Courier-Journal right to issue urgent call for more transparency to protect children in welfare system

It is good to see that the editorial page of Kentucky’s largest newspaper continues to advocate for more transparency when it comes to children in the commonwealth’s child welfare system. The Bluegrass Institute has long advocated that transparency does more than just allow taxpayers to hold government officials for how they spend our hard-earned tax…

Education Data Security in Kentucky

The proliferation of computer-based databases operated by Kentucky’s public school system has been very extensive, and these databases contain a large amount of sensitive information on students, parents and school employees. Examples of that sensitive information include: social security numbers, test scores, eligibility for free and reduced cost lunch, salaries, teacher evaluation materials, health conditions…

Prichard pushes the numbers too far, again, Part 2

In any state-to-state education comparison, student demographics matter In its zeal to portray Kentucky’s public education system in the best possible light, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has issued a 2012 update to its on-going “Top 20 by 2020” reports. But, Prichard still doesn’t get this right. Prichard simply ignores advice, readily available in…

Surprise, surprise: KRS does not take costs of new hires into account

If the $34 billion price tag on Kentucky’s public pension crisis weren’t enough for our elected officials to strap on their boots and get to work on some real reform, perhaps the recent news that Kentucky Retirement Sytems’ placement agents pay little to no regard for the price tag on new investment consultants will get…

Prichard pushes the numbers too far, again, Part 1

In its zeal to portray Kentucky’s public education system in the best possible light, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has issued a 2012 update to its on-going “Top 20 by 2020” reports. But, Prichard still doesn’t get this right. Prichard simply ignores advice, readily available in all federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)…

Actuaries confirm what BIPPS predicted: Pension systems ‘simply unsustainable’

The Courier-Journal reports that most of Kentucky’s public pension funds continue to decline, and are — as the Bluegrass Institute has already reported — simply unsustainable in their current forms. According to actuaries, pension benefits for members of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System’s non-hazardous retirement plan are only 27.3 percent funded this year, compared with…

Breathitt County School District headed for state takeover?

The goings-on in Breathitt County’s school system sound like something out of a horribly unbelievable soap opera. Except, this story is no fabrication. Former superintendent Arch Turner was recently sentenced to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for vote buying in a serious case that eventually involved the FBI. Charges were also filed…