Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 6th Meeting

of the 2012 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> November 19, 2012

 

Call to Order and Roll Call

The<MeetNo2> sixth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> November 19, 2012, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Carl Rollins II, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Representative Carl Rollins II, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., Jared Carpenter, David Givens, Denise Harper Angel, Jimmy Higdon, Vernie McGaha, Johnny Ray Turner, Jack Westwood, and Mike Wilson; Representatives Linda Belcher, Regina Petrey Bunch, John "Bam" Carney, Hubert Collins, Leslie Combs, Ted Edmonds, C.B. Embry Jr., Kelly Flood, Derrick Graham, Donna Mayfield, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Ryan Quarles, Marie Rader, Jody Richards, Tom Riner, Bart Rowland, Rita Smart, Wilson Stone, Ben Waide, Addia Wuchner, and Jill York.

 

Guests: Jim Thompson, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Clyde Caudill, Kentucky Association of School Administrators and Jefferson County Public Schools, and Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators.

†LRC Staff: Kenneth Warlick, Jo Carole Ellis, Ben Boggs, Janet Stevens, and Lisa W. Moore.

 

Approval of minutes from September 10 and October 8, 2012, meetings

Representative Collins moved to approve the minutes and Representative Richards seconded the motion. The motion carried.

 

Reports from the Subcommittees

Senator McGaha reported that the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education heard a presentation on recognizing the military as a career option for students. A Major recommended that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognize the military as a career cluster; recognize Jr. ROTC as a career pathway; and recognize a Jr. ROTC Certificate of Training as an industrial certificate.

 

The committee approved a recommendation to be submitted to the Kentucky Board of Education to add the military as a career pathway and to develop a waiver program for a student who obtains an industry certificate but does not complete a three-course preparatory program.

 

Representative Meeks reported that the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education heard about partnerships between P-12 and postsecondary that formed as a result of Senate Bill 1. The Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) presented information on the consequences of students not being college and career ready such as unemployment and incarceration rates.

 

Representative Meeks said after passage of Senate Bill 1, the General Assembly appropriated $6 million dollars plus $1.5 million in recurring funds for professional development initiatives to meet Senate Bill 1 goals. CPE attributed the use of these dollars as a direct contributor to the 10 percent increase in the number of students who graduated college and career ready between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

 

Representative Meeks said that the subcommittee heard from partnerships that were made possible by the funding and the resulting work that is happening between colleges and secondary education to improve the success of Kentucky students. The presentations demonstrated that the progress being made in meeting Senate Bill 1 goals is because of partnerships and no one sector working alone.

 

Adult Education and Literacy Programming including the Commonwealth College Initiative, the GED program, and Project Graduate

Aaron Thompson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, CPE, said Kentucky is a state in need. Education is an investment that Kentucky can no longer afford to ignore. About 56 percent of Kentucky jobs are expected to require some college training in 2020. Workers with a high school diploma or GED are twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a bachelorís degree. Incomes for those with just some college but no degree average 15 percent higher in Kentucky than for those with a high school diploma or GED.

 

Dr. Thompson said postsecondary education is becoming more necessary for employment. American employers in 2025 will need about 23 million more degree and certificate holders than the nationís colleges and universities will have produced. By 2018, 54 percent of all jobs in Kentucky will require some level of postsecondary education.

 

