Interim Joint Committee on Education


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 3rd Meeting

of the 2003 Interim


<MeetMDY1> June 18, 2003


The<MeetNo2> 3rd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Wednesday,<MeetMDY2> June 18, 2003, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, at Newport Middle School in Newport Kentucky<Room>. Representative Frank Rasche, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Senator Lindy Casebier, Co-Chair; Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins, Brett Guthrie, Alice Kerr, R.J. Palmer II, Jerry Rhoads, Dan Seum, Gary Tapp, and David L. Williams; Representatives Jon Draud, Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, C.B. Embry Jr, Bill Farmer, Derrick Graham, Mary Harper, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Harry Moberly, Russ Mobley, Charles Siler, Arnold Simpson, and Charles Walton.


Guests:  Senator Katie Stine; Representatives Jim Callahan, Jody Richards, and Brian Crall; Rossie Hall, Newport City Commissioner; Robert Goodlett, Office of FRYSC; Michael D. Denney, Office of FRYSC; Kristy Taylor Standifer, Education Professional Standards Board; Mike Carr, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Larry Stinson; Fort Thomas Schools; Pam Rye, Newport Schools; Alicia Sells, Phyllis Lubman, and Tracey Herman, Kentucky School Boards Association; Carl Rollins, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority; Steve Stevens, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Napier, Kentucky School-Based Health Centers Collaborative; Rick Hulefeld, Children, Inc.; Connie Cummings, Ludlow Schools; Patrick S. Clore, Northern Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; Curtis Hall, Southgate Schools; Melanie Roberts, guest of Representative Mary Harper; Louise Neimer, Northern Kentucky University; Cliff Wallace, Williamstown Schools; Barbara Martin, Ludlow Schools; Jack Morland, Covington Independent Schools; Debra Giese, University of Louisville; Marie Maupin, Kentucky School-Based Health Centers; Fred Bassett, Beechwood Schools; Gene Wilhoit and Bonnie Brinly, Kentucky Department of Education; Bob Storer, Walton-Verona Schools; Melodie Corbett and Cathy Pedra, Ludlow Schools; Marie Cahill, Healthpoint School-based Health Centers; Tom Layzell and Bill Swinford, Council on Postsecondary Education; Elizabeth Grause, Ludlow Schools; Jeff Mondo, Kentucky Board of Education; Rick Flesch, Math Key; Meg Winchell, Urban Learning Center; Kelly Schwegman, Northern Kentucky Health Department; Leshia Lyman, United Way; Pat Demon, Johnson HKC, Lexington; Leslie Calk, Johnson Elementary/FRYSC Lexington; Marsha Dewitt and Lee Barrenger, Newport Schools; Dianne Evans, Covington Health Kids Center; Linda Cagnetti, Cincinnati Enquirer; Mike Phillips, Cincinnati Post;  Ed Hughes, Gateway Community Technical College; Kathy Gavin, Northern Kentucky Health Department; Pat Dressman and Ken Rechtin, Campbell County Fiscal Court; Sue Weinstein, Discover Health; Norah Bertschey, Bellevue/Southgate School-based Health Center; Paula Payne, Senate Democrats; Paul Gray, Bellevue High School; Candace Klein, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Kate Keller, Health Foundation; Steve Jones, Kentucky Post; Ned Kacapasen, Northern Kentucky Health Department; Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee; Josh Wice, Campbell County Schools; Jerome Bowles, President, NDACP; Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools; Richard Burns, Jennifer Maines, Regina Brownfield, Joel Santos, Kerri Johns, Deborah Taggart, Rosa Weaver, Melissa Bohl, Suzy Wera, Jodi Schmidt, Jim Votruba, Duane Crowe, Loeta Potter, Pat Brethalle, Kim Hockney, Sandra Collette, Lee Turner, Joanne Estenfelder, Michelle Hammond, Jennifer Logsdon, Krista Wainscott, Dan Yeager, Wayne Bradley, Jeff Heilman, Carri Lichonburg, Jenny Schultz, Susan Padgett, Beverly Simon, Robin Nance, Michelle Bertke, Richard Henson, Tom Young, Joy Collins, Amanda Futrell, and Brian Weinrick, Northern Kentucky University; Ruth Webb, Dudley Cotton, and John Cubine, Legislative Research Commission.


