Thesecond meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, August 7, 2006, at<MeetTime> 12:30 PM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Frank Rasche, Co-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 Forgy Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald A. Neal, R.J. Palmer II, Tim Shaughnessy, Gary Tapp, Johnny Ray Turner, Jack Westwood, and David L. Williams; Representatives Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, Jim DeCesare, Jon Draud, Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, C.B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Derrick Graham, Mary Harper, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald K. Meeks, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly Jr., Russ Mobley, Rick G. Nelson, Darryl T. Owens, Tom Riner, Terry Shelton, Charles L. Siler, Arnold Simpson, Kathy W. Stein, Ron Weston, and Addia Wuchner.
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Sandy Deaton, Jonathan Lowe, Janet Stevens, Zach Webb, and Lisa Moore.
Representative Rasche called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m. Representative Edmonds made the motion to approved the minutes of June 12, 2006, and Representative Collins seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Edmonds reported on the meeting of the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education. The subcommittee heard a report on secondary career and technical education presented by Ms. Laura Emberton Owens, Deputy Secretary of the Education Cabinet. She shared how the Education Cabinet envisions the role of secondary career and technical education in meeting Kentucky's workforce needs. He shared the mission, and said the department is working hard to change the career and technical image, since many times those immediate needs careers do not require a degree program. The same topic will be discussed at a future meeting.
Representative Siler reported on the meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education. He said Dr. Phil Rogers, Executive Director, Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), discussed the postsecondary teacher preparation program in Kentucky, and the training of educational leaders. Dr. Rogers also gave a general overview of teacher and principal preparation in Kentucky. A highlight of the meeting was to learn that Kentucky has made progress in implementing alternative certification programs, with seven different routes from which to choose. He commented that 156 school districts have at least one person who has become certified utilizing an alternative program. Dr. Rogers discussed the work mandated by House Joint Resolution 214 to establish an interagency taskforce to collaborate with public and private postsecondary education institutions for the redesign of preparation programs, and the professional development of educational leaders. The task force is meeting and plans to present its recommendations in the fall of 2007.
Representative Rasche urged members to stay for the meeting of the Subcommittee on Assistance immediately upon adjournment for a presentation by Dr. Robert Barr from Boise, Idaho, on how to ensure that all students learn. He introduced Mr. Tom Layzell, President, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), who discussed how Kentucky would reach its postsecondary education goals by 2020. He thanked the committee members for the 20 percent increase in base funding that was approved in the 2006 Regular Session.
Mr. Layzell introduced some new staff members at the CPE: Mr. Alan Lind, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Executive Officer of the Kentucky Virtual University; Ms. Sarah Hawker, Vice President, Department for Adult Education and Literacy; and Mr. John Hayek, Associate Vice President for Planning and Performance.
Mr. Layzell discussed the fundamentals of 1997 House Bill 1 and 2001 Senate Bill 1. He said enrollment in public and the independent four-year institutions was flat between 1991 and 1998. Since reform, there has been a 9 percent increase in enrollments. The percent of students who received degrees between 1991 and 1998 was 12 percent, and this number increased to 23 percent between 1998 and 2005.
Mr. Layzell said one of the most successful components of House Bill 1 was the creation of the Kentucky Community Technical College System (KCTCS). There was a 39 percent increase in associate degrees since 1997.
Mr. Layzell discussed adult education and literacy, which the CPE oversees on a day-to-day basis since reorganizing agencies by executive order. The General Equivalent Diploma (GED) recipients attending college increased 58 percent from 1998 to 2002, and the GED enrollments have increased 144 percent between 2000 and 2005.
Mr. Layzell said federal research and development funds have increased significantly from 62 percent in 1992-1998 to 157 percent in 1998-2004. The two major research universities, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, are striving to become nationally-recognized research institutions. Both universities have made progress, but are way behind the universities with which they are competing.
Mr. Layzell said despite the fifth largest percentage increase in educational attainment in the nation from 1990 to 2000, Kentucky remains 47th in adults with at least a bachelor's degree. Despite a 29 percent increase since 1998, Kentucky remains 43rd in per capita income.
Mr. Layzell discussed the link between education and income. He said states with a low proportion of bachelor's degrees have a low per capita income, and states with a high proportion of bachelor's degrees have a high per capita income.
Representative Owens asked about the growth in enrollment and the goal of doubling the baccalaureate degrees in a certain time period. He wondered if there was any information disaggregated by ethnic or race and enrollments because data shows there is a significant link between education and income. Mr. Layzell said the African-American group is the largest minority in Kentucky's postsecondary institutions, and their enrollment is in the eight to nine percent range. He also said there was a 68 percent increase in degrees awarded to African-Americans over the past four years.
