Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Thursday, December 2, 2010, at 10:00 AM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Tommy Thompson, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Vernie McGaha, Co-Chair; Representative Tommy Thompson, Co-Chair; Representative Arnold Simpson, Co-Chair: Representatives James R. Comer Jr., Derrick Graham, Charles Miller, Rick G. Nelson, Jim DeCesare, Kelly Flood, Reginald Meeks, Jody Richards, Kevin Sinnette, Carl Rollins II, Dottie Sims, and Kent Stevens.
Guests: Dr. Terry Holliday, Commissioner, Department of Education; Hiren Desai, Associate Commissioner of Administration and Support, Department of Education; and Dr. George Hruby, Executive Director, Collaborative Center for Literacy Development.
Chairman Thompson asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the October 28, 2010 meeting. A motion was made by Representative Meeks, seconded by Representative Flood, and the minutes were approved without discussion.
Update on the Implementation of Senate Bill 1 (2008 GA)
Commissioner Holliday provided an update on the Implementation of Senate Bill 1 (SB1). Dr. Holliday addressed the standards, assessments, and accountability as required by SB1.
In response to a question by Representative Flood, Commissioner Holliday explained that the Department will need flexibility on how flow through dollars, in FLEX focus and grants, are spent. The line items that are related to English and Language Arts will need to be looked at and possibly refocused on SB 1.
In response to a question by Senator McGaha, Commissioner Holliday explained that there are two components to acceleration; one is Advance KY, getting students college ready, helping students to obtain college credits while still in high school; the other is Project Lead the Way, senior level interventions that assist students in passing bench mark college assessments. Senator McGaha asked if the money being shifted from Flex Focus is the bulk of the money for the remainder of 2010. Commissioner Holliday answered that the KDE was short nearly 2.6 million dollars and the EduJobs money came in after the budget year had begun and school districts got on average $200 per pupil and these dollars can be used for Professional Development. KDE took the $2.6 million, which is roughly $4 per student, to provide Professional Development.
In response to a question by Representative Rollins, Commissioner Holliday explained that in 2011 KDE will be going through line items in their budget to come up with $11 million to fill a gap. KDE has weekly updates on their website to show the progress schools are making in reading, math, ACT, and college readiness.
In response to a question by Representative Miller, Commissioner Holliday indicated that the school report card will be revised statewide. The new model will report college and career readiness and student longitudinal growth. There will be a new accountability model on the revised report card. High schools in addition to the new model will also have an end of course assessment.
Representative Richards thanked Commissioner Holliday, the General Assembly, and the Education Committee in Kentucky for the progress in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores. He stated that Kentucky had made great improvements in reading at the fourth and eighth grade levels.
In response to a question from Senator McGaha, Mr. Desai stated that the $11 million in 2012 reflects the overall amount of redirections of funds that could be used for Professional Development. Senator McGaha asked what the timeline was for spending the EduJobs money. Mr. Desai answered that the districts have until September 30th, 2012 to spend the money and requests for reimbursements can be made through December 2012.
Chairman Thompson applauded Kentucky for being the first state to adopt the National Core Standards. In response to a question by Chairman Thompson, Commissioner Holliday stated he felt comfortable with the new standards and felt they would help to make students career and college ready. However, the standards will have no impact unless teachers receive the support to implement the standards. KDE is strongly engaging 1,000 teachers every month to prepare them for implementation of the new standards. Kentucky is one of the few states that had a focus on making students career ready as well as college ready. Only 30 percent of students are prepared for algebra at the postsecondary level.
In response to a question by Representative Rollins, Commissioner Holliday answered that the list of grants for which the department is seeking flexibility was provided at an earlier meeting and the number one focus is Flex Focus professional development. KDE is working with outside agencies to provide services and working on foundation funding to reduce the need for funds. Representative Rollins reminded the Commissioner of the importance of letting the General Assembly know what they need flexibility on before it can be provided.
Chairman Thompson thanked Commissioner Holliday for his presentation and stated that he was excited about the dividends of SB 1.
