Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 4th Meeting

of the 2003 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> September 8, 2003

 

The<MeetNo2> 4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> September 8, 2003, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. 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, David K. Karem, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald Neal, Jerry Rhoads, Gary Tapp, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Buddy Buckingham, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, C.B. Embry Jr, Bill Farmer, Tim Feeley, Derrick Graham, Mary Harper, Mary Lou Marzian, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly, Russ Mobley, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Arnold Simpson, Kathy Stein, Jim Thompson, and Charles Walton.

 

Guests:† Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee; Marcia Carpenter, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority; Lisa Shelley, Kevin C. Brown, and Nancy Black, Proprietary Education Board; Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools and Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; Jo Carole Ellis, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance† Authority; Mike Carr and Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Gary S. Cox, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities; Joe Gershtenson, Eastern Kentucky University; Marcia Seiler, Office of Education and Accountability; Steve Shannon, KARP, and Jerri Robinson, Department of Medicaid Services.

 

LRC Staff: ††Audrey Carr, Jonathan Lowe, Janet Stevens, Sandy Deaton, Kelley McQuerry, and Lisa Moore.

 

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

 

Representative Thompson reported on the Subcommittee for Elementary and Secondary Education.† He said they discussed the work being done to improve the literacy skills of adults and children across the Commonwealth.† He said they heard from Dr. Susan Cantrell, Executive Director, Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, who provided an overview of how the center works to improve literacy performance.† She explained the partnership between Kentucky universities, the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, other state agencies, and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).† He said KDE staff Ms. Starr Lewis, Jennifer Baker, and Felicia Cummins discussed the Early Reading Incentive Grant fund created by Senate Bill 168 in 1998, and the Reading First federal grant that Kentucky has just received.† He said both programs provide grants to local schools to implement research based reading programs and discussions centered on how these funds are being distributed to assist schools in improving the reading performance of their students.† Representative Thompson said the federal program particularly is big and will be quite a challenge to get it implemented along with other programs occurring in the state of Kentucky.†

 

Senator Westwood reported on the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.† He said the subcommittee discussed the Kentucky Affordable Prepaid Tuition (KAPT) Program, and the Kentucky Educational Savings Plan Trust (KESPT).† He said Ms. Jo Carole Ellis, Executive Director, KAPT, from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) provided a description of the program and introduced Mr. Bill Reimert, F.S.A., Principal, Milliman USA, who described a study that he is undertaking on behalf of KHEAA to determine the actuarial status of the KAPT Program for the long-term.† He said KAPT currently has a $12.8 million actuarial deficit due to tuition increases and poor short-term investment performance, but the KAPT reserve fund is sufficient to cover the deficit.† Senator Westwood said if the unclaimed property fund is used to fund the KAPT reserve fund as called for in statute, the reserve is projected to be able to cover future deficits.† He said however, Milliman USA recommends adding a ten percent premium to strengthen the fund status over the long-term and there will be a full actuarial report on KAPT due in October.

 

Senator McGaha reported on the Subcommittee on Vocational Education.† He said Mr. Emil Jezik, Commissioner, Department for Technical Education, discussed the Carl Perkins funding for vocational education.† He said the discussion centered around the proposed changes coming from Washington D.C. in the House and the Senate and the subsequent effects it could possibly have on vocational education in Kentucky.

 

Representative Rasche introduced Ms. Nancy Black, Executive Director, State Board for Proprietary Education, who explained administrative regulations 201 KAR 40:040 & E, 201 KAR 40:050 & E, 201 KAR 40:060 & E, 201 KAR 40:070 & E, 201 KAR 40:080 & E, 201 KAR 40:090 & E, and 201 KAR 40:100 & E.† Ms. Black said the regulations were put into place in response to House Bill 189 from the 2002 General Assembly.† She said these regulations put into perspective the curriculum; applications and renewals; the requirements for criminal history background checks for owners, managers, and agents; facility requirements for the schools; complaint procedures; methods in which the schools maintain student records; fee schedules; and enrollment contracts and agreements with students.† Representative Rasche asked how many of the administrative regulations were peculiar to the truck driving schools, and how many of them are just normal for proprietary schools.† Ms. Black said the majority of the regulations are specific to commercial truck driving training schools.††† She also said that 201 KAR 40:050 & E and 201 KAR 40:060 & E are standard required fees and procedures for all proprietary schools.