LRC Staff:  Audrey Carr, Sandy Deaton, Jonathan Lowe, and Kelley McQuerry.


A motion was made to approve the minutes by Senator Palmer and seconded by Representative Marzian.  The motion was approved by voice vote.


Representative Rasche introduced Dr. Frank Bruns of the Newport School System. Dr. Bruns welcomed the members to the Newport Middle school. He said that the school-based health center is a good addition to the Family Resource and Youth Services Center. The development of these programs has been a cooperative effort with the state. He said these programs are meeting the needs of the students and the community of Newport.


Representative Rasche recognized members of the General Assembly that are not members of the Education Committee. He asked Representative Draud a Northern Kentucky resident to make comments.


Representative Draud said he was glad to welcome all of his fellow legislators to Northern Kentucky. He said that the day should help members become well-informed concerning what is happening in Northern Kentucky. He introduced Steve Stevens, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to go over the days events.


Representative Rasche introduced Michelle Napier, Nurse Practitioner with Williamstown Schools, and President, Kentucky School Based Health Centers (SBHC) to give an overview of the school-based health centers program.


Ms. Napier said that in Kentucky there are twenty-four school based health centers that are serving over 13,000 students located in urban, rural, and suburban communities. She said that school based health centers are located in the school and bring health care to students, including primary and preventive care services. Services provided are: physical examinations, immunizations, mental health care, health education, dental, pharmacy, case management, smoking cessation and prevention, acute care, asthma management, and Attention Deficit and Hypertension Disorder (ADHD) evaluation and management and other health related services.


Ms. Napier said that the school-based health centers help decrease the number of absentees, which increases overall attendance and increases funds within districts. She said that with an increase in preventive care visits, including well-child exams, immunizations, and sports physicals, there are  fewer days missed. She said that having a medical staff at the school limits the need for parents to use sick leave to transport their child to a doctor.


Ms. Napier said that there is a drastic increase of children who need mental health and substance abuse services. She said that a high proportion of the students that are served are low income, minority, at-risk students that have limited access and utilization of health services.


Ms. Napier said that at the beginning of every year the school-based health service centers obtain written consent from parents for the use of their services. She said that it is not a requirement, but of the 16,000 students that have had the opportunity to use the center, 13,000 have wanted this service. She said that when the student makes a visit to the center, and it is determined that the students would benefit from medical services the family is then called or a note is sent home. The parent has to give permission for the student to participate in treatment. 


Ms. Napier said that coordinated school health service is of great interest in the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) because there is a relationship between student health and the students’ academic achievement. She said that children can not learn if they are not in the classroom. She said that SBHCs keep students in school by treating their illnesses early and putting them in contact with physicians if they do not have one. They also help students feel good about themselves while they are at school.  She said that 89.5 percent of the students that came to a SBHC returned to their classrooms. She said the number of centers are growing nationally. In 1994 there were 600 SBHC.  Eight years later, there are 1500.


Ms. Beth Lange, Master of Social Work (MSW), Newport Schools SBHC Coordinator, conducted a tour for the legislators that consisted of the Newport Middle School SBHC, the SBHC Mobile van, the SBHC fitness center,  and the Youth Services Center.


Ms. Mary Burch, Register Nurse (RN), and District Health Coordinator, Erlanger/Elsmere Schools spoke about the health education outcomes and linkages of SBHCs with comprehensive school health. She said that children must be healthy to learn. She said that in her fourteen year career of being a school nurse there were many frustrations because of the barriers the students have in obtaining health care.  Students often had illnesses that could not be treated by their primary care physicians due to the parents not having the money to pay the co-pays or the cost of treatment. She said that even though the children were at school they were unable to learn because of being sick.