Representative Owens commented on the five key questions for Kentucky's public agenda, and specifically question one which talks about preparation for college. He said there is a significant achievement gap, and asked what Kentucky can do to better prepare African-American students for college.
Mr. Layzell said several initiatives implemented by the General Assembly over the past few years will help students to be better prepared for college in the future. One of the most serious problems is the level of preparation in math for students. The General Assembly created a math achievement committee, and a statute trying to improve the level of math instruction. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has adopted a single rigorous curriculum. He thinks the impact of this over time will help preparation levels of students for postsecondary education tremendously. He also mentioned the passage of Senate Bill 130 (2006 RS), which requires all juniors in high school to complete the ACT test, but more importantly, that legislation requires diagnosing deficiencies as early as middle school for students.
Mr. Layzell noted that CPE meets with the EPSB and the KDE on a regular basis. The CPE submitted a joint budget request with the KDE this year for the first time, which was funded in part by the General Assembly. He anticipates more joint requests being proposed to the General Assembly in the future.
Representative Marzian said it is discouraging to see Kentucky at the bottom of the 52 states, except for West Virginia, on the link between education and income, and the population with a bachelor's degree or higher. She said the idea behind the "Bucks for Brains" programs was to bring the best and brightest people to Kentucky, in addition to generating research dollars. She said the federal research money is going to start to decline since the state has refused to invest in "Buck for Brains" the last four years. She said it is unrealistic to expect the universities to continue progressing when they are so underfunded. Mr. Layzell agreed that the universities need more revenue.
Representative Marzian asked if Mr. Layzell saw a decline of federal or research dollars coming into the state, or private money without funding the "Bucks for Brains" program. Mr. Layzell said Ms. Lee Nimmocks could answer this in greater detail, but he has heard talk of the tightening up of research dollars at the federal level, particularly in the last year because of concerns of the long-term impact. He said UK and U of L have both mounted pretty aggressive, private fund-raising efforts. He said not many funds were requested in 2006 for the "Bucks for Brains" program because when the budget was put together, there was still alot of unmatched "Buck for Brains" dollars, but they have been matched now by both UK and U of L. Dr. Todd has said he would like to use "Bucks for Brains" dollars for research facilities, with the point being it is hard to attract top talent unless there are adequate facilities for them in which to work. Dr. Ramsey agrees, but desires to match the "Bucks for Brains" dollars to increase the number of personnel and build intellectual capital.
Representative Marzian said it is unfair to ask constituents to pay more tuition costs when the legislature has not lived up to its budget commitments. She said an increase of tuition costs for families at thirteen percent is just adding a tax. She said Kentucky needs to push for more research dollars.
Representative Riner asked if more students finish graduate degrees, such as master's and doctor's degrees. Mr. Layzell said Kentucky has seen an increase in graduate and professional enrollment, but he will have to get the exact numbers to him.
Senator Shaughnessy said good research and the ability for the state to build upon the progress achieved in the last few years is crucial to moving forward, but it is necessary to get public support for that agenda. He mentioned the cancer program at U of L and getting it accredited by the American Cancer Society. He would like for the council to speak to the importance of that goal. If Kentucky were to receive this accreditation, it would stand out and help so many people to fight this non-discriminatory disease right here at home without going to the Mayo Clinic or to Duke University. He also said that Kentucky could join North Carolina, as the second state in the south, to have two accredited programs within the boundaries of the state, and would be the only state in the south with both programs being offered at public institutions. He would like the council to speak to UK and U of L and show commitment for the cancer accreditation programs because the general population will be impacted by this and will see the benefit first-hand, thus driving support for the research agenda with the general public. Mr. Layzell said this was a good point, and the CPE would reaffirm its commitment to both institutions realizing NCI accreditations.
Senator Neal asked Mr. Layzell if he could project the costs needed from the legislature for education to be competitive with surrounding states. Mr. Layzell said the CPE is in the process of preparing cost projections, and is considering long-term costs statewide.
Senator Neal asked when the CPE would have the cost projections ready to disseminate to the legislature. Mr. Layzell said CPE's target is to have the funding model in place by late spring to begin generating the budget for the Session of 2008. He urged the members to participate in the council's policy discussions as all input is welcome.
Mr. Hayek said the CPE is working on a project that will analyze Kentucky's educational rates, and Kentucky's is challenged to increase its ranking in this regard. The following questions are being looked at in this process: 1) Where is Kentucky now; 2) Where will Kentucky be with no change in policy or practice; 3) Where will the nation be in 2020; and 4) What is the gap?