 

Representative Collins said these are broad regulations and he is planning on voting no.† Representative Rasche asked if there was a motion to accept the administrative regulations.† Representative Stein made the motion to accept the regulations and this was seconded by Representative Marzian.† The motion was approved by voice vote which included one nay.

 

Representative Rasche said the next topic derived from the last meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.† He said increases in attending college were discussed and how much it costs to attend schools in Kentucky as opposed to surrounding Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB) states.† He introduced Dr. Gary Cox, President, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) and Mr. Dennis L. Taulbee, Associate Vice President and General Counsel, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), who discussed the estimated costs of a college education for students enrolled in Kentuckyís private and public postsecondary education institutions.† Representative Rasche also introduced Dr. Joe McCormick, Executive Director, KHEAA, who will discuss financial aid for Kentucky students from 2000 through 2004.

Dr. McCormick introduced Ms. Marsha Carpenter, Chairman, Board of Directors of KHEAA and Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC).† Ms. Carpenter is a guidance counselor at Daviess County High School in Owensboro.

 

Mr. Taulbee said House Bill 1 established some ambitious goals for the Kentucky Postsecondary Education System in 1997 and directed the council and the institutions to try to perform the goals by 2020.† He said the main goal was to achieve national average in educational attainment by 2020, which means that Kentucky would have to increase the enrollment in the system by 80,000 students by 2015.† Mr. Taulbee said Kentucky must do a better job of graduating and retaining students.† He said Kentucky ranks near the bottom in the graduation rate for postsecondary education systems, and ranks near the bottom for the number of people per capita with baccalaureate degrees.

 

Mr. Taulbee said people with bachelorís degrees have twice the annual earnings as those with a high school education.† He said this clearly illustrates why it is so important to improve educational attainment in Kentucky.

 

Mr. Taulbee said the presentation will be divided into four parts.† They include: 1) Postsecondary system price; 2) Independent institution affordability; 3) Student financial aid; and 4) What can the General Assembly do to maintain affordability?

 

Mr. Taulbee referred members to the graph in their handouts which showed 2003-2004 annual tuition and fees for Kentucky Public Postsecondary Institutions.† He said tuition ranges from a low of $1,896 per year at Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to a high of $4,547 at the University of Kentucky.† He said tuition in Kentucky remains relatively low compared to the South and compared to the nation.† Mr. Taulbee said tuition increases for a five-year period increased by 21.2 percent and 27.9 percent for SREB states.† He said over a five-year period the average increase in tuition in Kentucky was $942.00.

 

Mr. Taulbee said the reason for postsecondary education institution prices† increasing is because the two largest sources of funds for postsecondary education are the state general fund appropriations and tuition and fees and these funds have shifted over the last five years.† In 1997-1998, the first year after reform, state general fund dollars made up 69 percent of the budget of those total public funds that the institutions used.† By 2001-2002, the state general fund had decreased to 65 percent which is a four percent shift between general funds and tuition.† Mr. Taulbee assumes this trend that has been present in the past five years will continue to be seen through the 2002-2004 biennium.† He said this phenomena is occurring all through the United States and is described in numerous ways such as user fees passed on to students, state general fund appropriations diminishing, and increasing the price of postsecondary education institutionsí tuition and fees.

 

Mr. Taulbee said the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) conducted throughout the United States, and in all Kentucky institutions in 2003, found that two-thirds of college seniors said they are concerned to some degree about their ability to pay for college.† He said that figure increases to three-fourths when the question was asked of freshmen.† Mr. Taulbee said 21 percent of college seniors have a level of credit card debt that will not be paid off in one year.† Mr. Taulbee said the average debt of a Kentucky college graduate is $13,500, and this is on the increase.

 

Mr. Taulbee said there are several things that Kentucky does not know which include: 1) How do tuition and fee increases affect student choices, i.e., whether to attend, where to attend, and level of debt; 2) Why has enrollment increased despite higher tuition and fees; and 3) Has the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) been effective in encouraging students to stay in Kentucky and to enroll in college?

