Thefirst meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, February 5, 2001, at 2:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Frank Rasche, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Brett Guthrie, David K. Karem, Alice Kerr, Dan Seum, Tim Shaughnessy, Dale Shrout, Robert Stivers, Johnny Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Larry Belcher, Buddy Buckingham, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, Barbara Colter, Jon Draud, Gippy Graham, Charles Miller, Russ Mobley, Rick Nelson, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Dottie Sims, Kathy Stein, Gary Tapp, Jim Thompson, Mark Treesh, and Charles Walton.
Guests: Wendell McCourt, Bobby Ricks, Department of Corrections; Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Education Professional Standards Board; Diana Barber, Jo Carole Ellis, Londa Wolanin; Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority; Ronda Harman, Kentucky Association of School Councils; Ben Boggs, Council on Postsecondary Education; Judith Gambill, Kentucky Education Association; Clyde Caudill, Roland Haun, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; Martin Bell, Jefferson County Public Schools; Libby Marshall, Kentucky School Boards Association; Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee; Beau Barnes, Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, Sissy Cawood, Family Resource and Youth Services Centers; and Bob Shimer, Governor’s Office of Policy and Management.
LRC Staff: Sandy Deaton, Ethel Alston, Audrey Carr, Evelyn Gibson, Kelley McQuerry, and Lisa Phelps.
Representative Rasche introduced and welcomed all new members. He also introduced new committee staff. The Committee extended sympathy to Representative Feeley on the death of his father and concern to Representative Casebier whose father was ill.
Upon motion of Representative Siler, seconded by Representative Belcher, the minutes of the November 1, 1999 meeting were approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche explained that the committee would hold a joint confirmation hearing so the appointees would not have to make two trips to Frankfort to appear before the House and Senate Education Committees during the session. Kentucky Board of Education members Dr. Robinson, Ms. Combs, and Dr. Henson were present. Nominees answered detailed questions from the members. Representative Rasche thanked the nominees for attending.
Representative Rasche introduced Steve Catron, a nominee to the Postsecondary Education Nominating Committee. Mr. Catron explained the role of the Postsecondary Education Nominating Committee as the body that places the names of nomination to the Governor for appointments to the research universities, comprehensive universities, KCTCS, the Student Loan Corporation, and Kentucky Education Television. Mr. Catron answered a question from Senator Guthrie and Representative Rasche thanked him for coming.
Representative Rasche began the review of Administrative Regulations with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Ms. Diana Barber, Staff Attorney for KHEAA, and Ms. Linda Renschler, Student Aide Branch Manager, represented KHEAA and explained the regulations. These regulations are to implement House Bill 706, the Early Childhood Development Initiative. There are seven different sections of these regulations. The sections include definitions, applicant selection, disbursement, overawards and refunds, recordkeeping requirements, program costs, and the system of monetary incentives. Ms. Barber answered questions from members pertaining to the regulations.
Upon a motion from Representative Collins, seconded by Representative Belcher, 11 KAR 16:001, 11 KAR 16:010, 11 KAR 16:020, 11 KAR 16:030, 11 KAR 16:040, 11 KAR 16:050, and 11 KAR 16:060 were adopted by voice vote.
Representative Rasche then addressed the regulations on campus security from the Council on Postsecondary Education. Dennis Taulbee, General Council for the Council on Postsecondary Education said they were companion regulations for private and public institutions under House Bill 322. The regulations define requirements for institutions reporting crimes on campus. Senator Karem expressed his support for the regulations.
Upon motion of Representative Treesh, seconded by Representative Collins, 13 KAR 1:030 and 13 KAR 2:100 were approved and adopted by voice vote.
Audrey Carr and Ethel Alston explained a draft work plan to address the studies
assigned to the Committee by SCR 88 and HCR 114 (2000). Dr. Carr explained that the work plan divides the Interim Joint Committee on Education into a subcommittee on compensation for certified employees and a subcommittee on compensation for classified employees. Staff will prepare briefing materials within the next couple of months to distribute to members.
