Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue

 

Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 4th Meeting

of the 2013 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> October 24, 2013

 

Call to Order and Roll Call

The<MeetNo2> 4th meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on<Day> Thursday,<MeetMDY2> October 24, 2013, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Kelly Flood, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Stan Humphries, Co-Chair; Senators Johnny Ray Turner, and Mike Wilson; Representatives Derrick Graham, Reginald Meeks, Jody Richards, and Rita Smart.

 

Guests: Dr. Stu Silberman, Member, Kentucky Education Action Team; Thomas O. Zawacki, Secretary, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet; Ali Crowley Wright, Teacher, Lafayette High School; Hiren Desai, Associate Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education.

 

LRC Staff: Tom Willis, Perry Papka, and Amie Elam.

 

Kentucky Education Action Team

Dr. Stu Silberman testified on investing in Kentuckyís schools. Ali Crowley Wright, math teacher at Lafayette High School, gave a classroom teacherís perspective on the impact of budget cuts.

 

In response to a question by Representative Horlander, Dr. Silberman said that Fayette County and Jefferson County have roughly the same school tax rates.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Richards, Ms. Wright said that some teachers are able to get online resources but many students still do not have access to computers at home so it is not feasible to have all textbooks online. In math, it is much more difficult for some students to learn online. Representative Richards stated that he would like to see all fifth and sixth graders be provided a computer or tablet device.

 

††††††††††† Representative Carney expressed concern regarding textbook funding and about certain subject areas being taught through the use of online textbooks.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Rudy, Dr. Silberman said the textbook industry is moving very quickly, and almost all information is already available online.

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††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Horlander, Ms. Wright stated some schools use a credit-recovery online system to help graduate students who are significantly behind. The students receive credits for basic classes online. Some high schools are also using online courses from universities.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Graham, Mr. Desai said the Department of Education receives about $30 million in technology funding and will need $20.3 million per year in additional funding to fulfill education technology needs. Existing funds are being used to upgrade bandwidth, which is the number one concern for classroom teachers.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Senator Wilson, Dr. Silberman suggested that Kentucky needs to evaluate the SEEK formula that is based on average daily attendance.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Smart, Dr. Silberman stated that the approximate administrative cost is 5.2 percent. Representative Smart suggested that information regarding administrative costs be passed on to members of the legislature.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Richards, Dr. Silberman agreed to provide the committee with information regarding how Kentucky compares to other states on per pupil expenditures.

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††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Miller, Dr. Silberman said KEAT is hosting an Education Summit on November 21, where gaming, tax reform, and other funding options will be discussed.

 

Education and Workforce Development

††††††††††† Secretary Thomas Zawacki testified on the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and initiatives and budget concerns for the next biennium.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question by Representative Meeks, Secretary Zawacki stated that staff from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet will schedule a time in the near future to discuss employment concerns from his constituents.

 

††††††††††† Representative Miller stated that the legislature needs to take a stronger look at school safety funding.

 

††††††††††† There being no further business before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.