Thefifth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, October 10, 2005, at 8:30 AM, in Natural Bridge State Park and Owsley County Schools. Representative Frank Rasche, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr, Brett Guthrie, Alice Kerr, Gary Tapp, Johnny Ray Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Hubert Collins, Jim DeCesare, Jon Draud, Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, C B Embry Jr, Bill Farmer, Derrick Graham, Mary Lou Marzian, Harry Moberly Jr, Rick G Nelson, Darryl T Owens, Tom Riner, Charles L Siler, Arnold Simpson, Kathy W Stein, and Addia Wuchner.
Dr. Michael McCall, President, and Mr. Tim Burcham, Kentucky Community and Technical College System; Mr. Ron Daley, University Center of the Mountains; Dr. Jay Box, President, Hazard Community and Technical College; Ms. Lee Nimocks, Council on Postsecondary Education; Ms. Bonnie Brinly, Kentucky Department of Education; Mr. Dan Connell, Morehead State University; Mr. Lonnie Morris, Powell County School System; Ms. Dessie Bowling and Mr. Jeff Hawkins, Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative; Mr. Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Mr. Jerry Lunney, Office of Education Accountability; Ms. Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Mr. Tom Burns, The OWL Station Manager; Ms. Aleisha Wilson, Ms. Brittany Gabbard, Mr. Eric Duff, Mr. Todd Kenner, and Mr. Jeremy Pierson, Owsley County students; Mr. Stephen F. Jackson, Superintendent, Owsley County Schools; Ms. Melinda S. Turner, Director of Federal Programs, Instruction and School Nutrition, Owsley County Schools; Mr. Earl R. Shuler, Director of Pupil Personnel and Transportation, Owsley County Schools; Ms. Shelia Thomas, Director of Preschool and Head Start, Owsley County Schools; Ms. Teresa Barrett, Principal, Owsley County High School, and Mr. Glenn Baker, Principal, Owsley County Elementary School.
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Jonathan Lowe, Janet Stevens, Sandy Deaton, Harry Smith, L.J. Tyree, and Lisa Moore.
Representatives Adrian Arnold, Marie Rader, and John Will Stacy.
Representative Collins made a motion to approve the minutes from the October 10, 2005 meeting, and Representative Siler seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Dr. Michael McCall, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTCS) who gave a presentation on the KCTCS partnerships. Dr. McCall said the KCTCS mission is to improve the quality of life and employability of the citizens of the Commonwealth by serving as the primary provider of numerous postsecondary education programs, training, and services. The programs are: 1) certificates, diplomas, technical degrees, associate degrees, and transfer programs; 2) workforce training to meet the needs of existing and new businesses and industries; 3) remedial and continuing education; 4) short-term, customized training for business and industry; 4) adult education; and 5) associated services.
Dr. McCall said the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997 outlined Kentucky's 2020 goals for KCTCS. They are: 1) to provide access throughout the Commonwealth to two-year courses of study designed for transfer to baccalaureate program; 2) to provide training to develop a workforce with the skills to meet the needs of new and existing industries; and 3) remedial and continuing education to improve the employability of citizens.
Dr. McCall discussed the legislative mandates required by the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997. They are: 1) increase the basic academic and literacy skills of adults through adult basic education and remedial education services; 2) increase the technical skills and professional expertise of Kentucky workers through associate and technical degrees, diploma, and certificate programs; 3) increase the access for students to complete the pre-baccalaureate associate degree in arts or associate degree in science for ease of transfer to four-year institutions; 4) enhance the relationship of credentials between secondary and postsecondary programs which permit secondary students to enter programs through early admission, advanced placement, or dual enrollment; 5) facilitate transfers of credit between certificate, diploma, technical, and associate degree programs; 6) develop a pool of educated citizens to support the expansion of existing business and industry and the recruitment of new business and industry; 7) enhance the flexibility and adaptability of Kentucky workers in ever-changing and global economy through continuing education and customized training for business and industry; 8) promote the cultural and economic well being of the communities throughout Kentucky; and 9) improve the quality of life for Kentucky's citizens.
Dr. McCall said that KCTCS fulfills its mission, mandates, and goals through collaboration and partnership with Kentucky's four-year institutions. He said colleges and universities offer selected courses and programs on KCTCS campuses, share their facilities with KCTCS, and KCTCS allows the universities to recruit on their campuses.
Dr. McCall discussed the transfer agreements between the KCTCS and the universities. This includes the General Education Certification, and dual credit and dual enrollment agreements.
Dr. McCall said the KCTCS is also working with the Council on Postsecondary Education on several initiatives. These include P-16 councils; statewide placement policies in math and English; revised transfer frameworks; computer degrees; research on transfer student performance; and U CAN - Go Higher and the Course Applicability System.