 

Dr. Cox said there are 19 non-profit independent colleges located across Kentucky.† He said some common characteristics among the schools include three of every four students are Kentuckians, and 15 of the 19 campuses are in or adjacent to the original 66 counties that the CPE identified as target counties (counties lagging in economic development or educational attainment).† Dr. Cox also said that the AIKCU enroll 11 percent of the total enrollment in Kentucky, 18 percent of the bachelor level students, and graduate 22 percent of the four-year students.

 

Dr. Cox said the 2003-2004 average tuition and fees was $12,314 with a median of $12,602.† He said the tuition for 2002-2003 was 36 percent less than the national average, and 26 percent less than the regional average.† Dr. Cox also said that tuition and fees have increased on average 6.1 percent per year over the last decade.

 

Dr. Cox said funding sources for independent colleges and universities are very different in that they receive no general fund appropriations.† He said AIKCUís primary sources of funds are tuition and fees, private gifts, and endowment income.† Dr. Cox noted that Berea College and Alice Lloyd College charge no tuition as they are work colleges and do not charge working students.

 

Dr. Cox said the total cost of attendance for attending Kentuckyís independent colleges and universities in 2003-2004 is $21,665.† He said tuition and fees are 63 percent, room and board accounts for 23 percent, books and supplies are 4 percent, transportation costs are 4 percent, and personal expenses are 6 percent.† He said the universities have no control of the expenses beyond tuition and fees and room and board.† Since 1999, the average total cost for attendance at Kentucky independent colleges and universities has increased 6.4 percent annually.

 

Dr. Cox said AIKCU deals with the misconception that all rich children are in private colleges, which is not the case.† Dr. Cox said 97 percent of full-time freshmen at Kentucky independent colleges receive financial aid.† He said 43 percent of freshmen receive federal grants; 65 percent utilize state grants and scholarships; 89 percent receive college-funded grants and scholarships, and 61 percent receive federal loans.† Dr. Cox said the average aid package in 2001-2002 was $10,291.

 

Dr. Cox said because AIKCU has received assistance from the state legislature, fundraising, and other activities as well as holding tuition increases between six and seven percent, the percentage increase of grants and scholarships to students far exceeds the percentage of tuition increases.† He also said students receive support through tuition discounting, which has been 35 percent over the last two years, and 21 percent ten years ago.

 

Dr. Cox said the amount a student actually pays to attend a Kentucky private college depends on a range of factors including: 1) Choice of college or university; 2) Family/personal income and assets; 3) Academic qualifications; 4) Other achievements (leadership, athletic, musical, etc.); and 4) Availability of college, state, and federal financial aid.

 

Dr. Cox said the average financial aid package for a full-time freshman at AIKCU for 2001-2002 was: college grants and scholarships, about $5,800; state grants and scholarships, $1,600; federal grants and scholarships, $1,300; federally guaranteed loans, over $1,800; and the family contribution of $8,300.

 

Dr. Cox discussed several real life sample aid packages for low and moderate income students for the Fall of 2003.†† He said nine of nine students accessed some form of campus aid, nine of nine utilized some Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) money, seven of the nine had a student loan, and two of the nine had no family contributions.

 

Dr. Cox said the most important thing the legislature can do for AIKCU students, and in his opinion for all students, is to maintain the support of student financial aid.† He said AIKCU is committed to a partnership and will do its share to provide all the support they can, but needs the state to continue to fulfill its obligation.

 

Ms. Carpenter thanked the committee members for the programs they sponsor for the students in Kentucky.† She said she knows several families who have opted to stay in the state of Kentucky due to scholarship and KEES money that their children have received to attend postsecondary institutions.† She said Kentucky should have approximately the same number of college graduates as the rest of the country by 2020.† Ms. Carpenter said Kentucky needs to retain the students entering into higher education, and to do that, legislative support is a necessity.† She thanked the members for making a difference in studentsí lives.

 

Dr. McCormick said he was going to discuss postsecondary education from the studentís perspective.† He said the affordability of higher education is critical to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the nation.† He said Kentucky has made tremendous strides in providing affordability to attend college in relation to where it was five years ago.†

Dr. McCormick said almost all financial aid can be categorized as need-based (demonstrated financial need) and merit-based aid (academic achievement, athletic ability, or other designated criteria).† He said most financial aid is a combination of need-based and merit-based awards.† Dr. McCormick said to qualify for the major need-based state, federal, and institutional financial assistance, students must complete a need analysis form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

 

Dr. McCormick said each educational institution determines its average cost of attendance that includes: Tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous.† He said the average cost of attendance at the University of Kentucky is close to $15,000 for one year.†

 

Dr. McCormick said financial information from the FAFSA is used to determine, by formula, what students and their families should reasonably be expected to contribute toward the cost of attendance at their school for one year.† He said the need analysis formula, set by Congress, considers family income, current assets, and expenses and is based on the underlying principle that families have the primary responsibility to pay for the studentís higher education.

