Thefifth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, October 1, 2001, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Frank Rasche, Presiding Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Lindy Casebier, Co-Chair; Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins, Brett Guthrie, David K. Karem, Vernie McGaha, Ernesto Scorsone, Dan Seum, Johnny Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Larry Belcher, Buddy Buckingham, Mike Cherry, Jack Coleman, Hubert Collins, Barbara White Colter, Jon Draud, Tim Feeley, Gippy Graham, Mary Lou Marzian, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly, Russ Mobley, Rick Nelson, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Arnold Simpson, Dottie Sims, Kathy Stein, Gary Tapp, Mark Treesh, and Charles Walton.
Guests:† Jane C. Lindel, University of Kentucky; Margie Seay and Steve Noble, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexia; Dr. Barbara Burch, Western Kentucky University; Mike Carr and Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Judith Gambill, Kentucky Education Association; Libby Marshall, Kentucky School Boards Association; and Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools.
LRC Staff:† Sandy Deaton, Ethel Alston, Audrey Carr, Evelyn Gibson, and Kelley McQuerry.
A motion was made to approve the minutes of the September 5, 2001 meeting by Representative Collins and seconded by Senator Karem. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Colter introduced Ms. Karen Grubb and two of her students, Ms. Jodie Grubb and Ms. Brittany Jones from Clay County Middle School. The students presented a consumer service project that consists of making crocheted or quilted homemade baby blankets for premature newborn babies at the University of Kentuckyís Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit. The students created a public service announcement with their local radio station and wrote articles for the local newspaper asking for donations. They also designed flyers asking for help that were passed out at local churches. Two hundred homemade blankets have been delivered. The students said that the ultimate goal is for future students to continue the project. They said that blankets have been donated by senior citizens, teachers, friends, and students. The students presented their project in Anaheim, California and won the gold award. The students said they now have received help from the inmates at the Manchester Correctional Facility who wanted to help after hearing the public service announcement on the radio. The inmates have made 92 blankets, and have asked for additional yarn to make more blankets. The students said they would like for the program to reach across the United States. Representative Rasche thanked the students from Clay County High School for their presentation.
Senator Casebier introduced Ms. Margie Seay, Educational Outreach Coordinator, and Mr. Steve Noble, Board Member, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexia.† Ms. Seay said that the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexia is a national origination that was founded in 1948 to meet the needs of soldiers who had lost their sight due to injuries suffered in World War II combat. She said that students in kindergarten through postgraduate levels are receiving educational materials in recorded and computerized formats and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexia is the nationís largest provider of accessible textbooks for people with disabilities. She said that Recording for the Blind and Dyslexia is currently serving 34 schools and universities in Kentucky and that there is a potential need to serve anywhere from 11,500 to 23,000 students across the state. Only 1,307 students, or about 15% of the students are receiving significant educational benefits from the organizationís services. She requested approximately $689,000.00 from the General Fund to help hire additional staff to reach across the state.
Mr. Steve Noble suggested an amendment to KRS 156.476 which deals with students who are visually impaired, but only addresses Braille and large print materials. He said that the law should be revised to address the needs of students with other print disabilities, and should specifically address the provision of recorded and computer format materials. He said there is also a need for more educational outreach and teacher training. He said that despite the proven effectiveness of audio and electronic textbooks for students with learning and other non-visual disabilities, there is very little awareness of the availability of these services among teachers. He said that funding for a pilot project to get the newest accessible textbook technology into schools would be the next thing the state should consider. He said that digital talking books provide a level of access to educational materials never before available to students with print disabilities. Such a pilot program would provide new equipment, digital textbooks, and critical teacher training on using this new technology.
†Senator Westwood asked if there is any collaboration with the county libraries. Ms. Seay said that they were beginning to collaborate but are hampered by the fact that she is the only staff person. Senator Westwood said that Kenton County had the talking books program, which was funded last session. Mr. Nobel added that the talking book program deals exclusively with recreational reading such as novels and periodicals.
Representative Rasche asked Dr. Gordon Davies, President, Council on Postsecondary Education, to introduce the presidents and their representatives from the postsecondary education institutions. Dr. Davies introduced Mr. Alan Rose, Secretary, Workforce Development Cabinet, who in turn introduced Dr. Cheryl King, Commissioner, and Reese Stagnolia, Deputy Commissioner, Department for Adult Education and Literacy. Dr. King said that by increasing the baseline enrollment, goals will be met. In 1999-2000, 50,000 adults enrolled in the Adult Education and Literacy programs. The future goal is serving 100,000 adults by 2004, and 300,000 adults by 2010. She said that partnerships have been formed to increase enrollment such as the partnership with the Kentucky Virtual University and the Kentucky Virtual Library. She said that by working together they have created the Kentucky Virtual Adult Education website. Mr. Stagnolia said that 63,000 adult learners had been served this past year, which is a 23 percent increase from last year. He said that in 1996, 31,000 adults were served. He said that 85 counties will receive rewards based on performance criteria and goals that they have achieved sharing $750,000. He said that there has been an eleven percent increase in those who have received their GED. He said that Kentucky is one of eight states to achieve a greater than ten percent number of test takers nationally.† He said that 24.2 percent of graduates in Kentucky are graduates with a GED, and it means that there is a great market for postsecondary education opportunities.