Dr. McCall said distance learning is another important initiative. This is provided through the Kentucky Virtual University and offers several associate degrees on-line. This initiative is also administered through the Distance Learning Advisory Committee, and the Distance Learning Steering Team.
Dr. McCall discussed the workforce development initiatives. These include: the Center for Excellence for Lean Enterprise; professional development; the universities include KCTCS faculty in their professional development events; the Metropolitan College, which includes a partnership between UPS, Jefferson Community Technical College (JCTC), and the University of Louisville (UofL); and the Center of Excellence for Automotive Technology.
Dr. McCall said the KCTCS partners with the universities with information technology. UofL hosts once KCTCS network, and they also participate in the Kentucky Education Network. KCTCS also has a shared database with the Kentucky Virtual University.
Dr. McCall said KCTCS is the steward of place for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. There are currently 16 colleges at 65 campus locations serving 120 counties.
Dr. Jay Box, President, Hazard Community and Technical College, presented on the University Center of the Mountains (UCM). He said the UCM is an innovative consortium between postsecondary education partners and is a cost effective method to bring more degrees and learning opportunities close to home. It is also a collaborative effort overcoming competition which avoids duplication of services and programs, and the partnership increases access to degrees.
Dr. Box said UCM is the first university center in Kentucky and rural Appalachia with one formal agreement among the participating public and private institutions. It is unique to other university centers by offering services and courses at multiple campus locations. He said Hazard Community and Technical College hosts UCM services and courses on its campuses in four counties.
Dr. Box said the need for UCM is evident. The Kentucky River Area Development District (UCM service area) has the lowest percentage in the state with persons over 25 years of age having a bachelor's degree. The UCM partnership provides a seamless educational pathway from associate to master degrees.
Dr. Box said UCM has had accomplishments in the first two years. He said UCM has seen over a 35 percent increase in enrollment, and is now offering ten bachelor and five master degrees.
Dr. Box said UCM is a value to the community. He said community members, businesses and organizations have contributed $130,226. He also said the Perry County coal severance tax revenue is designated in the 2004 through 2006 budget for seed money.
Dr. Box said UCM is a data-driven decision making center. It has a joint partnership strategic plan created, and an ongoing degree needs assessment. He said over 1,100 working adults indicated on a survey that UCM could serve them, and 66 percent are 30 to 64 years of age.
Representative Marzian asked who decides how the coal severance money is distributed. Dr. Box said Hazard Community and Technical College decides jointly.
Representative Draud asked if only adjunct faculty were used. Dr. Box said UCM uses a mixture of full-time faculty and adjuncts.
Representative Collins asked about the certification of minors, and the length of time it takes. Dr. McCall said KCTCS is working with the coal industries on short-term training for the certification of miners. Pike County schools is also integrating a program for mining, but it is more directed to preparing high school students to transition into mining after graduation.
Senator Winters mentioned delivery of coursework. Dr. Box said 10 bachelor degrees, and five master degrees. Senator Winters asked how partners were selected and wondered why the independent schools are not participating. Dr. Box said Lindsey Wilson was the first to participate, but they were talking to the other independent institutions and more may join the agreement in the future.
Representative Stein asked a question about Lindsey Wilson and what county it was in. Dr. Box said, "Adair" County.
Senator Blevins asked about how much the startup was for the UCM. Dr. Box said $500,000 for two years.
Representative Moberly said transfer agreements need to be drastically improved. He would like to see more cooperation in transfer agreements from KCTCS. Dr. McCall said there was a desire and need in 1997 and that KCTCS had solved much of the problem with transfers. It was clear that the 64 hour block was working. KCTCS ha articulation agreements with Murray State University and Morehead State University as well as other postsecondary institutions. There are still problems with transfer credits within four-year institutions.
Representative Marzian asked a question about tuition. Dr. Box said the UCM pays the independent colleges tuition, and has one financial aide office. He said there are two applications to enroll, but the students only attends in one location.
Representative Stacy asked Dr. McCall if there had been problems getting the Center for Lean Enterprise organized. He said many people in central Kentucky need access to jobs. Dr. McCall said he thought most of the problems had been worked out. Representative Stacy also asked if there were problems meeting with university presidents. Dr. McCall said KCTCS meets with nine university presidents on a monthly basis.
Representative Stacy questioned why students did not know on the front end that there was a specific ACT or SAT score for entry into teacher education programs. Dr. McCall said that was something that did need to be addressed early in the counseling program.
Senator Tapp asked what percentage of students are in remediation. Dr. Box said 80 percent, but this number has improved in the last three years. Senator Tapp asked which subjects the students needed the most remediation in. Dr. Box said math, reading, and writing. This figure includes both traditional and non-traditional students.
Senator Tapp asked what percentage of high school students need remediation courses. Dr. McCall said it is improving. Senator Tapp asked what the remediation rate would be for high school students entering college upon graduation. Dr. McCall and Dr. Box did not know. Senator Tapp said he would like it broken down.
