The4th meeting of the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, October 9, 2006, at 10:07 AM, at the offices of KCTCS in Versailles. Senator Vernie McGaha, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Vernie McGaha, Co-Chair; Representative Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, Co-Chair; Senators Jack Westwood, and Ken Winters; Representatives Derrick Graham, Darryl T Owens, Terry Shelton, and Ron Weston.
Not able to make a lot of these out. I hope you can help. I sent the sign in sheet.
Guests: Joyce Wogoman, John Marks, and David Billingsley, OCTE; Bert Hensley, Superintendent, Estill County Schools; John Wilkenson, KEA; Glenn Shaffer, Hart County; Bruce Walcott, UK College of Engineering; Phillip Rogers, Marcie Puckett, EPSB; Heidi Hiemstra, CPE; Bonnie Brinly, KDE; Clyde Caudill, KASA; Gwen Joseph, Beth Hilliard, Gloria McCall, Mary Abrams, Mary Kleber, Janie Williams, and Jan Muto, KCTCS; Ruth Webb, LRC.
LRC Staff: Janet Stevens, Audrey Carr, and Jo Ann Paulin.
Chairman McGaha welcomed everyone to the meeting and he thanked Dr. McCall and his staff at KCTCS for hosting the meeting today. He explained that the committee would be continuing the discussion on Career and Technical Education but mainly discussing the Accessibility and Accountability portion. He then introduced Mr. David Billingsley who is the director of the Office of Career and Technical Education along with Mr. Rodney Kelly, Director of the Kentucky Department of Education, Division of Secondary Career and Technical Education.
Mr. Billingsley gave a brief background by saying that HB 85, from the 2000 Regular Session, was a particular bill from a special committee on vocational education that was co-chaired by Senator McGaha and Representative Buckingham. It directed all career and technical education systems to develop a process of evaluating all level III trade and industry programs. Through that program was developed 21 standards for program assessment.
He referred the committee to the handout entitled "Education Cabinet Career and Technical Education - Progress Report on Access and Accountability." This is a part of the permanent record. Mr. Billingsley directed the committee to page 22 and page 23 of the document. He explained that the first cycle started in 2001 and ended in 2004. There were 365 programs in 86 schools that were evaluated through program assessment and the 21 standards. In the second cycle of 2005 - 2006, only the first half of all the programs were evaluated. The second half of all the programs are being evaluated during this school year, 2006 - 2007. The third cycle will be during 2007 - 2009. Mr. Billingsley said that right now they are on a two year cycle for program assessment.
He then directed the Committee to page 23 of the handout which showed the results from the assessments. The pre-assessment was like a beta analysis of the instrument that was conducted in 2001. Listed are the state and local scores and a combination of both. Cycle 1 started in fall 2001 thru 2004. There was a considerable increase in program assessment scores during this cycle. The first cycle was based on a one to four scale. Cycle 2, which is being conducted at the present time, shows a decrease in scores from the first half of this cycle due to the instrument being changed and the scale based on zero to four. Mr. Billingsley then showed the committee a video clip of the exit report given by the Quality Assurance Review Committee. There is a hard copy of this report as a permanent part of this record.
Mr. Billingsley said that as the committee heard on the video, Kentucky Tech School System will be officially accredited in December at the national meeting of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). He said they are really proud and consider this an honor to receive such recognition. It will be more of a reason to work more diligently to continuously improve the system. As a result of this they will be able to provide a better education for students of Kentucky. The hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation tells the recommendations, accommodations, strengths, and weaknesses. He encouraged the committee members to read this document.
Senator McGaha said that he understood that Kentucky is the very first to obtain such accreditation. Mr. Billingsley said that they are the first state technical school system in the nation with a SACS accreditation. SACS is a nationwide organization. It accredits schools in 30 states and numerous countries. Senator McGaha said that on behalf of this committee and the Kentucky Legislature he wanted to congratulate Mr. Billingsley and his staff for this great achievement.