Mr. Reecie Stagnolia, Vice President, Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE), said two-thirds of the nationís college completion goal will come from non-traditional students staying and entering into the postsecondary pipeline. It is the goal that many of those will be GED graduates.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said adult education has had success over the last few decades. Kentucky is starting to move ahead of other states nationally in the percentage of work age adults that do not have a high school credential. Kentuckyís percentage of working age adults that do not have a high school credential is 15 percent and is closing the gap towards the national average of 13 percent.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said in 2000, 44 counties had a population above 30 percent without a high school diploma or GED. In 2010, no county is above 40 percent without a high school diploma, and only nine counties are above 30 percent. Kentucky has moved from 29 to 69 counties in the most favorable category of only 0Ė19 percent of people not having a high school diploma or GED. These improved statistics have a significant impact on Kentuckyís economic development efforts to be successful.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said that from 2005-2009 Kentucky led the nation in an increase in enrollment in adult education programs. Only 13 states had an increase over that same period of time. Kentucky is not satisfied and wants to engage more students to enroll and stay in its adult education programs.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said over the last decade, Kentucky has produced 106,000 GED graduates. Kentuckyís bigger goal is to successfully transition the GED graduates into postsecondary education. This is what will make the biggest impact on potential earnings in their lifetime. It is estimated that a GED graduate will earn $9,700 more dollars annually in earnings. Over a 30-year work career, that is $2.7 billion in additional earnings if adult education students stay in the pipeline. The ideal goal is for GED graduates to enroll in postsecondary education without needing developmental education courses. This is a challenge because data shows an increase in students needing remedial courses from 21 percent in 2007-2008 to 25 percent in 2011-2012.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said adult education students face many barriers and challenges to entering and staying in the education pipeline. Many do not have help from counselors, parents, and teachers to complete financial aid paperwork and college entrance forms.

 

Dr. Cheryl King, CPE, said workers with a high school diploma or GED are twice as likely as those with a bachelorís degrees to be unemployed. About 77 percent of the adult population in Kentucky, or 1.8 million adults, do not have a bachelorís degree. She said 1.3 million adults in Kentucky need to reengage in postsecondary education in order to qualify for the jobs that are available. There is an adequate pool of applicants, but the educational attainment levels do not meet what employers need. This is not systematic of a poor system. It is an issue of recognizing how adults learn and addressing their issues of balancing education with family and employment responsibilities.

 

Dr. King said Kentucky lags the nation in adult education attainment and college participation. She said 6 percent of the targeted adult population is served. Kentucky ranks 46th in the nation with adults with a bachelorís degree or higher. Kentucky ranks 37th in adult enrollment compared to adults without a bachelorís or higher degree.

 

Dr. King said it is imperative to find cost effective ways to enroll more adults. Over 21 percent of students enrolled in Kentucky colleges are adults; however the system is designed and geared to the more traditional 18-24 year old student. Kentucky needs to evolve and design programs focused on the adult learner.

 

Dr. Thompson said Project Graduate is a student recruitment program designed to bring Kentuckians with 90 or more college credit hours but no bachelor's degree back to college to finish their degree. It is a collaborative effort between the CPE, Kentucky's public universities and the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities. The program graduated 873 adult students with bachelorís degrees in the past four years. A marketing communications plan is under development to step up outreach to this target audience and to identify strategies to reach out to the larger adult learner market in Kentucky.

 

Dr. Thompson said employers need employees with critical thinking skills and problem solvers that can work with diverse populations. Kentucky needs up-to-date ways to help students learn and make workers more productive. This includes using formative courses that have a faster delivery system designed for adult learners. Paradigm shifts and resources will be essential for success.

 

†Responding to Representative Rollins, Mr. Stagnolia said adult education programs are offered in each county. The system is designed to allow the programs flexibility to design services fit for the community. It is important to offer courses based on student demand and ease of access as opposed to convenience for teachers.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said a partnership between the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB), KYAE, and a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded initiative is helping transform adult education into more successful pathways leading to economic security for underprepared workers in todayís demanding job market. The initiative will assist Kentucky colleges in providing adult learners with a fast track education that will quickly prepare them for a job in high demand, high wage sectors. Students can earn a certificate from KCTCS simultaneously while completing their adult education course curriculum.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said Kentucky is the only adult education program in the nation to formally adopt the common core standards. Kentucky received national recognition for this effort of making the transition into postsecondary education more seamless. It ensures adult education students will be college and career ready and not in need of developmental education courses after college enrollment.

 

Responding to Representative Rollins question, Mr. Stagnolia said KYAE has begun to track data on how many students graduate from a postsecondary education institution. This is an important data point that KYAE needs to trend. Approximately 13 percent of the adult education students obtain a certificate at KCTCS and retention rates must be improved. These are students that face many life barriers and drop out of the program for various reasons. The need to provide wrap-around services for the adult learner is critically important for this student population.