Mr. Hayek said Kentucky's goal is to double the number of Kentuckians with at least a bachelor's degree by 2020. He said 800,000 bachelor's degrees are needed by 2020 for Kentucky to be at the national average of educational obtainment. If Kentucky continues at its current pace, this leaves a gap of 211,000 bachelor's degree holders. Kentucky would need to increase a little less than one percent per year over the next fourteen years to converge with the national average. He noted that in 2000, Kentucky had five counties between 1990 and 2000 that increased their educational attainment rate over six percentage points, and these counties should be models for the state for best policies and practices. Kentucky was also at 70 percent of the national average in terms of educational attainment in 2000. This is the closest that Kentucky has been over the last sixty years.
Mr. Hayek discussed ways to close the gap. He said the first thing to do is to increase access to postsecondary education. Statewide undergraduate enrollment would need to increase sixty to seventy percent over the next 14 years. The number of high school graduates would have to increase from 40,000 to 48,000 in 2020. He also mentioned the 550,000 working age adults in Kentucky who have some college or an associate's degree. Kentucky must promote ways to get these people to re-enter the postsecondary education system.
Mr. Hayek said Kentucky must also improve its college going rate, and needs to be at 74 percent to be the top ranked state in 2020. He mentioned the vast number of adult learners, with Kentucky graduating nearly 10,000 GED graduates per year. If this group were added to the high school seniors going on to college, this would be a total of about 50,000 new students potentially entering into the postsecondary education system, with GED graduates being about 20 percent of that total.
Mr. Hayek said Kentucky needs to increase quality and productivity of its postsecondary institutions as enrollments and degrees increase. He mentioned that transfer students are not included in the six-year graduation rate, and these students will play an increasingly important role in Kentucky's system. Currently, there are approximately 4,000 students transferring from KCTCS to the four-year institutions, and the model suggests that this number will have to increase to over 11,000 in 2020 to reach Kentucky's educational goals.
Mr. Hayek said the final thing Kentucky has to do to close the gap is to promote research and regional stewardship. Kentucky will need more jobs in order to employ an additional 400,000 degree holders by attracting new companies into Kentucky. He also said that not all the new degree holders will have equal impact on Kentucky's per capita income. Degrees and jobs, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math will be particularly important for economic development given that they are generally higher paying jobs.
Mr. Layzell said the CPE is doing several things to increase access to college. They are: implementing a new tuition policy and monitoring affordability; creating new financial aid opportunities for transfer students; providing outreach and support for at-risk populations (GEAR UP).
Mr. Layzell said the CPE is doing things to improve the college going rate. They are: brokering statewide agreements that remove transfer barriers; funding professional development partnerships that improve teacher quality; and spearheading curriculum alignment through statewide and local P-16 councils.
Mr. Layzell said the CPE is also doing additional things to increase quality and productivity and promote research and regional stewardship. These things are listed in detail in the meeting folder located in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library. He also said the postsecondary education institutions are implementing individual plans to close the gaps as well.
Mr. Layzell said Kentucky, to reach its 2020 goals, will require additional resources as well as increased productivity, efficiency, and collaboration. He stated some figures that were produced from the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center about a year ago. He said if Kentucky were to achieve the national average of baccalaureate obtainment, Kentucky would see a return of: an increase of $5.3 billion in state revenue; an increase of $71 billion in personal income. A bachelor's degree holder earns $1 million more over a lifetime than a high school graduate. Kentucky would also have lower health-care and social service costs; and lower crime rates.
Representative Moberly said he had heard a presentation by Mr. Ron Crouch, University of Louisville, that implied that Kentucky does not have a high problem with getting students to enroll in college, but has tremendous trouble with retention and graduation rates, particularly as compared with other states. He asked what the CPE was doing to hold universities accountable for their retention and graduation rates.
Mr. Layzell said Kentucky has shown some increases in graduation rates since reform began from about 36 percent to 44 percent; however, Kentucky needs to get to the 60 percent range. He said the developmental educational task force is looking at what Kentucky should be doing that it is not doing now, and what recommendations need to be brought forward to the General Assembly for legislation or funding, or operational changes to improve the graduation rate. He said the universities have devoted some effort to it, which the results show, but more needs to be done. He hopes the funding model will provide a more realistic estimate of what actually has to be done in terms of funding these programs, providing financial aid, or other interventions that Murray State University and the University of Kentucky currently do as the two leading universities in graduation rates in the state.
Representative Moberly asked if the recommendations from the task force would include some accountability for the universities, since there is none now. Mr. Layzell said he would not say that there is no accountability in place now for universities, as they have shown some results. He said more accountability needs to be in place, and said the CPE needs to focus on linking budget requests to performance.
Representative Moberly said it is hard for the General Assembly to gauge what progress Kentucky is making when there are no markers in place. He cannot find the accountability in the system that Mr. Layzell says is there, and said Kentucky still has some pretty bad numbers in the areas of graduation rates, retention rates, and remediation, but yet the General Assembly keeps appropriating money to the universities to spend as they please except for a few specified programs, such as regional stewardship. He does not think the CPE has done enough to bring some clarity to the accountability issue even though it has been discussed for years.