Mr. Rodney Kelley said that he wanted to continue with the items in the PowerPoint presentation and referred to the information on page 15 of the "Progress Report on Access and Accountability" report under the title of "Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards 7 year Summary - KOSSA." This page shows a statewide summary of the Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards results. Mr. Kelley said that work started on KOSSA in 1998. They worked with Associated Industries of Kentucky which was a joint effort of the Department of Education, the community college system, and the Division of Secondary Career and Technical Education. They began by developing manufacturing skills standards. They moved into other areas as well. That system basically developed standards based on employers input into what kind of knowledge and skills the students need to know and be able to do when they graduate from high school and went into the work place. They have developed standards in 19 different areas and the chart on page 15 shows the growth in the numbers of students who are passing the skills standards. The first year it was 14 percent, but that was the first time they had any actual assessment of the skills at the high school level for any state or national exam. The growth has continued and now they use those standards to plan curriculum with the high school career technical teachers. In 2006, 45 percent of the students who took the exams passed and received a Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Certificate signed by the industries that helped design the assessments and endorsed by those industries as the Associated Industries of Kentucky. The Governor also signs the certificates. Students receive the certificate in early May before they graduate.
On page 16, the 19 assessments areas and the results for 2006 scores are listed. There were almost 13,000 students who took the assessments. There is now some type of a skills standards assessment in most all of the primary career and technical major areas. They try to align the standards with the national standards. Employers and educators in Kentucky at the secondary and postsecondary level come together to set these standards. Basically, the message they send to all secondary career and technical education teachers is that your programs need to be aligned with either state or national industry standards. At the high school level they need to be concerned with core content standards as well.
Mr. Kelley said that the next item was the student individual learning plan (ILP) for Kentucky. At the August meeting, they discussed the assistance students receive in high schools with career guidance and planning. There seemed to be a lot of concern in that area. Mr. Kelley said that the committee packets also have a handout entitled, "Individual Learning Plan for Kentucky - Career Cruising the Complete Guidance System." This handout is a part of this permanent record.
Mr. Kelley said that Kentucky has just developed an electronic individual learning plan. This is going to be a web enabled document that will be the tool that schools will use to help students plan their future. This program will help students plan the courses they will need to take from middle school and all through high school to prepare for their career. This will help them prepare for a postsecondary education or get them ready for a job in the workforce. It is all electronic and accessible from the internet for students and parents at home. The PowerPoint presentation basically highlights what the ILP looks like. In the handout, on page 3 "ILP Homepage," you can see that this website is linked to "Go Higher Ky" which is the education website in Kentucky that has all the postsecondary education information. Students and their parents will have access to information about postsecondary education and student loan programs. It will all be tied to a student's individual learning plan. The plan will begin at the sixth grade level and will be utilized all the way through high school. The Career Matchmaker Results Program is used to get information about career awareness and career planning. After a student answers several questions about their interest, goals, and career plans, the program will report back to students the careers in which they might have an interest. The next part then connects students career interest with postsecondary schools, not only in Kentucky but nationally.
This has been customized for Kentucky and page 6 of the document explains career cluster interests. Kentucky has identified 14 career clusters. The web enabled software has basically integrated Kentucky's career clusters into the program. The next section is career planning. This tool is being introduced to schools this fall. There are 1,400 people being trained to take this to the teachers and guidance counselors. It will be individualized. All the information will be loaded so teachers/counselors can begin to work with each student. There will have to be an advisory system in place to work with each student one-on-one.
Representative Shelton said that he appreciated the presentation and that the information that Mr. Kelley shared is very helpful. He thinks this is the right path to take. Representative Shelton asked if parents are involved at the sixth grade level and is there a tracking mechanism to guide these students based on their abilities and skills. Mr. Kelley said they were asking the schools to meet with the parents and invite parents to an information session at the schools. They will need an orientation to explain the system to parents, to explain parents' role in the program, and to show parents how they can access the program from their home. Parents will have to have some help as to what their responsibilities are and the role they will play in this program. The system will track students' and parents' involvement. There is an electronic bar that keeps moving forward to show this involvement. This is called the ILP standard. Representative Shelton said that this sounds great. Mr. Kelley said it is a wonderful tool but will be good only if the students/parents use it.
