Monday, January 31, 2011

School News from Around Kentucky

Bill Promotes Bible Class: While students are allowed to study the Bible all they want on their own time at school, the book that has influenced so much of what they study, from literature to history to current events, is rarely mentioned in the classroom. A bill now in the Kentucky Senate could change that by encouraging public schools to offer Bible literacy classes.“The Bible is probably the most significant piece of literature that has ever been written,” said state Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 56. “It’s a shame that kids can’t study it.”Actually, as the law now stands, students can study the Bible and teachers can teach about religion and the Bible. (Daily News)

Harlan Student Contract Proposal Rejected: A five-year nonresident student contract proposal from the Harlan County Board of Education to the Harlan Independent Board of Education was rejected at a special called meeting of the Harlan Independent Board on Thursday. Superintendent David Johnson said the city school district’s core philosophy is the importance of family choice of where their children are educated. (The Harlan Daily Enterprise )

State Cuts to Have Long-term Effects: Madison County Schools has been saving for a rainy day.Based on the Kentucky Department of Education’s recent announcement that they will cut nearly $50 million in funding to local schools, that rainy day may be on the horizon sooner than expected. (The Register)

90 percent of JCPS parents favor diverse schools, survey says: An overwhelming majority of Jefferson County parents say they want diverse public schools and support guidelines to ensure that happens, according to a survey conducted by a national expert on school integration. The survey showed that 90 percent of roughly 1,800 surveyed parents said their children benefit from diverse schools, and 69 percent are satisfied with their child's school assignment...However, parent satisfaction was less strong on the way Jefferson County Public Schools was implementing its current plan, with 54 percent saying they were happy — and large percentages expressing concern about the reliability of bus transportation. (Courier-Journal)

JCPS parent survey showing support for plan is 'skewed,' opponents say: Opponents of Jefferson County's controversial student-assignment plan fired back Friday against a new survey showing that the vast majority of parents support the district's diversity goals, calling it “skewed” and inaccurate. “It was a puff survey,” said Louisville attorney Teddy Gordon, who represents nine families in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the district's student-assignment plan. “It's easy to say you prefer diversity.” But school board chairman Steve Imhoff said Friday said he was pleased with the survey findings and believes they are reliable. “Teddy is not accurate.” Imhoff said, noting that the survey was conducted by a professional research group in Louisville. “I've got every faith that the survey response is accurate.” (C-J)

Governor, First Lady and Basketball Great Mashburn Call on Lawmakers to Pass Graduation Bill - Increasing graduation age creates a stronger workforce: Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear recently joined educators, business leaders and former University of Kentucky basketball great Jamal Mashburn to urge lawmakers to pass House Bill 225, which would gradually increase the mandatory attendance age for high school students from 16 to 18. “Encouraging our high school students to stay in school is not only an education issue, it’s a workforce issue,” said Gov. Beshear. “A better-educated workforce means better quality jobs. Increasing the graduation age is one step toward a better quality of life for Kentuckians.” (The Gov)

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