 

Dr. McCormick said the cost of attendance determined by each individual institution, minus the expected family contribution (EFC), determined by information families provide on the FAFSA, equals the financial need that the student is eligible for consideration for federal funds, Pell Grants primarily, and the state need-based program such as College Access Program (CAP), Kentucky Tuition Grant program (KTG), and others.†

 

Dr. McCormick said Federal Pell Grants are need-based.† He said students with zero EFC are eligible for maximum Pell Grants which is currently $4,050.† He said as EFC increases, the amount of the Pell Grant is reduced.† He said families under a $40,000 income have an average unmet need of about $4,000.†

 

Dr. McCormick said there has been a gradual, but steady increase in the cost of attendance at the colleges and universities in Kentucky.† He said particularly in the last three years, CAP, KTG and the Pell Grant have not gone up appreciably.† He said Pell has been flatlined at about $4,000 a year and there is not much encouragement from Washington, D.C. that the awards will be increased by any substantial amount.† In short, as tuition and cost of attendance has increased, the financial aid has not kept pace with the increases.† Dr. McCormick explained that the purchasing power of the KEES and CAP awards are thus diminished.† He reminded the members that the sole funding of the KEES, CAP, and KTG programs are lottery proceeds.††††

 

Dr. McCormick said of all Kentucky college students combined, 58 percent depend on loans, and the other 42 percent depend on other student aid such as campus-based aid, CAP, and KTG programs.† He said a little over $700 million is spent for students attending schools in Kentucky.

 

Dr. McCormick said there are five national trends in higher education which are: 1) Increases in tuition have made college less affordable for most Americans; 2) Federal and state funding of student financial aid has not kept pace with increases in tuition; 3) More families at all income levels are borrowing more than ever to pay for college, 4) Increases in tuition have come at times of greatest economic hardship; and 5) State financial support for public higher education has not increased at a rate to keep up with increases in tuition.

 

Dr. McCormick said Kentucky has experienced increases in cost of attendance commensurate with the national experience.† He said tuition has increased at a greater rate than any other components such as room and board, books, and transportation.† Tuition in Kentucky has increased at a rate greater than inflation for that period of time, and tuition has increased at a rate greater than the increase in the median income of Kentuckians.† Dr. McCormick said college is less affordable for those families at lower incomes as a result of these trends.† He said room and board and transportation do not vary that much between sectors, and the real difference is in tuition costs.

 

Dr. McCormick said federal student aid funding in Kentucky has increased only modestly in recent years and will be stagnant for the foreseeable future.† He said the good news is because Kentucky instituted KEES, CAP, and KTG in partnership with one another, and because it has a dedicated funding source, the increase in need-based aid went up much more rapidly during the four years that Kentucky had the KEES program than in the years prior to KEES.† He said this is a very unique situation in that most states grapple with whether to have a need-based or merit-based programs.† Dr. McCormick said Kentucky is the only state that decided to have both, but ultimately give the need-based aid the majority of the funds.† He said in 2006 the split between merit and need-based funding disbursements is 45 percent merit and 55 percent need.†

 

Dr. McCormick said that while tuition has risen, the KEES awards have not.† More families at all income levels are borrowing more than ever before to pay for college.† He said this is true nationally, and in Kentucky.† Dr. McCormick said there was a time when grants were greater than loans, but about 1993 this started changing, and today nationally 54 percent of all the funds students receive is in the form of loans, and only 39 percent from grants.

 

Dr. McCormick said there has been a dramatic increase over the last ten years in the use of loans nationally and in Kentucky.† In 2002, the national figure amounted to $49.8 billion in student loans.† In 2003, the amount of student loans for Kentucky was $434 million as compared to the grant dollars of $116 million.† Dr. McCormick said this shift over the last ten years is part of the reason that the KHEAA Board and the Student Loan Corporation Board instituted some very generous borrower benefits affecting nurses, school teachers, and students who need to borrow.† He said the benefits added up to over $10 million this past year.

 

Dr. McCormick said increases in tuition have come at times of greatest economic hardship.† He said as of September 30, 2003, the federal deficit will exceed $450 billion.† He said it has not been this high since Ronald Reagan was President.† Kentucky has increasing state budget deficits with no anticipated relief in the forthcoming budget cycle.† He said tuition at Kentucky four-year public universities has increased more than 50 percent during the last five years.† Dr. McCormick said that Congress is considering the reauthorization act of the Higher Education Act, but with the high deficit, getting additional money in student aid does not look promising.

 

Dr. McCormick said the state financial aid support has not increased at a rate to keep up with increases in tuition.† He said lottery proceeds alone do not fully fund the stateís KEES, CAP, and KTG programs.† He said students in the middle and upper income groups tend to simply borrow more to cover increases in the cost of attendance; students in the lower socio-economic groups tend to avoid borrowing, even if it means withdrawing from school.† Dr. McCormick said of all the students who were eligible for CAP and KTG but whose awards were not funded, approximately 50 percent did not attend any college in Kentucky this past year.† He said the unfunded potential awards for eligible students in Fiscal Year 2003 equaled $70.1 million for 61,200 students.† He said the total unfunded amount in awards projected for Fiscal Year 2004 should be $70.88 million.

 

Dr. McCormick said college is less affordable, particularly for lower income groups.† He said the perception of college cost is an obstacle to lower income students.† He said the cost of attendance and debt burden are real barriers for students entering into college.

 

Dr. McCormick said the Kentucky Higher Education Reform Act is paying off and college enrollment is definitely up in the last four years.† He said the number of Kentucky students attending college out-of-state has started to decline.† Dr. McCormick said student financial aid really does make a difference in the lives of young people trying to pursue their education.† He noted the state of Kentucky will be able to tax $1 million more for the student with the bachelorís degree than the student who just graduated from high school.† He said Kentucky will receive back in increased taxes ten-fold whatever we spend on Kentucky education programs.

 

Representative Miller asked if the KEES money has motivated more average income students to attend college thus creating the surge in college enrollments?† Dr. McCormick said the unique characteristic of the KEES scholarship is the low Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5.† He said there are 23 states with state scholarship aid, and most of them place the bar for GPAís at 3.0.† Dr. McCormick said with Kentucky setting the bar at a 2.5 GPA, it includes a lot more students that otherwise would not have been included.† He said it increases the population of low income students who actually would receive at least some KEES award.† He said about 74 percent of KEES recipientsí families had filed a FAFSA in the last year which indicates the majority of the students receiving KEES came from families who made less than $60,000 a year.† He also said there is a formal study being conducted on KEES.† Ms. Carpenter said the impact of† KEES is just now starting to kick in because the class of 2003 is the first class who was eligible to receive the entire four years of KEES, or the maximum of $10,000.†

 

Representative Miller asked if students are more concerned about making good grades now because of the KEES incentive.† Ms. Carpenter said it not registering, especially at the freshman and sophomore levels, that their grades can equal dollars.† She said the teachersí concerns are minimal because of possible grade inflation for students due to KEES.† Representative Miller said some advanced students wanted to drop down to the honors programs because they felt they could make a higher grade and receive more KEES money, but he said he is glad the program is in place and appreciated the fact that Kentucky offers KEES.

 

Representative Cherry said the lottery is not going to fund what the legislature expected it to fund in the coming years especially when the full KEES funding is implemented next year.† He said $2,500 a year when KEES first started seven years ago would essentially fund a public education university, but with increasing tuition prices, the KEES money needs to be raised.† He asked if KEES awards would be reduced for students in the split between the 55 percent need-based and 45 percent merit-based if lottery revenues continue to go down, as expected with the new lottery coming to Tennessee, or would funds be taken out of the 55 percent need-based fund to award KEES scholarships.† Dr. McCormick said the statute states that the CPE would make the determination and he referred the question to Mr. Taulbee.† Mr. Taulbee said CPE is charged in statute with bringing the budget in-line.† He said if there are not sufficient funds to cover the cost of KEES, the awards will have to be reduced, not only for high school students, but also for college students.† Mr. Taulbee said there is a study that has been assigned to the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education to look at the KEES funds.† He said Mr. Layzell and Dr. McCormick testified at the beginning of the study and charged the legislature with answering the question if KEES was intended to stay within the statutory provisions of the lottery.† He said if this is true, KEES will likely be cut either in the 2004-2006 biennium or the 2006-2008 biennium.† He said preliminary indications show Kentucky can maintain the provisions the legislature has mandated for 2004-2005, but problems arise in 2005-2006.† Mr. Taulbee said if it is the will of the legislature that Kentucky stay within the lottery limits, CPE will present alternatives to the legislature to bring the program into financial balance.