Representative Graham said that he is in the field of education and what the teachers talk about to him is the amount of time they have to give to classroom instruction. Most teachers feel they will be moving from instruction to being a counselor. He said that it seems more and more is being added to the responsibilities of teachers and they are given the main task of making sure the students get their scores up. He asked how would Mr. Kelley address this additional role the teachers are having to play in keeping this new system viable. The Frankfort Independent School system has tried the advisor/advisee program before. Teachers feel that it takes away from their instruction time. It is an additional task being put on educators who are in the classroom, and not on the administrators, who are already feeling overwhelmed by additional responsibilities. Representative Graham said it sounds very good on paper and especially to all the members on this subcommittee. He knows what many teachers are feeling about adding another responsibility.
Mr. Kelley said they have heard this same concern before. He said that it depends on how the school implements this. They are advising the schools to have some type of a committee (teacher, faculty, guidance counselor) to basically decide how it will be presented and how they will advise the students one on one. It is a balance and so many times when pushing for the goal to get to proficiency students don't get that one on one help that they feel they need. This is what students say. There are a lot of students that need extra help. This plan strives to draw on parents, teachers, and guidance counselors serving as advisors. They believe they will get more students engaged in school, focused on career goals, and what is needed in education to meet their goals. Guidance counselors will have a significant role to play, but in Kentucky they are at a 400 to one ratio in most schools across the state. It has to be a shared roll. A lot of times teachers are the ones that know the student the best. Teacher support will be a critical element for this program's success.
Representative Graham said that he believed that the smaller schools will be able to work with this program. He said that he just toured his career tech center last week through the program "Legislators Back to School" and he heard this concern. He said he is concerned that Frankfort High School is not being served by the tech center. The two school boards have not been able to agree on allowing the students in the Frankfort Independent system to participate in the Franklin County career education program. In talking to the teachers last week, Representative Graham said he heard that where there is an individual learning program in place, the students are definitely at the forefront. Many of those students are looking to pursue a job once they get out of high school or go on to a technical school. One thing he kept hearing from teachers is that more money is going to have be put into the program for better facilities and for the various curriculum needed to provide this type of service to every student. To have programs that are not supported with the funds for adequate facilities and money for supplies and teachers isn't enough. It is good on paper, but nothing else. Not being able to schedule the classes that the students need yet being responsible for this plan is not right. He said he wanted this committee to be aware of the STI program, which is the tracking system used across the state. As a teacher, he cannot access any other grades or grade point average through the system, which contains the education plans of the students. Teachers have to follow this through a paper trail and sometimes they get lost in the shuffle. The grades he can access are the students' grades for his class only. Representative Graham said that his concerns have also been voiced across the state by other teachers.
Representative Edmonds asked if the Department of Education sees it as their responsibility to have career and tech teachers participate in the home school's discipline enforcement. Mr. Kelley said that it has to be a shared responsibility. If the situation comes up at the center and is a minor thing, the principal at the center will handle it. If it is more complicated, center staff will work with the home high school principal.
Mr. Kelley said that there is another handout entitled "College Credit Earned While in High School 2005 - 2006." That is also a part of this record. Since the last meeting he had sent out a survey to the local districts to get an indication of how many students are earning college credit while still in high school. They received responses from 122 out of a possible 176 districts. This chart shows credit earned in the two and four year programs. Over 11,000 students earned, or met the criteria to earn, credit for high school work at postsecondary education institutions. This is a list by college and there are varied differences. The following pages breaks the information down into career technical program areas. Senator McGaha asked if Mr. Kelley had a list of the number of students in each school district that earned postsecondary education credit and the institutions that awarded the credit. Mr. Kelley said that he did have that information and it is on a larger handout that he can send to staff. He said that it was being added to daily.