Phase II of the draft workplan will start after the 2001 regular session and after
members have time to familiarize themselves with the issues. People will be brought in to testify who have a stake in compensation and benefits. The Education Committee staff will analyze data collected in other states in order to better inform members on Kentucky’s ranking with other states. Members will work on their recommendations in June and July, 2001, and have final recommendations ready in accordance with the resolutions by the end of August. Discussion followed on teacher salaries.
Representative Rasche explained that this issue was going to take a majority of the
members’ time this interim. Upon a motion by Representative Treesh, seconded by Representative Thompson, the draft work plan was adopted by voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Dr. Gordon Davies to discuss tuition waiver
programs. Dr. Davies said that nine tuition waiver programs have been identified. They are: 1) scholarships for faculty and staff – any regular or full-time employee of a public postsecondary institution can take six credit hours at a public postsecondary education institution without paying tuition; 2) scholarships for the elderly -- tuition and fees for people over 60 are waived; 3) free tuition for survivors of police officers, firefighters, or volunteer firefighters killed in action; 4) free tuition for child/spouse of disabled police officers, firefighters, and volunteer firefighters; 5) scholarships for war veterans dating to 1917; 6) free tuition for children, step-children, and spouses of national guard or armed services members killed in action; 7) free tuition for children, step-children, orphans, and spouses of disabled national guard members, war veterans, prisoners of war, persons missing in action, and armed services members; 8) scholarships for children, step-children, and orphans of war veterans killed in action; and 9) tuition waived up to six credit hours for the public school teachers who provide supervision for practice teachers.
Dr. Davies said the total cost for these tuition waiver programs is estimated at
$5,916,000.00. The most expensive are faculty and staff and the supervising and resource teachers. Dr. Davies welcomed questions from the members.
Senator Seum commented that tuition credits for college staff have been in effect
for some time and is part of the teacher’s compensation. Dr. Davies said that House Bill 240 added the full-time employees of area technology centers. Senator Seum said that House Bill 240 gave staff the freedom to go to the college of their choice. Senator Seum wanted to make sure that the point was recognized that teachers hired by public universities had the right to pursue and further their education as part of their compensation package.
Representative Draud asked if reimbursing staff was common around the nation or
if Kentucky was an exception. Dr. Davies said that tuition reimbursement is pretty common around the country and he thinks it is a good idea, but expensive.
Representative Cherry asked how many people participate in the tuition waiver
programs. Dr. Davies said there are 7,456 participants in the programs. There are two new bills before the legislature for the 2001 session that would provide additional tuition waivers.
Representative Walton and Dr. Davies explained that the figures of $5.9 million
for 2001-2002 and $4.1 million for this year are the costs of foregone tuition. Representative Collins said that students who actually pay the tuition will get a seat before a non-paying student if space becomes an issue. Dr. Davies emphasized that the study and report is of tuition not collected and not a cost study of higher education.
Representative Siler said that all the tuition waiver programs are a great bargain to
offer at six million dollars. Dr. Davies agreed and believes all recipients are deserving. Dr. Davies reiterated that we need to be aware of all of the exemptions we are granting especially when looking at adding additional waiver programs to the accumulating list of established programs.
Senator Kerr said that the brain drain is a very big issue in Kentucky and asked if
keeping these students here helps Kentucky financially in the long run. Dr. Davies referred to the university presidents in the audience and asked them to comment. Dr. Davies also said that the issue is not really related to the brain drain, but extending access to higher education to people who probably could not have afforded it. These are enabling bills that allow them to move on in their academic pursuits where they would not have the education opportunity in another state.
Representative Colter commented that she served on the Adult Education Task
Force and that she does not see how we could turn these groups of people away from free tuition. Dr. Davies said that he was not advocating eliminating any of the current nine tuition waiver programs, but wanted members to be sure to know about them before considering adding two additional waiver programs.