Ms. Burch said there are eight different models in the coordinated school health model. She said that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has been awarded a grant from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to address the eight components of coordinated school health. She said that KDE has developed a vision statement for Kentucky regarding coordinated school health. It is based on the input of over fifty stake holders, including the CDC and the American School Health Association. She said that this statement promotes an integrated collaborated approach among educators, health and human service providers, and other agencies and organizations at the policy and implementation levels.


Ms. Burch explained the eight components of a coordinated school on health program. She said that the first component is the school health services, that includes the school nursing services. The second component is comprehensive health education, which teaches students to stay healthy. The third component is physical education. The fourth component is the school nutrition program. The fifth component is the mental health services that are brought into the schools. The sixth component is promotion of healthy staff. The seventh component  is the healthy school environment. The eighth component is family and community involvement.


Dr. Thomas Young, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky and Medical Director for Healthy Kids SBHCs of Lexington, said that school health is an important issue for this state and it is important to understand what school health means to education. He said that when he went from a private practice to a SBHC it was an eye opener. He said that he saw children that came to school who were totally unprepared to be educated. He said the students had not had appropriate mental developmental stimulation. In addition, almost every child had dental problems. He said that there were untreated health problems and un-addressed mental health issues. He said parents do want the type of help provided by the SBHC. At this time there is a ninety-five percent rate of participation from parents in Lexington schools.


Dr. Young said that there is a connection between health and student achievement. He said that often barriers to education are not addressed. He said that the health centers try to remove the barriers that are present. He said that the former surgeon general said that health and education go hand and hand, one cannot exist without the other and to believe any differently is to hamper progress, just as our children have the right to receive the best education available, they have the right to be healthy. He said it is up to parents, educators, legislators, and physicians to make sure students are healthy.    


Dr. Young said that as many as ten percent of adolescents have clinical depression. He said if this issue is not addressed, students can not learn. He said that dental care is a very important issue. A dental study was done comparing students before treatment and after dental treatment. Behavior and academic performance improved one hundred percent. He said there is published data that indicates reading and math scores of third and fourth graders that received comprehensive health education were significantly higher than those who did not. 


Dr. Young said that physical education is very important in adolescence, improves self-esteem and lowers anxiety and stress, which can be a barrier to successful education. He said that there have been studies that show that physical activity is positively associated with academic improvement. Participation in physical activity has had no negative effect on performance in other academic subjects.


Dr. Young said that it is shown that if children get health services at an early age their early academic achievement improves. He said that early intervention also shows higher school completion rates and lower juvenile crime rates.


Dr. Young said that the three health services components are physical health care, mental health care, and dental health care. He said that schools with a SBHC have shown significant improvement in school attendance at the elementary grades. There has also been an improvement in graduation rates and a decrease in drop out rates.


Representative Marzian said that she applauded the presenters and their dedication to the students. She said that it makes sense that the students have access to some health care and preventative measures. She said she will continue to be an advocate in the legislature for all the services and the funding. She asked if any insurance companies were being billed. Dr. Young said that insurance companies and Medicaid were being billed, but it is never enough to support the centers, so there has to be community support.


Senator Guthrie asked if the schools that have a SBHC are receiving higher performances. Dr. Young said that all the scores are going up, but as so many things are being changed in the schools, it is difficult to say the improved student performance is because of the health centers.  He said that health education appears to have made a tremendous difference in the practical living scores.


Representative Draud said that there is data that the centers have reduced absenteeism.


 Senator Williams asked what part the center played in nutritional health. Ms. Napier said that some of the nutritional issues schools face are tied to revenue that schools receive from vending machines. She said that one of the ways to address nutritional needs is to add milk machines in schools as a source of revenue. She said that there are some partnerships with the American Dairy Council and some published studies that show when a milk machine is present in school that the revenue from these machines is equal to or more than the revenue from soda machines. She said that healthy snacks can also be exchanged in the vending machines. She said that fifty percent of students come to school without eating breakfast and another fifty percent  of students do not eat lunch. She said that when the students get home they eat and watch television. The students are eating most at their least time of physical activity.  She said that the Center for Disease Control just published a study that states that one in three children in our nation is obese and is at risk for adult onset diabetes.