Representative Graham asked if Mr. Kelley could define "articulated credit" for the committee. Mr. Kelley said that it was based on an agreement between the secondary school and the postsecondary school. The postsecondary school agrees to award credit for course work done in high school as long as that the postsecondary school feels that the content of that curriculum is equal to the content of the postsecondary curriculum. It is usually on a course by course basis and they don't earn the credit until they actually enter postsecondary education. Whereas with a dual credit they get the credit while enrolled in the secondary system. In either case once they go to postsecondary education they are supposed to have the credit.
Senator McGaha said that at a meeting a couple of months ago several of the members expressed some concerns that constituents had expressed to them about this process. These comments were in regards to dual enrollment/credits in the community colleges. He asked Dr. McCall to explain how this program is evolving in the state and to explain some of the good things that are happening and some of the drawbacks they are encountering.
Dr. McCall, President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), welcomed the committee to their facility. He said that he appreciated the opportunity to follow-up especially since questions were raised regarding KCTCS. Dr. McCall had a PowerPoint presentation and a hard copy of that presentation is a part of this record.
He said KCTCS was created in 1997. Dr. McCall said their mission is to improve the quality of life and employability of the citizens of the Commonwealth by serving as the primary provider of the following postsecondary education programs, training, and services. Their vision is to create a comprehensive community and technical college system recognized as the nation's best. He said there were nine mandates in HB 1 (KRS 164.580) and they were very specific. Today he would address only mandate (d) which states; "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." They take this very seriously as their charge at KCTCS. They feel this speaks to how they provide particularly the dual enrollment piece and what they do and how they respond.
Dr. McCall said that their job is to provide the workforce what they need to prepare students to be ready to go out into industry, to serve their company's needs, as economically viable as possible. Two important pieces to KCTCS in regards to the curriculum and industry standards are job profiling and business and industry advisory boards. They want to make sure that WorkKeys and Dacum profiles are conducted for all occupational/technical program areas. They also utilize subject matter experts from companies or organizations that are served in the profiling processes as well. The other piece is the business and industry advisory boards that they have. Every occupational and technical program has these boards and they are required to meet at least twice annually.
One other piece that is important is industry recognized credentials, such as licensures, registries, proficiency exams, national boards, and industry standard certifications. This is important to KCTCS as well. Then there are curriculum committees that meet on an annual basis that includes representatives from all secondary institutions.
This sets the stage for what Representative Graham said earlier about what is meant by the types of credit KCTCS offers. Dr. McCall said there are four ways a high school student may earn credit at KCTCS. The first way is dual enrollment, where there is concurrent enrollment in KCTCS and in the high school with credit being awarded only by KCTCS. The second way, dual credit, is concurrent enrollment in high school and KCTCS with credit awarded by both institutions. The third way, articulated credit, is credit awarded after high school graduation when the student enrolls at a KCTCS institution. The fourth way is for the student to demonstrate competencies though standardized tests such as CLEP and AP exams, special faculty-developed exams, industry standard certifications and licensures, and portfolio assessment.
He said their role in the secondary piece is what they do in the postsecondary for the secondary career. Dr. McCall said they do it through the SEEK funded students; that is KCTCS faculty teaching students who may be earning high school credit only; or may be earning dual credit through KCTCS. These are SEEK funded opportunities. SEEK funds are limited to the amount of dollars that are provided for students to go into KCTCS.
Dual enrollment/dual credit students enrolled in 462 courses during the fall of 2005. These courses may be applied to any number of KCTCS credentials (certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees). The current listing of enrollments by subject are 14 percent pre-college curriculum, 64 percent technical/occupational, 17 percent business/IT/pre-professional, four percent for personal development, and one percent of other academics. These are actual numbers in their data base that they can verify.
He said the second question the committee addressed to KCTCS was the number and types of agreements currently in effect. On a statewide basis this is a list of the agreements beginning with January 25, 2002: Position Statement on Articulation Agreement Process and Procedure (signed by Kentucky P16 Council, CPE, KDE, KCTCS, and Department of Technical Education, and the Workforce Development Cabinet); February 27, 2002: Dual Credit Agreement between the Kentucky Department for Technical Education and KCTCS; Spring 2003: KCTCS Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit Handbook published; February 2006: Joint KCTCS/Education Cabinet - OCTE recommendations on Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment. Right now there are 246 individual agreements at the KCTCS college level.
A third question asked is the number of school districts participating. KCTCS tracks dual enrollment/dual credit students by individual high schools, not by school districts. In the fall of 2005, high school students from 118 Kentucky counties enrolled in KCTCS. These students were enrolled in 273 public and private Kentucky high schools.
The fourth question asked was the differences in the way KCTCS colleges participate in the programs. There are a number of different ways they participate, including funding, local needs, faculty availability, scheduling, and class locations (high school or college campus).
The committee asked about perceived barriers to dual enrollment/dual credit programs. Dr. McCall said that funding is first and foremost. He said it is up to the local high school decision-making council to participate. SACS requirements for faculty credentials and limited high school academic advising and career counseling are also barriers. This is a continuous problem.
Another question asked was why some school districts take advantage of dual credit while other do not. Dr. McCall said he wish he knew why, but this is a local high school decision. Consistency and participation is up to the local high school. KCTCS is willing and ready.
On page 16 of the KCTCS handout there is a list of the number of high school students pursuing dual credit at KCTCS colleges for the fall of 2005. The lowest is Henderson KCTCS with 65 students and the highest is Jefferson KCTCS with 1,992 students in the program.
Senator McGaha said that the committee was focusing on vocational technical courses. He asked if these numbers were a collective number for all the courses. Dr. McCall said that this was correct. The committee had asked for the number of high school students pursuing dual credit/dual enrollment at KCTCS colleges. In 2000 there were 701 students enrolled and in 2005 13,694. This was in response to one of the nine mandates.
Dr. McCall said they have done many studies in terms of how well are the counties doing and how well are they taking advantage of the opportunities of the KCTCS programs. The map on page 18 is a county by county snapshot of the dual enrollment for the fall of 2005 and shows the percentage of students enrolled in grades nine through twelve. Counties in white represent the least percentage of students, and counties in black have the best enrollment. He said as you can see throughout the state the far ends and rural areas are taking tremendous advantage of the programs. In some of the more populated areas there are not near the number of students participating. This says there is a tremendous amount of potential that is available for dual credit and dual enrollment.
Dr. McCall said that in summary HB 1 mandates KCTCS to 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. He asked the committee if they had any questions.
Representative Graham asked what did he attribute the lack of involvement of schools not working closer with KCTCS. Dr. McCall said that you could see particularly in the rural areas that KY colleges are considered the focal point of the community. They work very closely with the community and the high schools within their community. When you get into the white areas on the map you are getting close to urban life. He said there is no physical facility in Franklin County and he said that could contribute to their rating as well. He said KCTCS has one college to some 170 different high schools. They are looking for the avenue and he didn't know what the exact answer would be.
Senator McGaha said that a lot of things that the map identifies as far as leadership in local districts and it also recognizes the needs of business and industry, and what they are calling for, or what their services demand. Certain areas are served by schools that are non KCTCS schools and that is also reflected on the chart. There are a lot of variables that would skew the numbers.
Senator Winters said that he was a strong supporter of dual credit course work. He wanted to know if the map depicts dual credit as it relates to KCTCS only. Dr. McCall said that was correct. Senator Winters said that as he began to evaluate this, he looked at other counties that host either a private, independent, or a state college. Many of those counties are in the white areas of the map. He said the next chore is to look at how well dual credit is articulating with the public and other two and four year institutions. He said if Kentucky really believes in seamless movement of students from one level to another then they will have to look at every avenue to make it happen. Dual credit is a very important area.