Senator Westwood asked about the additional impact of the two new waivers and
wondered if these would affect students who will not have the opportunity to attend a postsecondary institution. Dr. Davies said it is almost impossible to say if the foster and adopted children would attend college without the waiver. As related to the bill that gives free tuition to all students who score 21 or above on the ACT, he said that it is safe to assume that any student who has taken the ACT and scored at least 21 is going to college. Only 13% of Kentucky students leave the state to attend college. Senator Westwood said we need to be careful to examine how far we are going to take the waiver concept before we are educating everyone free of charge with no expense except to the universities.
Senator McGaha says it is very difficult to take away from the current programs,
but it is also difficult to look into the future and keep adding programs. He said that we have to draw the line somewhere and realize that we cannot pay everyone’s way through college.
Representative Rasche moved the discussion to the Research Challenge Trust
Fund. He said there is a conflict between House Bill 1 (1997) that has a broad definition of endowed chairs and the 1998 budget bill which specifically said endowed chairs only. House Bill 1, relating to the Research Challenge Trust Fund, listed an endowed professorship matching program, endowed chair matching program, external research grant matching program, graduate assistant program, and junior faculty research encouragement program. Dr. Davies said there was language in the 2000 budget which referred to endowed programs.
Dr. Davies asked his presidential colleagues including Dr. Gary Ransdell, Dr.
James Votruba, Dr. Charles Wethington, and Dr. Ronald Eaglin to join him for the discussion. Dr. Davies said the Council has viewed “Bucks for Brains” as a way of strengthening institutions and the research missions of institutions. Dr. Davies believes that House Bill 1 got the language right.
Dr. Charles Wethington said that the universities have worked closely with the
Council on Postsecondary Education to determine the guidelines for using the money in the Research Challenge Trust Fund. In order to build a top 20 public research university, there are many more pieces besides the endowed chair. Universities must have money for library resources and laboratories and other things that support the endowed chair. The endowed chairs has been focused on bringing people in from the outside while the endowed professorship has been focused on keeping our best people in Kentucky. The endowed programs are entirely supported by the University of Kentucky and will enable the university to build a better university much faster than if restricted to endowed chairs alone.
Dr. Ransdell said to not be too specific when defining what an endowed chair is
because an endowed chair can be different things on different campuses. Most endowments are incremental and this package is essential to attracting the best candidates.
Dr. Ronald Eaglin said that he needs this flexibility at Morehead State University
to entice people to that institution and they have around $12-13 million in that endowment now. If all gifts were limited just to chairs, Morehead State University would not be as successful as they are now. All gifts are strengthening the university and he would like to see the program keep its flexibility.
Representative Rasche told Dr. Davies that it would be helpful if the members
could receive a one to two page report on the various chairs and programs of the various schools. Dr. Davies said he would get that information for the members.
Representative Draud presented House Bill 17. This bill is based on a P-16 model
in existence in northern Kentucky for several years that has been very successful creating collaboration from pre-school through the university level. House Bill 17 extends this opportunity throughout the state and reinforces the goals of the state P-16 council.
Dr. Votruba said that his model in northern Kentucky serves as a prototype and a
vehicle for bringing K-12 and postsecondary education together. This happens as close to the classroom as possible. Dr. Votruba strongly supports this legislation and House Bill 17.
Dr. Davies said we are learning from one another. The Council on Postsecondary
Education and the State Board of Education created a P-16 council voluntarily. It consists of three members from each board, Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, and Dr. Davies. Dr. Davies said that he generally supports Representative Draud’s bill.
Representative Cherry said it gets complicated to keep up with all of the different
councils and asked the cost of establishing eight or nine P-16 councils.
Dr. Davies said that it would cost around $80,000 for each region to put someone
in charge of results/outcomes for each region. He said there is no high cost but there is high outcome.
Representative Rasche said the House Education Committee would meet on
Wednesday, February 7, 2001, at 8:00 a.m. in Room 129 Annex.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.