Senator Williams said that there are people in the schools that recognized these problems and have professional training to deal with these problems. He asked if there had been change in schools because of the SBHC effort as far as what they serve for breakfast and lunch.  He asked if there are dietitians in all the school districts. Ms. Napier said that the dietitian in her district is also a consultant from the public health department. All districts do not have a dietician although all have an identified school food service director. She said one of the other barriers to school nutritional programs is the allowance of fat grams and calories each week. Ms. Burch added that this is something that is going to take awhile to make diet changes.


 Dr. Young said that in his district there has been a wellness committee established. He said that two things had been accomplished. First, there has been an adjustment in the school breakfast and lunch menu and second, the school has adopted ten minutes of physical activity every day. The teachers have seen productivity from this. Senator Williams said that the answer is not going to come from Frankfort concerning the nutrition issue. He said that everyone needs to help the legislators with ideas.


Representative Draud said that the health centers throughout Kentucky should have some pilot projects relating to nutrition. He said he agreed with Senator Williams that the legislators should not have to pass a law concerning what food is served in schools.


Senator Kerr asked about the school menu planning and how it is determined how many fat grams a school dietician puts into a menu in a week. Ms. Napier said that this is determined by the USDA. Senator Kerr asked what the legislature can do if the amount of sugars and fat grams are being dictated on a weekly basis. Dr. Young said that the recommendation by the USDA is reasonable. He said that the school districts have flexibility on how they design the menus. The real problem is the implementation of the guidelines. Often costs and the food products that are provided enter into the discussions.


Representative Rasche introduced representatives from Partners for Northern Kentucky’s Future: Dr. James C. Votruba, President, Northern Kentucky University;  Dr. Ed Hughes, President, Gateway Community College; Mr. Patrick S. Clore, Chairman, Northern Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; and Mr. Rick Hulefeld, Executive Director, Children, Inc.


 Dr. Votruba said that NKU’s success is due to the regional partnerships over the last twenty years. He said that the levels of education in Kentucky, early childhood, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult, represent the continuum of opportunity for all Kentuckians. He said that each relies upon or reflects the progress achieved by the others and as a result all rise with the success of each, just as all falter when one is diminished. He said that to ensure the economic success of a high quality of life for its citizens, Kentucky must sustain its commitment to this continuum of education and build on the momentum created by the forward looking actions of the past. Dr. Votruba said that the Partners for Northern Kentucky’s future are committed to continuing the improvement of education at all levels. He said that in Northern Kentucky there is a history of working together in creating the first local P-16 council in Kentucky. He said that NKU and Gateway Community College are building a seamless system for postsecondary education that allows students to be admitted at both schools concurrently. He said that the premier early childhood service provider, Children, Inc. has brought us together to study the needs of early childhood. He said the organization now holds a national annual brain conference in Northern Kentucky. He said that Children, Inc. also provides daycare services and childhood development programs for many of the P-12 students.


Dr. Hughes said that Northern Kentucky is setting the example of what should be done in higher education. He said the Partners have discussed ways to avoid unwarranted duplication of effort and how better collaboration and coordination can be facilitated. He said that House Bill 1 (1997) set the stage for coordination between K-12 programs and the technical and community colleges. He said that Dr. Votruba supported the development of a comprehensive community college which merged three independent vocational schools. He said that these became one institution with three campuses. He said that Gateway Community College is the new name that replaced Northern Kentucky Technical College. He said that Gateway’s mission is to provide access for students and to be a part of the economic development engine. He said that Gateway has increased enrollment twenty-two percent in the past two years with no additional funding. He said that the vision statement states, “It is Gateway’s vision to become a premier comprehensive community technical college that is nationally recognized for meeting the education and training needs of  this dynamic region.”