 

Representative Rollins said it is important to track the number of GED graduates that need remedial courses in postsecondary education and the number who obtain a certificate or a degree. Dr. Thompson noted that CPE is close to being able to track how many adult education students complete a certificate or degree program. He also noted more Kentucky postsecondary education institutions are applying for adult education grants and becoming the provider of the services.

 

Responding to a question from Senator Carpenter regarding tuition costs rising and preparing students for todayís job market, Dr. Thompson said part of the postsecondary strategic agenda is focusing on reducing most programs, if not all, to 120 hours. The two-year associate of science and associate of arts degrees at KCTCS need to be 60 hours. He said many comprehensive schools are offering accelerated degrees. Senator Carpenter said Kentuckyís education system must progress to keep up with technology and changing times.

 

Responding to Senator Wilson, Dr. Thompson said Kentucky needs to be branded as an adult learner friendly state. He said the process should start at the local levels. Dr. King said marketing and savvy branding are crucial to reaching the adult population. Mr. Stagnolia said 68 percent of adult education students enter the program reading below the ninth grade level, and it is a challenge to keep these students in the adult education pipeline. One-third of adult education students have a GED and need remediation in order to avoid developmental education courses.

 

Senator Wilson would like information on how many students have obtained certificates through technical college. These students are coded as having attended some college. CPE will break out the data and provide the information to the committee.

 

Responding to Representative Richards, Mr. Stagnolia said the University of Kentucky Collaborative Center for Literacy Development is one of KYAEís key partners to provide professional development for adult educators across the state.

 

Kentucky Youth ChalleNGeóCredit Recovery

Colonel John W. Smith, National Guard, shared what Kentucky Youth ChalleNGe (KYYC) has accomplished in the lives of Kentuckyís At Risk Youth, both at Bluegrass and Appalachian ChalleNGe Academies. Cadets from both academies were in attendance to answer questions from the committee.

 

Colonel Smith said efforts over the last two years to integrate a computer-based instruction high school credit recovery model, along with the traditional GED program, has been difficult and rewarding. In addition, work has been done to expand the Youth ChalleNGe opportunity into Appalachia, establishing a second site in Harlan County.

 

Colonel Smith said there have been 2,340 KYYC graduates in the Commonwealth since July 1999. New goals for the program will add 400 new graduates each year that will either attain high school graduate status or earn credits and return to high school.

 

Mr. Eric Vowels, Hardin County Schools, said he has not received clear definitions from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) regarding KYYC students. Students cannot receive a diploma from the Bluegrass Challenge Academy and must receive it from their home school district. Colonel Smith said the residency statute is problematic for KDE and asked that it be amended to remove the barrier.

 

Responding to Senator Winters, Colonel Smith said the General Assembly should identify the KYYC as an alternative for every student leaving traditional secondary education. He would like to move KYYC away from the Support Educational Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) formula and allow the school awarding the credits or diplomas some share of the performance-based SEEK monies. He also would like consideration of some appropriation of funds to flow from the awarding school to a KYYC entity. He asked for a statutory definition of the Kentucky Youth ChalleNGe effort and a statutory requirement for all 16-17 year old dropouts to graduate from KYYC as a condition of dropping out.

 

Responding to a question from Representative Graham regarding student residency, Mr. Vowels said it was an administrative decision. Colonel Smith said students have already left the system and dropped out of school when they enroll in the Youth ChalleNGe program, so it has no impact on the number of students enrolled in the local school district.

 

Responding to a question from Representative Graham, Colonel Smith said students are tracked for one year after leaving the program. He would like to allow students to update their post graduate whereabouts through social media sites such as Facebook. KYYC does not have the resources to track students after graduation. Representative Graham said the longer students are tracked the more legitimacy it brings to the program.

 

†Responding to Senator Wilson regarding obtaining federal funds, Colonel Smith said the program is funded through a 75/25 federal/state grant. He was hoping to fund the Appalachia program with the use of coal severance funds but found it was too controversial on how to utilize those tax dollars.