Representative Collins emphasized the need for easy transition from high school to college and work, or work to college. The need is for seamless transitions with easy transfer of credit among programs.
Representative Draud discussed progress and mentioned that faculty is often not cooperative at the universities to accept students from other programs or institutions without knowing the quality of the coursework.
Representative Moberly said Kentucky needs to change its traditional campus environment. The CPE needs to explain to the university presidents that they are in charge of changing the culture at their universities. He said the remediation numbers are too high. He also discussed funding of P-16 councils, and asked when the results were coming.
The meeting recessed at Natural Bridge State Resort Park at 9:50 a.m. and the group traveled to Owsley County High School to reconvene for the second part of the meeting.
The meeting reconvened at 11:00 a.m. Students conducted guided tours of Owsley County Elementary and Owsley County High School. Following the tours, the committee assembled in the radio studio at Owsley County High School for staff presentations.
Mr. Tom Burns, Station Manager, WOCS 88.3- "The OWL", said it was the first radio program to have a one-of-a-kind partnership between Morehead State University and Owsley County High School. It also offered the opportunity for students in Owsley County to be involved in broadcasting and the community in the listening area to be involved in the school system. He explained the different programs that the radio station offers including weather updates, sports events, and other items of interest.
Mr. Stephen Jackson, Superintendent, Owsley County schools, said the great thing about the radio station is that if offers students a variety of training in underwriting, technical skills, and broadcasting. He also provided members with briefing packets that explained various other aspects of Owsley County Schools and its community.
Mr. Jackson said Owsley County is focused on the three R's of education, which are rigor, relevance, and relationships. He also said Owsley County is committed to continual improvement for its students, and failure is not an option.
Mr. Jackson discussed declining enrollment and average daily attendance (ADA) in Owsley County. He said the result of declining enrollment and declining ADA has resulted in less funding for the school district. He said the population is declining because of a lack of jobs. He said while taxable assessments have only grown nominally, exceptions for homesteads, disabilities, and agriculture deferments have increased significantly.
Mr. Jackson discussed contingency trends and unfunded mandates. He said unfunded mandates hurt all students in urban and rural schools. He also said full funding for transportation and kindergarten were extremely important for all schools in the Commonwealth.
Mr. Jackson asked the legislators to support the Kentucky Educational Technology System (KETS) program, and an equitable distribution of funds. Technology enhances the educational process, but technology quickly becomes out-of-date.
Mr. Jackson said the support of schools through careers and technical preparation has benefited Owsley County schools greatly, and is now 100 percent state funded. He asked the committee for their continued support of the programs.
Mr. Jackson said money from grants from the public and private sectors has been a tremendous asset to the school system. They have received almost three million dollars over a period of six and a half years.
Mr. Jackson introduced Ms. Melinda Turner, Director of Federal Programs, Instruction and School Nutrition, who presented some high points of the Owsley County school district. Ms. Turner said Owsley County High School has a highly skilled educator employed, Ms. Joyce Watson. She said the high school is also in its first year of the comprehensive school reform initiative. She said the high school increased 18 points in the area of writing, the middle school's math scores increased by 11 points, and the middle school's science scores increased 12 points this year. She said the elementary school continues to make gains and is progressing as well.
Ms. Turner discussed school programs. She said through the "Reading First" program at Owsley County Elementary School, students are systematically and explicitly taught key reading skills. The key reading skills are: 1) phonemic awareness; 2) phonics; 3) fluency; 4) vocabulary; and 5) comprehension. There is brochure in the members' packets that explains the program in detail.
Ms. Turner discussed the educational opportunities for Owsley County Schools' gifted and talented youth. She said providing appropriate educational experiences to gifted students will dramatically improve assessment scores for the school. In order to achieve appropriate educational programming for gifted students, they are grouped for instructional purposes based on their abilities, needs or interests. There is also various service delivery options provided to differentiate, replace, supplement, or modify curricula in accordance with individual gifted student services plans.
Ms. Turner said the Workforce Investment Act Title 1 program has 35 youth that work in the community and obtain career and job skills. She said Owsley County was the only district out of 23 that did not receive significant cuts to the program and were allowed to enroll more students this year.
Ms. Turner said Owsley County is sustaining the Suspension Alternative Work Study (SAWS) program. It was originally initiated through a grant with the United States Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free schools. This program helps the school system to reduce its suspension rate because students can perform community service work after school versus being suspended.
Ms. Turner said the Extended Schools Service (ESS) program is being expanded with its restored funding. She said many students do not like to attend ESS after school because of the stigma attached to attending, or because of conflicting schedules with other after school activities. She said plans are being made to collaborate with the Save the Children Literacy Initiative, youth services center, and ESS because transportation is a major obstacle and a real cost factor when students have to be transported after school.