Dr. Hughes said that Northern Kentucky is below the average in the percent of the population with any type of secondary or postsecondary education and training. He said that Gateway wants to increase the percentage of the population that has postsecondary education and training. He said that access is done in two ways. First, Gateway has to remain affordable. Second, it must be near the people. He said that the urban learning center, which is located near Newport, is a big part of Gateway’s efforts to provide more access. He said that he wanted to assure the committee that House Bill 1 is alive in the Northern Kentucky communities.


Mr. Patrick Clore said that there have been three recent studies on public school funding. One showed a need for 750 million dollars additional funds, another one showed the need for 890 million dollars, and the other one, 2.3 billion dollars. He said that even at today’s current funding with today’s cost of living, there will be a shortfall of 300 million dollars. He said that most communities in Kentucky can not make up the shortfall in the funding by raising local taxes because the tax base is not there. He said that this creates an equity issue. He said that prior to the passage of House Bill 269 (2003 RS), the KDE told educators to prepare for the worst. He said the districts appreciated the budget effort but there was one-time funding in the budget and increases in the basic SEEK fund were used up by the mandated salary increases. He said that salaries are not a one-time occurrence but a continuing requirement. The extra funds that were provided in the appropriation required other services and programs to be cut such as regional service centers, school reward money, and text book money. Those cuts are of major concerns to superintendents. He said that in Northern Kentucky the school districts are growing so rapidly that it is hard to keep up without funding to help support the growth. He said that Northern Kentucky schools are working cooperatively with the P-16 council and trying to curb costs. He said that they are trying to expand services, but without funding it will be hard to continue to do so.


Mr. Rick Hulefeld said that across Kentucky approximately thirty-five percent of children arrive at the school door already behind. He said that number balloons to 70 percent in urban and rural school districts where there are a high concentrations of low income children. He said that if Kentucky equaled the national average of adults over the age of twenty-five who had a four year degree or better there would be increased earning power and estimated 300 million dollars more in state tax revenue. He said that Kentucky needs to be at the national average. He said that studies show if there is parent involvement, it can raise the quality of the early childhood experiences. He said that there are two thousand child care centers in the state of Kentucky and twelve percent are rated “mediocre”, five percent are rated “good to excellent”, and the other eighty-three percent are rated “unknown”. He said that brain research states that every child can learn at a very high level. He said that at birth, one-third of the brain connections that adult have are present. He said that at the age of three a child has twice as many brain connections as an adults has. He said that the brain stays that way until the age of ten. He said that between the ages of ten and eighteen the child disconnects 500 trillion brain connects. He said child care can not be found unless the parent is on welfare, abusing his or her own child, or is a teen mom needing child care so she can go to high school. He said currently $25 million dollars is being spent across the state for child care out of the state general fund. He said there is a need to raise child care standards in the state.


Senator Seum asked about the sixteen year seamless education progress and if there is a sense of coordination between the colleges as far as curriculum goes.  He asked if students at the high school levels were ready for college. Dr. Votruba said that it is more seamless today than it was yesterday. He said that one of the reasons for the partnership that there needs to be collaboration on this issue.


Senator Tapp said that perhaps a different approach is needed. Instead of starting at elementary, start at the college level and go backwards. He said the colleges need to let the high schools know what they expect and the high schools need to let the middle schools know what to expect from the high schools. He said that if everyone gets on that same track there would be benefits for the students. He said that college professors have told him there is too much time spent with remedial math and getting students prepared for what they need to know. Dr. Hughes said that in Northern Kentucky not only is the curriculum being aligned with strong faculty connections at all levels, but schools are doing a better job engaging the business community to identify what kind of graduates are needed at the end of the pipeline. He said that this is the first effort that has started to pay some dividends. He said that in the Northern Kentucky region there will be less remedial math than there has been in the past. He said decreasing remedial courses is the focus of the P-16 council. Data should be available in three to four years.