 

Representative Mobley asked if lower entrance requirements account for the number of students attending college this year.† Mr. Taulbee said he does not believe that Kentucky education institutions have lower entrance requirements.† Representative Mobley asked if we have any data on entrance standards from public schools.† Mr. Taulbee said minimum standards are established by the CPE in administrative regulations, but many four-year public universities have been increasing their standards above the minimum in order to improve quality and raise statistics in terms of performance.† Representative Mobley asked Dr. Cox to explain open enrollment.† Dr. Cox said that if a student has graduated from high school and completed the ACT exam, he/she would be permitted to enroll into the AIKCU schools.† Representative Cherry suggested to the panel and to the CPE to put an asterisk beside the amount of money that the students in high school think they are going to get so that freshmen now and their parents know that there is no guarantee of this maximum of $2,500 a year for KEES.† He said students and parents need to know the KEES awards are based on availability of funds.†

 

 

Dr. Cox said he wanted to come back to Representative Cherryís question.† He said there were some general fund dollars committed to student financial aid in this budget in the KTG program.† He said there is a precedent of committing general fund dollars, and there is nothing in statute that presumes no additional funding besides lottery.††

 

Representative Graham asked Dr. Cox about what types of campus aid students were receiving.† Dr. Cox said fundamentally it is either a tuition discount or a scholarship.† Representative Graham asked Dr. McCormick about Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, and the University of Kentucky being used in the equation for the handout on Page 28 in the KHEAA information and why other public institutions were not factored in.† Dr. McCormick said the other institutions participate in the loan program that KHEAA administers, and the three institutions listed above do not.† Representative Graham asked about the students who were denied student financial aid due to a lack of funds and how it was determined which students to deny.† Dr. McCormick said it was based upon first come first serve.† Dr. Cox said this can hurt the low income students the most because often times they are the late deciders.

 

Senator Westwood asked Mr. Taulbee about the 21 percent of college seniors having a level of credit card debt that will not be paid off in a year.† He asked if these students were putting their college tuition costs on these credit cards.† Mr. Taulbee said many students do, but it is an indirect relationship.† He said the total credit card debt stems from buying food and clothing, and just incurring larger debts that they cannot repay in one year.† He said it is an indicator of the financial health of students.† Senator Westwood said over a fifth of the students have this credit card debt, and that means that each month they are paying exorbitant interest rates on a balance on a principal that is not getting reduced down because it is just paying on the interest.† Senator Westwood asked if the CPE has ever thought about restricting students from using credit cards for paying for tuition.† Mr. Taulbee said there has been legislation in the last few years to stop solicitation of credit cards on college campuses, but it did not pass.† He said this type of legislation would stop the vendors from coming to the campuses and marketing their cards in student information packets.† He said the CPE has not separately considered any action to restrict credit card use, but there is financial counseling on most campuses for students who are incurring a lot of debt.

 

Representative Rasche thanked the panel for their informative presentations and acknowledged the different agencies working together for the common cause of education.† He reminded the members that the next Interim Joint Committee on Education meeting will be on October 6, 2003, at Northern Elementary School in Fayette County, and a site visit will also be conducted to the at the University of Kentucky campus relating to the Bucks for Brains initiative.

 

Senator Karem wanted staff to find an article in the Courier Journal that he feels members of the Education Committee should read.† He said the article was about a dispute between the SAT and ACT scores indicating that the ACT scores actually showed a downward trend. He stated that Kentucky was under the impression that there was a slight increase in our stateís ACT scores.† Senator Karem said the article also stated that the SAT scores might have been inflated for marketing purposes.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.