Ms. Turner said Owsley County has a universal student nutrition program where all the students eat at no cost up to two meals a day. She said the program began in 1990, and has continued for fifteen years. She said Owsley County was the first district in the state to provide this type of program. Eighty-nine percent of its students are qualified for federal free and reduced priced meals.
Mr. Earl Shuler, Director of Pupil Personnel and Transportation, discussed Owsley County bus transportation, and qualifications for drivers. He also described the bus routes and the average age of school buses.
Mr. Shuler discussed safe school initiatives. He said additional needs are a school-owned facility, funding for a school resource officer, and door hardware replacement at all schools.
Mr. Shuler said Owsley County offers numerous career and technical education courses such as family and consumer science, agricultural education, information technology program, and technology education. He said Owsley County also has high school to work, tech prep, school-to-work, and workforce investment act initiatives.
Ms. Sheila Thomas, Director of Preschool and Head Start, said the Owsley County Early Head Start is a federally funded program serving 58 pregnant moms, infants and toddlers from low income families. She said at least 10 percent of the children must have a disability, and 10 percent can exceed the income poverty guidelines. She said the infants must be at least six weeks old, and there are currently 52 children on a waiting list for a center base slot. There are 32 children in the center, which is four classrooms with eight children in each room with two adults.
Ms. Thomas said Owsley County Head Start is a federally funded program serving 90 children that are three and four years old from low income families. There are 78 children in the center, which has six classrooms. The Owsley County Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) Preschool has five children that are blended into the six classrooms with Head Start children.
Ms. Thomas said the Owsley County Early Head Start, Owsley County Head Start, and Owsley County KERA Preschool provide numerous services to its families and children including: nutritious meals at breakfast, lunch, and a snack each day; physicals; transportation; dental services; mental health services; adult education referrals; parent and children educational field trips; and parent education opportunities monthly around topics parents request.
Ms. Thomas said the Early Head Start and Head Start parents and children are encouraged to read together at home by joining the schools reading club. Special activities are planned monthly to provide fathers the opportunity to be involved in the classrooms, and there is also a fathers reading program.
Ms. Thomas said the Owsley County Even Start is a family literacy program, funded by federal funds, that serves 24 families. Parents work on their GED at the adult education center, and children are in the early childhood classrooms with their parents visiting to do parent and child activities.
Ms. Teresa Barrett, Principal, Owsley County High School, said Owsley County High School's goal is to ensure the opportunity for a high quality education for every student, in a safe, nurturing environment. The school works in partnership with families, students, and the community. The school continues to implement two national initiatives: Tech Prep and High Schools That Work programs. These programs assist in preparing students for a successful transition to postsecondary education or the world of work. She said students prepare individualized graduation plans during their middle school years, which provide them a sequence of courses for helping them to reach future goals beyond high school.
Ms. Barrett said Owsley County High School operates by a school board decision-making council (SBDM), which provides leadership and direction through regular monthly meetings, as well as implementing a school improvement plan. She said many positive changes have been made that will show improvement for the future. During the 2003-2004 school year, the middle school and high school students schedule and classrooms were separated.
Ms. Barrett said the administration and staff of Owsley County High School feel that equity is of high importance and will ensure all students are treated equitably at all times. All students are given the same class schedule and the same opportunity to take any class offered by Owsley County High School. All classes at the school have a mixture of students in relationship to gender-equity and other equal opportunities.
Ms. Barrett discussed attendance rates, teacher qualifications, and school safety. She said Owsley County High School uses technology to teach in a variety a ways. Teachers and students use technology to acquire instant knowledge regarding current events, historical facts and research data. She also said Owsley County High School offers a variety of extracurricular activities, and many of its students receive state and national awards and recognition.
Mr. Glenn Baker, Principal, Owsley County Elementary School, said there are 449 students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. He said there are two major programs in the elementary school, which are based on reading and literacy. The Reading First program is a systemic and systematic approach to reading reform. The program is aligned to the needs of students and builds from teachers' knowledge base of reading through focused job-embedded professional development by literacy specialists. The core materials aligned with in-class and in-school tutoring resources allow for comprehensive interventions. He said the program was implemented in all primary classrooms at Owsley County Elementary School beginning August 5, 2004, and they were chosen as the exemplary Reading First school in the region last year.
Mr. Baker said the Save the School Literacy program was implemented this year at a cost of $90,000. He said the goal is for students to understand and apply the knowledge of sounds, letters and words in written English to become independent and fluent readers by reading a variety of material and texts with fluency and comprehension.
He said Owsley County Elementary School test scores have made gains for seven straight years. He said there are three areas that are above the state average, which are social studies, arts and humanities, and writing.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m. to have lunch and to observe student performances at the Owsley County High School's Cafe-on-the-Hill.