Classification of Primary and Secondary School Buildings
In response to a question by Representative DeCesare, Mr. Desai stated that different wage scales will not be taken into account during the selection process, but will be a part of the contract negotiations. Representative DeCesare asked if a Category 5 school was implementing all their nickels, doing appropriate tax hikes, and doing all they can otherwise and they still come up short to fund a facility what other options are available to them to make up for that lack of funding. Mr. Desai answered that currently the extent of districts options are levy a nickel and/or raise tax rates at the local level in terms of General Fund dollars.
Chairman Thompson inquired about the composition of the steering committee created to help produce the RFP. Mr. Desai stated that there is a five member evaluation team. There is one individual from SFCC, two individuals from KDE facilities area, one current superintendent, and one individual from the university level. The steering committee must come to a consensus on the RFP selection. Chairman Thompson asked if there had been any additional schools moved into the Category 5 classification since the beginning of the 2010 school year. Mr. Desai agreed to get an updated list to the committee of current Category 5 schools, a copy of the RFP, and the timeline for the selection process.
In response to a question by Senator McGaha, Mr. Desai stated that with the RFP, KDE attached a list of all facilities that were currently graded as a category three, four, or five. If there was a reclassification during the RFP process, then the facility would be added to the list.
In response to a question by Representative DeCesare, Mr. Desai explained that the five members of the RFP evaluation team will have real life experience with education facilities.
Representative Simpson asked if the department automatically adjusts a facilities’ category rating once that facility has been modified. Mr. Desai stated that he was unsure of an answer but he would find out.
Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD)
Representative Richards stated that he was excited about the progress Kentucky Schools are making. He asked Dr. Hruby for his suggestion on how Kentucky can do a better job of reaching the large number of adults in Kentucky that do not read above a fifth grade level. Dr. Hruby stated that CCLD is collaborating with Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) to provide professional development to literacy tutors. KYAE is currently brainstorming on how to move from a tutoring based approach to a classroom based approach, relying more on distance education technology. Adult nonliterates are a highly diverse group, and addressing their literacy needs is much more challenging. Representative Richards asked if the Family Resource Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs) could be used to find these adults and get them involved. Dr. Hruby said that FRYSCs would be a facilitative option.
In response to a question by Senator McGaha, Dr. Hruby stated that in order for Kentucky to keep improving reading scores coaching was important but would be insufficient by itself. Teachers are not likely to read instructional material and therefore do not fully appreciate the value of cognitive strategy instruction for learning with text. Senator McGaha asked Dr. Hruby to expound on the inducements that could be used to encourage teachers to participate in content area literacy instruction. Dr. Hruby stated that one inducement is the possibility for a higher order of credentials through university course work or professional development work that would earn teachers the equivalent of course work credit.
Representative DeCesare asked for suggestions in dealing with the literacy problem created by Warren County’s large immigrant population. Dr. Hruby stated that a person that is literate in their first language will have a much easier time learning to read a second language versus someone who is learning to read a second language for the first time. The English Language is the hardest to learn because of the irregular spelling system and so many different pronunciation rules. Dr. Hruby explained that the CCLD has not historically been involved with foreign language instruction or second language instruction, but there are offices throughout the state that do focus on these needs.
Representative Richards stated that through the housing authority in Bowling Green there are people located who do not have developed reading skills. He introduced and thanked George Peterson, who has been very involved in literacy in the Bowling Green area. Dr. Hruby stated that adult literacy should not be separated from adolescent literacy. One way to increase adult literacy is to increase the literacy of high school graduates. Students who are college ready are leaving the state and often not coming back to Kentucky, and the resources spent to prepare these students for a postsecondary education are being used to profit other states. He suggested focusing on having challenging and competitive programs that would make students more likely to attend universities in Kentucky.
Representative Simpson inquired about CCLD’s experience in raising literacy among African-American males as a subgroup. Dr. Hruby stated that in conjunction with expectations of SB1 and earlier legislation, closing achievement gaps is very important. The manifestation of gaps in literacy and development is a result of inequitable environments. CCLD does not have a program dedicated to particular subgroups.
Chairman Thompson applauded the efforts of the CCLD and thanked Dr. Hruby for his presentation.
There being no further business before the Committee, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.