 

Kay Kennedy, KDE, discussed the use of SEEK funds and how it affects the challenge academies. She said KDE has set up the challenge academies and infinite campus to track average daily membership for each of the 22-week sessions that the challenge academies provide during the school year. In early December, there will be a count of average daily membership of enrollees in each of those academies from June to December. Each academy will then report to its home district, and KDE will provide one-half of the base SEEK amount for the first 22-week session. For example, Colonel Smithís quarterly report of the average daily membership of the Bluegrass Challenge Academy for the first quarter was 114.19 students. If that figure is multiplied by one-half of the $3,833 base amount ($1916.50), then the amount of the award for Bluegrass would be $218,845.13.

 

Ms. Kennedy said these funds come out of the SEEK allotment to KDE and is carved off the top before the rest of the funds are distributed to the 174 school districts. It is estimated $716,000 will be paid annually out of the total SEEK appropriation for challenge academies. She is anticipating a little larger enrollment for the second session this year, and KDE has budgeted $1.5 million to cover what could be the maximum number of students enrolled (400). If all the dollars are not utilized for the challenge academies, it rolls back into the SEEK funding for the school districts.

 

Ms. Kennedy said by tracking the students through Infinite Campus, KDE knows the average daily membership and Infinite Campus allows KDE to use electronic records to track transfers from the studentís home district to the challenge academies. Once the parent signs the appropriate release form, KDE can transfer the student records electronically to the challenge academy.

 

†Responding to a question from Representative Rollins, Ms. Kennedy said that it is her understanding that all students enrolled in the academies are dropouts. She noted the academies are not certified Kentucky high schools. Ms. Lisa Lang, KDE, explained the process for becoming a Kentucky certified high school and said the academies have not taken the steps to become certified. Representative Rollins was surprised the academies were receiving SEEK funds if they are not certified Kentucky high schools.

 

Ms. Lang noted that private and parochial schools can be certified by the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). They have to complete the same process that the challenge academy would need to do. She clarified that the problem with the challenge academies becoming certified public high schools is that by definition the students are dropouts and outside of the public school system.

 

Ms. Lang said students have to complete the challenge program and re-enroll in their home district high school, and the high school determines whether or not to award credit for what the student completed in the challenge academy. The statute identifies high school graduation requirements, but local board policy can set forth in more specific detail how that credit is to be evaluated. For instance, especially with credit recovery, different boards for different districts are going to award credit differently. They may give students two credits or zero credits depending on local policy. Further complicating matters is that school systems already accept credits from alternative education programs but the challenge program is not an academic program so that causes an additional challenge to overcome.

 

Responding to Representative Graham, Ms. Kennedy clarified that SEEK dollars used for the academies was not part of the school districtís allocation. The money is an automatic take off at the top before it is divided up between school districts. Basically, all school districts are receiving a little less because of the SEEK funding going to the challenge academies.

 

 

Ms. Lang said the challenge is that funding for dropout students is distributed across the state. When students finish the academy, the challenge is they want to come back to a specific school district that essentially is no longer receiving credit for those students. Changing residency requirements could cause an unwanted ripple effect with all sorts of unintended consequences. She wants local school districts to have the opportunity to evaluate what they are willing to accept and not accept.

 

Senator Winters read the dropout definition. He said the SEEK money is allocated to districts based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). He noted it is not completely accurate to say the money comes off the top when it is actually deducted from a pool.

 

Representative Collins noted $1.5 million out of $2.9 billion is less than one-half percent of the SEEK dollars going to the challenge academies and that is not much money. It was clarified that the diploma was awarded by the high school in the studentís home district and not the Bluegrass Academy.

 

Representative Carney said the communities are better served by giving these young people opportunities. The challenge program may keep them out of jail and motivated to continue their education to make a better living for their family.

 

Representative Waide said the academies need to be an academic program that is a certified Kentucky high school. He said this will benefit the students enrolled in the program and help them to better reach their goals.

 

Administrative Regulations

Alicia Sneed, Acting Executive Director, Education Professional Standards Board, represented the agency to explain 16 KAR 3:010 and 16 KAR 6:030. No members had questions and no action was taken.

 

Other Business

Representative Rollins distributed citations to Senators Winters, Westwood, and McGaha, and Representatives Farmer, Belcher, and Edmonds for their service to education.

 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM.