“Instead of trying to figure out how to get more money for education, schools across the state are figuring out how to get more education for our money. We should all follow their examples. And while we are at it, we must channel the resources we do have directly to student learning.” – Tony Bennett, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, during his “State of Education” speech Monday (quoted in today’s Education Reform Radar).
Jim Waters, Vice President of Policy and Communcations at the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, was quoted in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader regarding vehicle upgrades and purchases by Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
The increase in the Department of Agriculture’s fleet is in conflict with many of the sacrifices that the rest of state government has been encouraged to work toward in a time when budget crises run rampant across the nation.
The Bluegrass Institute is a firm supporter of fiscal responsibility. State leaders must make difficult decisions in difficult times – this is what they are elected for.
View the entire article here.
I posted Part 1 of this blog thread several days ago, and I think it would be worthwhile to summarize some things we’ve heard, so far, from reader comments and other discussions.
• Informants indicate busing problems extend beyond the three schools elementary schools that the Jefferson County Public School System officially identified. For example, we have received specific comments about problems in Cochran Elementary and the Jefferson County Traditional Middle School.
• In addition to children getting home late, there are reports of problems with the morning pickups. One problem: Students are arriving at school late.
• In some cases, it is reported to us that after the first day, buses didn’t even stop at a morning pickup site. Kids missed school completely for days without any follow-up.
• The management of after-school waits for bus pickups is sometimes terrible. Kids reportedly have been forced to sit (no lying down!) on hard gym floors for hours without water or food.
• To make the busing look successful, an informant says some schools actually dismissed EARLY! How does that improve education?
• There are rumors of even worse conditions in the bus transfer yards.
So, Louisville, how is week two going? Is everything fixed, or are kids still spending hours a day trapped in the busing madness?
From Penney Sanders
The always insightful friend of the Bluegrass Institute, master educator Dr. Penney Sanders, has posted her reaction to Kentucky’s loss of Race to the Top, Phase 2.
It’s a good read.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s August 25th Newslink e-mail laments the state’s loss of as much as $175 million in the Race to the Top education funding competition. The Chamber pulls no punches, laying blame for that loss on the legislature’s failure to implement charter school legislation as part of our Race to the Top entry.
Says Chamber president David Adkission of the legislature’s inaction:
“It is disappointing for Kentucky’s business community that consensus could not be reached on charter schools and that the state missed out on federal funds as a result.”
The Chamber’s Newslink ends with this positive note:
“The Kentucky Chamber will continue to press the case that charter schools, in situations where certain schools consistently underperform, should be one of the tools by which Kentucky schools can improve.”
The Bluegrass Institute agrees that the state needs this educational tool and welcomes the Chamber’s continuing commitment to this fight to do the right thing for Kentucky’s children.