Prescription reimbursement policies: Use scalpels, not sledgehammers

Each legislative session brings its own attempts – usually born out of frustration – to address real problems in ways that just wind up growing government’s size, scope and cost. It’s indicative of sledgehammer-to-ant syndrome. Rather than kill ants and address the specific problem, this approach knocks down the entire house. Obamacare an example Perhaps…

Surprise! Kentucky’s average teacher salary ranks a lot higher than you probably thought

It was probably a surprise statement for many during last night’s Kentucky Tonight show on KET, which included Bluegrass Institute president and CEO Jim Waters. At 37 minutes and 40 seconds into the online version of the show, Brigit Ramsey, who now heads the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, stated that Kentucky’s teacher salaries now…

A state secret or a secret from the state: technology as an obstacle to the public’s right to know

Events have rapidly unfolded since we first commented on a serious threat to open government in the state of Missouri. The threat is a notable one for Kentuckians because it could play out in our own backyard. The Kansas City Star reported on December 7 that  Missouri’s governor – and his staff – had downloaded the app Confide…

A possible clue about big achievement gaps in some Jefferson County schools?

Over the years the Bluegrass Institute has issued several reports on the white minus black achievement gaps in the Jefferson County Public School District (JCPS) (Click here for the latest edition). We found a number of surprises in this report series, including the fact that the largest white minus black math achievement gaps in JCPS…

Law firm’s investigation of Jurich may remain forever secret.

On January 28, we reported on an increasingly common practice among public agencies that threatens the public’s right of access to investigative reports and analyses for which they, the public, pay. The same practice – we noted — has expanded employment opportunities for the legal community. From an open government perspective, this is unfortunate. More…

State Journal files counterclaim against Finance Cabinet in Franklin Circuit Court action

On January 26, The State Journal filed a motion for leave of court to assert a counterclaim against the Finance and Administration Cabinet in a case in Franklin Circuit Court arising from the Cabinet’s lawsuit against a reporter for the newspaper. The lawsuit seeks to reverse a favorable ruling by the Attorney General obtained by…

Madison County School Board gets it – Kentucky needs changes to awkward SBDM rules

The Richmond Register reports that the Madison County Board of Education has adopted a resolution in favor of Senate Bill 55. Senate Bill 55 would bring more rationality to the way Kentucky’s schools are governed under the current School Based Decision-Making laws (SBDM). For more about why such a change is needed, check our new…

Are Kentucky’s education administration costs out of line? Teacher to other staff ratios indicate a problem

Interest in the administration costs associated with Kentucky’s public education system increased recently, so I decided to explore some available data. Several days ago, I wrote about “Are Kentucky’s education administration costs out of line?” That blog looked at education funding breakdowns from the US Census Bureau’s annually issued Public Education Finances series and found…