Mr. Hulefled said that there is a new opportunity concerning the alignment piece. He said that for the very first time the KDE is putting out what all five year olds should be able to do. He said that understanding what five year olds need to do will help align programs with other school indicators. He said that parents and grandparents have to become involved.


Dr. Votruba said the expectations need to be made clear from a public policy standpoint as well as from an institutional standpoint.


Representative Moberly asked Mr. Hulefeld what percentage of the state day care centers were nationally accredited. Mr. Hulefeld said that across the country it is six percent and he believed the state of Kentucky was also at six percent. Representative Moberly asked how many day care centers are offering educational enhancement. Mr. Hulefeld said that there is a star ranking. Every center should be at least two stars, although this is still a very minimal ranking.


Representative Moberly asked Dr. Votruba if the faculty members were rewarded for collaboration with public schools and if they get recognition in the tenure and promotion process. Dr. Votruba said that teacher education is a university-wide activity and the College of Arts and Science is as involved in teacher preparation as the College of Education is. While service is important, much still needs to be done in this area.


Representative Siler said that postsecondary education did not become a partner until seven years after the elementary and secondary education reform effort. He said that he appreciated the efforts taken by NKU to help postsecondary education become a partner in K-12 education reform in Kentucky.


Senator Casebier said that some very good points were made concerning the reform and the need for seamless education. He said that another component that just recently came into play was Senate Bill 1(2000), relating to adult education and literacy. He said that part of the problem with students having remediation in college stems back to the home situation which goes back to the early childhood situation. He said in his view the reform was backwards. He said that the education reform should have started with adult education and literacy in 1990.  He said that since there is now a program in place for under-educated adults that maybe they will become better parents and when their children start school they will be involved and able to help their children perform at high levels.


Senator Williams commended Dr. Votruba for being a key player in higher education. He said that he had concerns relating to the funding for NKU. He asked if the Council on postsecondary Education’s present funding formula will prohibit NKU from ever receiving the amount of funds necessary to fulfill its mission. He asked if the formula is fundamentally flawed as far as Northern Kentucky is concerned.


Dr. Votruba said that the council has done an excellent job over the past few years creating benchmark standards. He said that the pace will be slower which will have  consequences for the Northern Kentucky region. He said that House Bill 1(1997) was very clear about the expectations for the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, but it treated the comprehensive universities as an undifferentiated set. He said that the next order of business concerning public policy is to disaggregate these six institutions and start looking deeply at what each region requires from its particular institution and fund it accordingly.


Senator Williams said that as the funding mechanism is being approached for education, it appears that one appropriation is made for higher education. He encouraged the Northern Kentucky community to bring forth its needs to the General Assembly.


Senator Williams asked Mr. Hulefeld about the funding concerning early childhood programs. He asked if there should be funding tied to a certain percentage of poverty. Mr. Hulefeld could not give a specific response to that without more discussion on the issue involved. In the past, child care was seen as a way of helping parents work while keeping children safe. He said that now it is about early care and about education so that more children have a chance. Senator Williams asked how should we provide what is needed. Mr. Hulefeld said that it is known what good care looks like and what it takes to make it educational; however it is not fully funded.


Senator Williams asked how the twenty-five million dollars should be spent if things were to be done differently and how we could ensure that child care centers are providing the quality care everyone is wanting. Would it cost more?


Mr. Hulefeld said children need to arrive at the school door ready to learn. Their families do not have the resources to go out and buy the type of care that would make the difference. He said that he could not give specifics on what is needed but he believed a group of people could sit down and come up with what is necessary.


Senator Rhoads asked Dr. Hughes why the community technical colleges represent the increasingly higher percentage of those who go into higher education. He said he believed that these colleges are closer to and tied to the communities. He said it seems that there is a need to change the culture at an early age for the children as well as the parents. Dr. Hughes said some of the institutions are developing programs for fifth, sixth, and seventh graders to engage the community and let them know about the community and technical college.


Representative Rasche thanked all the presenters for attending the meeting and announced that the next meeting will be August 4, 2003.


With no further business the meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.