Representative Weston said that following up on what Representative Graham said and he not being an educator but being a business person, he noticed that Dr. McCall said they started in 1998 in getting the message out and using his people to go out and let them know what was available. He asked if it could be that KCTCS focused in certain geographical areas more than they did on central Kentucky. Is KCTCS targeting areas to get the message out for them to work with certain school districts? Dr. McCall said that clearly the workforce is a major factor in regards to the needs and desires of the workforce itself. Colleges have targeted particularly the schools that are easier to work with. In the early days they picked the "hanging fruit" and that was where the schools that were the best to work with KCTCS were. The real difficulty is having to deal with so many schools. Working very closely with high schools and principals is the real key. It is a two-way relationship.
Representative Owens said that Senator Winters talked about the seamlessness of education in Kentucky. He asked Dr. McCall if he had any figures as to how it relates to KCTCS and the universities. Dr. McCall said yes he does but he didn't have them here today. KCTCS has worked diligently on the seamlessness from the postsecondary system perspective. They can provide that data but off the top of his head he didn't have the other information available. Representative Owens said that one of the things he had heard complaints about was the transferring of credits from KCTCS to a four year institution. Dr. McCall said that they have what is called a block transfer agreement. It is an agreement between KCTCS and the entire higher education system. This guarantees that students that take a block of general education requirements can then transfer their credits in mass to one of the universities. That is just a small piece of articulation, or what KCTCS would like to expand and increase. The problem then is what they have to deal with in reverse. They have 16 colleges trying to get articulated agreements with only eight public universities, as well as private colleges. These are issues they are continuing to work on and will bring them before the council. Representative Owens said he would like more information.
Senator McGaha said that in talking about dual enrollment, Representative Owens brought up an important question. He said that when HB 1 was drafted one of the big items was the issue about dual enrollment as far as high school to college was concerned. He said that he considers dual enrollment almost to be where those freshman and sophomores are attending community colleges and plan to move on to a four year college program. Suddenly they lose hours and hours of class work. He said that is not what was envisioned by the legislators that passed this bill. A course that is not worth teaching should not be in the curriculum. Don't waste a students time and money. It is a ridiculous situation and it should cease immediately. He said it upsets him greatly when he hears of this happening.
Senator McGaha said that Rodney Kelley gave out a list of the information related to vocational and technical education. He said as he looked as the preliminary results, and he suggested all the committee look at the sheet that says "College Credit Earned While in High School 2005 - 06, it lists the colleges and universities at the top and the community and technical colleges at the bottom. He said that if there is a college in their legislative area, this information if very enlightening. Senator McGaha said that he hoped that all of his high schools had not reported yet. He was not pleased with the figures that were shown for his district. Senator McGaha asked what flexibility does KCTCS have when the need of industry changes and a course becomes obsolete. What if you have a tenured person who is teaching something obsolete, when what is needed is robotics? Dr. McCall said that they have much adaptability or flexibility to create new programs. They have a good system. If industry needs it, KCTCS can adapt to it or if they need a certificate in a certain subject KCTCS can have it approved overnight or even sooner if necessary. What they then need to do is make sure they have the competent faculty necessary to teach the courses. They won't use the faculty that doesn't have the skills necessary to teach the subject.
Dr. McCall said they do have tenured faculty. That was part of the legislation as well. The staff have a proper right to that position and what it means and what it doesn't mean. He said he didn't sign the bill but he does implement this part of it.
Keith Bird, KCTCS Chancellor, said they are really adapting to technology. That is one of the major initiatives this year. They have faculty that are being trained in Germany to develop an integrated system that they hope Kentucky will become a pilot and model for the rest of the country. They are developing programs for Toyota and the automotive industry that is looking to completely redesign career and technical education. He said they are very excited to stay on the leading edge. Their statewide business and industry advisory board meets twice a year and provides KCTCS with active job profiles, exactly what industry wants in regards to employability skills in terms of specific tasks. They are challenging colleges to evaluate programs once a year. They have a board of regents that is very concerned. They see all the courses and programs that are being added but they also want to see what programs are being eliminated and they want to know if they have served their purpose or are outdated.
