Thefirst meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, June 25, 2007, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in Conference Room A, Student Center, Transylvania University. 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., Charlie Borders, Vernie McGaha, and Tim Shaughnessy; Representatives Larry Belcher, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, Leslie Combs, Milward Dedman Jr., Ted Edmonds, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Jim Glenn, Jeff Greer, Jimmy Higdon, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Russ Mobley, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Dottie Sims, Ron Weston, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Mr. Jerry Lunney, Office of Education Accountability; Mr. Phillip Rogers, Education Professional Standards Board; Mr. Clyde Caudill, Kentucky Association of School Administrators and Jefferson County Public Schools; Ms. Bonnie Brinly, Kentucky Department of Education; Ms. Elise Mohon, Campbellsville Education Association/Kentucky Education Association; Ms. Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee of Academic Excellence.
Legislative Guests: Representatives Derrick Graham, Charlie Hoffman, and Ruth Ann Palumbo.
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Sandy Deaton, Janet Stevens, Jacinta Manning, and Lisa Moore.
Representative Rasche introduced Mr. Lindy Casebier, Executive Director, Arts and Cultural Heritage, Commerce Cabinet, for a welcome and opening remarks. He introduced Ms. Heather Weston Bell, Executive Director, Governor's School for the Arts (GSA), who gave an overview of all the different type programs.
Ms. Bell said that Kentucky was one of twenty-one states in the country to offer a program such as GSA. The program serves 120 counties in Kentucky and over 1,300 Kentucky students applied for the 2007 summer program. GSA was modeled after other programs in other states, and is now considered a leader and model program among the National Conference of Governors' Schools. In 2006, GSA was recognized with a Governor's award in the Arts, and in 2005 was recognized as a "Coming-Up-Taller" semifinalist by the President's Committee in the Arts and Humanities.
Ms. Bell said that GSA is funded through the Commerce Cabinet and through private donations solicited through The Kentucky Center and the GSA Advisory Council. State funding will support 69 percent of GSA's cost for 2007 and the remaining 31 percent is raised by the GSA Advisory Council and the Kentucky Center.
Ms. Bell said that GSA offers students opportunities who might not have been able to pursue higher education goals. She said one reason is because the scholarships are available from 17 different colleges and universities from in and out-of-state that provide full-tuition and do not require the students to major in the arts.
She said the GSA plans to expand in 2008 by adding media arts, including film, audio recording, and digital photography. She indicated that adding a second campus is a goal for the future and could serve an additional 300 to 350 students.
Senator Shaughnessy asked what the criteria was for choosing students for the program. Ms. Bell said students are desired who are talented and will put in the dedication and drive to succeed. She said had funding been available, they could have easily served 20 percent more deserving students.
Senator McGaha asked for a breakdown of the number of students in each field. Ms. Bell reported how many students were in each discipline. The eight arts disciplines in the GSA program include: dance, drama, instrumental and vocal music, musical theatre, creative writing, architecture, and visual art.
Ms. Bell introduced Dr. Charles L. Shearer, President, Transylvania University, who welcomed members and made some remarks about the university and the GSA program. He was followed by Mr. Stephen Klein, President, The Kentucky Center for the Arts, and Ms. Donna Hall, Chair, the GSA Advisory Council, who also provided complimentary remarks about the GSA program.
Senator Borders said he appreciates the program reaching Morehead and other parts of the state that are so often overlooked for scholarship opportunities and programs. Ms. Bell said it is extremely important that every student throughout the state has the opportunity to apply. There is an outreach program in place that works throughout the year to recruit students in all regions of the state.
Senator Blevins asked if the economics of individual students is considered when awarding scholarships to students. Ms. Bell said the GSA does not operate in terms of quotas, numbers, or serving certain counties or geographic areas over another. She said diversity is strived for within the program both ethnically and geographically.
The group then walked over to the Carrick Auditorium and watched student presentations in architecture, instrumental music, creative writing, and drama. After the presentations, members asked questions and received responses from the students who participated. The group then assembled for lunch in the President's Room and posed for photographs with students from their specific areas.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.