Mr. Layzell said he does not disagree with Representative Moberly that the CPE needs to bring more clarity to the accountability issue, however, the General Assembly has gotten some results from its investment. He said universities have spent the money in a way that has resulted in more enrollments, more degree production, and increases in graduation rates, and this did not happen by accident, but more needs to be done.
Representative Moberly asked what accountability would be in place for the regional stewardship program. Mr. Layzell said regional advisory councils have been created for each of these programs that will help determine the needs and assess the proposals, while the CPE will monitor the outcomes of those proposals. He asked Mr. Jim Applegate, CPE, to elaborate on the issue.
Mr. Applegate said the regional advisory councils will approve the plans and conclude what the goals are for the region, and the institutions will be responsible for providing a report to document that they have met the goals. He said there is a section within the funding that consist of competitive projects, and these will be reviewed and operate like a grant program, with future funding of the grants dependent upon whether or not the goals were met that are outlined in the competitive proposal.
Representative Moberly said he would like to see some projects that make a real difference in the regions, and do not just result in some report that sounds good, but does not amount to much. He said the CPE is responsible for ensuring that Kentucky has good proposals, and that they are fulfilled. Mr. Layzell agreed.
Representative Moberly asked about the percentage number of the high school to college going rate. Mr. Applegate explained that 74 percent is the number that Kentucky needs to reach by 2020, and that Kentucky is currently ranked 10th in the college going rate.
Representative Moberly asked if Kentucky would have to be the top-ranked state in 2020 in order to meet its goals. Mr. Layzell said Kentucky would have to be at the national average to meet its educational attainment goals, and it is projected that at least 32 percent of Kentucky's population would hold bachelor's degrees. He said if Kentucky just reaches the national average, it will not be the top ranked state.
Representative Moberly asked if the CPE was looking at the educational needs of the whole state. Mr. Layzell said the regional stewardship program focuses on the needs of the regions in eastern and western Kentucky as well as the golden triangle region. He mentioned the retention and affordability initiative in the budget request to put money into areas of the state that have low educational attainment and poor and low median family income. Mr. Layzell said the CPE's strategy is to deal with the whole state, and not just the golden triangle, although some people believe that all the money should be invested into the golden triangle because it gives more return on investment. Representative Moberly said he appreciated Mr. Layzell's comments, but would like to see a manifestation of these comments within the funding recommendations as the affordability initiative and the regional stewardship budget initiatives were not very large. He hopes the programs work and can be expanded in the future, as does Mr. Layzell.
Senator Winters has been vocal about funding and believes that retention and graduation rates should be tied to pay for principals and university presidents. He also said that Kentucky needs to entice and inspire people who have bypassed college for work into returning to postsecondary education, whether this is done through financial means or through a public relations effort. He said there should not be that big of a gap from high school to college, and maybe in the future a 10 through 14 grade model program should be established.
Representative Draud commented on the retention rate and the uneasiness of meeting the goals of 2020. He said the best possibility that Kentucky has is to make big progress in the retention rate. He thinks there needs to be a drastic financial impact for universities who have good retention rates, and financial penalties for universities with poor retention rates. He wants the level of concern raised with this issue, or Kentucky stands no chance of meeting its goals of 2020.
Representative Meeks discussed the relevance on service jobs, and providing high-paying jobs to this new crop of college graduates coming up. Mr. Layzell said at least 60 percent of the jobs today require some form of postsecondary education, so this indicates there are more jobs than service jobs. He said Kentucky needs to provide high-tech jobs in order to attract new people to the state.
Representative Meeks said the trend in Louisville is that jobs are decreasing in industry, and increasing in the service sector. He asked what role the CPE plays in making the connection between where business plays a role in bringing the high-tech jobs to Kentucky and keeping them here.
Mr. Layzell said Mr. Gene Strong, Secretary of the Economic Development Cabinet, says that Kentucky has problems attracting high-tech businesses because of the low level educational attainments in the state. If the workforce population is not attractive to businesses, then new businesses will not move to the state.
Representative Meeks said the projected number of high school students in Kentucky is flat for the next few years. He said for this reason, Kentucky needs to focus on adult education, retention, reducing the drop-out rates, the immigrant population, and the African-American population. He asked how the legislature should fund and prioritize all of these very important issues.
Mr. Layzell said the CPE is going to adopt a set of preliminary planning parameters in September for each institution, and this will be a starting point for universities to really begin thinking about what areas they need funded in order to meet goals.
Senator Westwood asked what the current United States retention rate is. Mr. Layzell said United States average graduation rate is 50 to 55 percent. He said Murray State University and the University of Kentucky are both above the national average. Mr. Layzell believes Kentucky can get its graduation rate up closer to the national average.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.