...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise, education, and training

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write to make a case for promoting free enterprise because this part of American life has set the stage to educate and train hundreds of millions of Americans. We want a system that unifies educators, business, and the rest of us, by rewarding educational attainment and training with workplace opportunities. That system...

State of Commonwealth: Gov. Beshear says state’s future depends on Kentuckians working together

In his first State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky’s future depends on leaving divisive politics in the past and focusing on providing opportunity for every Kentucky family.   Gov. Beshear said the transformational and positive change Kentucky families count on occurs when we break the cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction, and obtain a good-paying career,...

State lawmakers convene Tuesday for 60-day session — and two-year budget is at the top of the agenda

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State lawmakers return to Frankfort on Tuesday, January 7, with a two-year budget topping the agenda for the 60-day session. Both the House and Senate have a Republican supermajority, and the relationship with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin was still contentious at times. With Democrat Andy Beshear now in the Governor’s office, will the current cordial relationship last? Senate...

KCTCS to invest $2.7 million to close workforce gaps; BCTC hires Gary Robinson as project coordinator

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is investing $2.7 million during the next three years to close workforce gaps by promoting apprenticeship opportunities. Bluegrass Community and Technical College has hired Gary Robinson as a full-time project coordinator to oversee the program in Central Kentucky. Gary Robinson Robinson has been an active leader in industry and education for over...

Task force of educators wraps up 4-days of meetings on developing quality curriculum for schools

A task force of educators convened by Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis and led by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) completed four days of meetings aimed at improving the process of developing quality curriculum for Kentucky’s public schools that are directly aligned to the state’s academic standards. The task force – comprised of superintendents, district curriculum leads, principals,...

Bellarmine appoints new deans for education, business, arts and sciences for 2019-20

Bellarmine University’s vice president for academic affairs and provost, Dr. Paul Gore, has appointed new academic deans to oversee programs in education and the arts and sciences, as well as an interim dean for the business school. The appointments — made in consultation with Dr. Susan Donovan, Bellarmine’s president — are: • Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins, dean of the Annsley Frazier Thornton...

Wayne Lewis: As the workplace continues to change, education must evolve to prepare students

One of the best parts of being education commissioner is having the opportunity to travel across Kentucky, talking with and spending time with students, educators, parents and community stakeholders. There are many good things happening in schools and communities across the Commonwealth, and I am privileged to get to see and hear so much of it for myself. One of my most recent trips was to Graves County,...

Governor, legislative leadership say excess revenues of $194m will go to retired teacher health, pensions

Gov. Matt Bevin Thursday joined Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne to announce that Kentucky closed Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) on June 30th with record high state revenues, creating a significant budget surplus for the state. According to data released by the Office of the State Budget Director, Kentucky’s FY19 General Fund revenues exceeded estimates by $194.5 million,...

Kentucky to unveil new digital platform to support transition-age youth in foster care

A new digital portal called Kentucky RISE (Resources for Independence, Success and Empowerment) is set to be unveiled Wednesday at the Kentucky Independent Living Youth Empowerment Conference in Lexington. The new website is part of a rebranding project for the state’s independent living program for transition-age youth in the foster care system. The web-based portal, kyrise.ky.gov, will be accessible...

CHI Saint Joseph Health Maternity Education Programs offer classes on childbirth, breastfeeding

Preparing for a new baby is exciting, but parents-to-be may feel overwhelmed with the idea of bringing a new life into the world. Obtaining the best available knowledge and hands-on practice is the most effective way to relieve stress surrounding childbirth and parenting a newborn. CHI Saint Joseph Health wants to make sure that all expecting and new mothers feel empowered and prepared for the exciting...

Responses to UK statewide survey will help protect water resources for Kentuckians

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Two University of Kentucky faculty members are conducting a statewide survey for a research study on Kentuckians’ values, attitudes and knowledge about water resources in the commonwealth. Funded by the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, the end goal of the project is to develop training materials for professionals who work with the public on water...

KentuckyWired reaches 1,000 miles of planned 3,000-mile high-speed fiber optic cable network

KentuckyWired, a broadband project installing high-speed fiber optic cable in every county, has now completed over 1,000 miles of its planned 3,000-mile network, with 1,090 miles of fiber either on aerial poles or in underground conduit, and another 500 miles ready for fiber deployment in the coming weeks. The head of the state agency overseeing the project says it is an important milestone. “Obtaining...

Anna Baumann: New report shows Kentucky’s tax system contributes to increased income inequality

In Kentucky, the income inequality that exists between our poorest and wealthiest residents is magnified by the structure of our tax system. And thanks to the new tax law enacted by the 2018 General Assembly, that problem is getting worse. Income inequality is soaring in an economy where the winners increasingly take all. The wealthiest 1 percent of Kentuckians make 94 times more a year on average...

Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Leadership Conference set for Oct. 24-25

The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet will present the 32nd annual Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Leadership Conference Oct. 24-25 at the newly renovated Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville. Held each fall, the conference is one of the longest running of its kind in the country, celebrating the diversity represented among the people of the Commonwealth, and serving as a premier...

New school year may mean tough choices for districts learning to operate with fewer dollars

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service The school day might look a little different for Kentucky kids this year, as districts figure out how to function with fewer dollars. Senior Policy Analyst with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy Ashley Spaulding explained that for more than a decade, in order to make room for tax cuts, state legislators and the governor slashed funding for pre-k through 12...

Commentary: Passport Health Plan, Bluegrass Harvest partnership increasing food access

Health care is more than going to your doctor and taking medicine. When we take a closer look beginning in the home, and extending to the workplace, our schools, and our neighborhoods, we see that the social determinants of health play a major role in overall health and well-being. Research on the social determinants of health is fairly new, but there’s no question that access to food, income, education,...

State agencies partner to offer free job skills prep, certifications to help Kentucky adults

Two state agencies have teamed up to offer free access to high-quality courseware and certifications to help Kentucky adults build and demonstrate work-readiness skills. Through local Kentucky Career Centers and Kentucky Skills U programs, formerly Kentucky Adult Education, adults can prepare for the Kentucky Career Readiness Certificate and the Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate using World Interactive...

Kentucky HEALTH to partner with Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in Medicaid waiver program

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has announced a partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in preparation for the launch of Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long-Term Health), the state’s innovative Medicaid waiver program. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a statewide nonprofit focused on health policy and advocacy, will support Kentucky HEALTH’s community engagement...

Budget agreement includes cuts, full pension contributions and some new revenue

By Ashley Spalding Kentucky Center for Economic Policy The state budget passed Monday by the General Assembly for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 is very similar to the House’s budget proposal. Like the House proposal, the budget agreement – and accompanying revenue bill – includes substantial cuts in many areas but also raises a small amount of revenue and relies heavily on fund transfers in order...