Dr. Davies introduced Dr. Mike McCall, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), to briefly tell about some of the achievements of KCTCS. Dr. McCall said that there are 60,000 students enrolled in KCTCS this fall and one data base has been established for the system making it easier for students to enroll and transfer. The accreditation issues that were questionable when KCTCS was established have been resolved and eleven colleges have gone through the process. Dr. Barbara Burch, Provost, Western Kentucky University, said that Western has 2,000 new students since 1997 and has increased the retention rate from 67 percent to 71 percent. She discussed Westernís two programs of distinction in the areas of journalism and broadcasting and the applied sciences.
Dr. Ronald Eaglin, President, Morehead State University, said that he was pleased with KCTCS and that the KCTCS programs were very beneficial to the people of eastern Kentucky. He said that Moreheadís Action Agenda has placed emphasis on teacher education and that Morehead has been a pioneer in establishing P-16 councils in the area.
Dr. Joanne Glasser, President, Eastern Kentucky University, discussed Easternís new business and technology center and the work they do with their law and justice programs.
Dr. Roger Redding, Provost, Northern Kentucky University, discussed the universityís Action Agenda 2001-2006 and said the Center for Civic Engagement will expand community-university partnerships.
Dr. George Reid, President, Kentucky State University, said that he stresses teamwork on campus to achieve the Action Plan. KSU now has a Masterís program in Aquaculture and the School of Business and the School of Education have been reaccredited.
Dr. Lee Todd, President, University of Kentucky, said that the universityís endowment is $430 million. He said that the university will become a top research university, but it will also reach the higher purpose of serving the Commonwealth.
Dr. King Alexander, President, Murray State University, said that Murray had a 5.5 percent increase in enrollment in the past year and a 23 percent increase since 1995. He said that US News and World Report listed Murray in the top 25 in the nation as a comprehensive university.
Dr. Gary Cox, President, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities discussed the critical role of the private institutions in educating the citizens of Kentucky.
Dr. Daniel Rabuzzi, Chief Executive Office, Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual University, said that there are now 4,800 students enrolled in the Kentucky Virtual University and there are 800 interactions an hour with the Kentucky Virtual Library.
Dr. John Shumaker, President, University of Kentucky, said the legislative reform of postsecondary education in 1997 has been successful because it created a statewide system that allowed teamwork and coordination. He discussed the value of the ďBucks for BrainsĒ program and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
Dr. Davies concluded by saying that the Kentucky colleges and universities respond to the needs of the people in the state of Kentucky. He said that the presentations reflect this statement.
Representative Stein said that she and Representative Feeley attended a conference that addressed the critical shortage of† dental students in Kentucky. She said that after the students finish their degree, they are being lured away to other states that have a better compensation package. She said that one of her legislative goals is to assist the poor children of Kentucky to improve their oral health. She asked what steps were being taken to address the shortage of dental students. Dr. Davies said that there is currently a study† to determine how many students that graduated five years ago are still in the state. He said that Kentucky is losing half of the students in the areas of science and engineering. Dr. Todd said that there is an outreach program at the University of Kentucky Dental Clinic with three remote vans that travel the state with a goal of sealing the teeth of every young child in Kentucky at no cost. Dr. Shumaker said that he visited with the Dental Alumni Association and they were talking about the number of DDS degrees that were predicted to go down because of retirement. He said there will need to be a new focus of getting students into dental education.
†Representative Miller asked about the instruction of classroom management in the teacher education programs in the colleges. Dr. Davies said that teacher education has a place on the councilís agenda and that there will be related proposals to the legislature in the 2002 Regular Session.
†Representative Graham asked what percentage of† adults 25 years of age or older have a high school education or GED. Dr. King said that the census showed 825,000 adults without a high school diploma which is about 27 percent. Representative Graham asked how Kentucky is ranked nationally. Dr. King said that Kentucky is ranked at 21 percent versus 16 percent nationally.
Representative Marzian commended the presenters on the improvements that have been made in the past three years. She asked if the virtual university program was providing education opportunities for mental health workers. Dr. Rubuzzi said that there was some discussion but nothing formally is in place at this time. He said that every university is working with them to implement programs.†
Representative Rasche introduced Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Director of Legislative & Public Relations, Educational Professional Standards Board, to give a brief description of 704 KAR 20:120, 704 KAR 20:165, and 704 KAR 20:510. The regulations were approved by voice vote.
Representative Siler made a motion to adjourn and Representative Coleman seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote. With no further business the meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.