Senator McGaha asked if the schools who do not actively pursue KCTCS' assistance in dual credit, does KCTCS then encourage them to do so. Dr. McCall said yes they do and this data does help KCTCS. It gives them a broader view of where this is happening. When they did this map it helped KCTCS step back and question what do they need to do to move things forward. It puts things in perspective and lets them take a stronger proactive role. It may be there needs to be some type of education summit involving high school principals, college presidents, and legislators. Then they could really talk about this to make sure they understand the value of the program. Dr. McCall thanked the committee for having KCTCS today and he said they would follow-up on any information the committee needed.
Mr. Bert Hensley, Superintendent of the Estill County Schools addressed the problem of the counties that don't have access to these programs. He said that he came in as superintendent last September and had been principal for ten years before that in Butler County. Mr. Hensley said that what he wants to talk about it satellite programs. His students go to Madison County for career/tech classes. These students are spending about a quarter of the day in travel. It is 45 minutes there and 45 minutes back to their home school. There is not a whole lot of bang for the buck there for the students because they are losing instructional time. Also in Madison County there is no room in their system for health sciences and the informational tech areas. The Estill County hospital is in need of nurses. Females will not get on a bus and travel 45 minutes to a vocational school and back. About half of his student population will not go to college and it limits the students to the opportunities they have. Satellite programs do not usually come before the legislators. He said he tried to start a program last year. It is pretty hard but he thinks that it is an area that needs to be reviewed. Access to the college system in Estill County is very limited. You have to come to Lexington and it makes it very difficult for the students. He said we must provide the opportunity for the students to have access.
Representative Graham said that this is something that the Governor's Office needs to address. He said he hoped that people would come to Frankfort and put pressure on not only their legislator but all the General Assembly to get things changed. Mr. Hensley said that there are road blocks and you have to work your way around them.
Representative Edmonds thanked Mr. Hensley for coming. He said Mr. Hensley's purpose for being here was to raise awareness.
Senator Westwood said that he had a comment about the 45 minutes of lost time each way between facilities. Accessibility is the issue of students going from one school to the other. He asked Mr. Hensley if he had any other suggestions for doing this. Mr. Hensley said that scheduling is a part of it, where the students in a certain district can take more courses at the vocational school because they live close to the facility. The vocational schools he has been associated with have always worked with the high schools to try to accommodate the students' schedules. Now they run two sets of buses. Some students go in the morning and some go in the afternoon. They get some vocational reimbursement for the bus travel but not enough to cover it, especially with the cost of diesel fuel what it is now. This is a minor concern to him, he said, as long as the students are getting the opportunity. Time wise when you lose a quarter of the day, it doesn't serve the purpose. In the twenty five years of his career in education he has seen a change and it takes time for everyone to have access to everything going on in the state. When you compare Kentucky to other states, we are ahead of the others in regard to technical schools and with dual credit with the colleges. It takes time to meet the needs of everyone.
Senator Westwood asked if they had looked into virtual education. Mr. Hensley said that the health sciences is more of a hands-on education and would be rather difficult to do. The informational classes are getting to that point. You would still have to have the instructor. Senator Westwood said that virtual education needs to be reviewed. It is relatively inexpensive to use.
Representative Graham said the people that work at career centers do not have input into the decision making process. They need to have a voice on the site-based decision making councils, so that their suggestions might be considered.
Mr. Hensley said that is just another point of working together. When you work as an island you don't accomplish much.
Senator McGaha said the program access study shows there have been some good things done. We have made a start but it is a very costly thing to do and we need to continue to look at it very closely.
Senator McGaha announced to the committee that lunch was available in the hall. The Interim Committee meeting will start at 12:30 p.m.
There being no further business before the subcommittee, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 AM.