The Kentucky state Senate passed several bills this week. Of these bills, three education bills are of particular importance.
Many students feel bored with the pace of high school during their senior year. Senate Bill 86, passed with bipartisan support, helps focus our students on the higher challenges required of them. It provides an early graduation option to high-school students who meet course requirements, grade point average, and college readiness standards. A student who completes an early graduation program will receive an “Early Graduation Scholarship Certificate” with the approximate value of 24 credit hours at KCTCS, and may be utilized at any two-year or four-year SACS-accredited postsecondary institution in Kentucky.
Conversely, our children who are intellectually and/or developmentally challenged also work hard in their way to reach certain academic standards. SB 43 recognizes the course work of these students by providing an alternative diploma. These special children who continue their studies at the high-school level are dedicated young people who should take pride in their achievements.
As many of us with children have experienced, schools are closed during elections because some schools are also used as places where people can vote. But what happens if there is no polling place there? SB 21 permits school districts where no schools are used as a polling place to adjust their calendar to keep schools open during a regular, special or primary election. It would also allow a district to schedule election days as instructional or make-up days. This is a more efficient use of space and allows for greater continuity in our children’s education.
Finally, the House and Senate seem to be moving closer to an agreement on a congressional map. Since negotiations are still ongoing, I have not had the chance to review the details. I will continue to keep you informed. In a somewhat related topic, Gov. Steve Beshear has told the press that he expects his gambling bill to be introduced in the next few days. He has held this back to see how many legislators may be unopposed in elections in his search for support since the legislative filing deadline has been extended and may be again.
If you would like to learn more about our work, you can check us on the Internet at www.lrc.ky.gov. If you would like to leave a toll-free message for me, the number is 1-800-372-7181. A taped message of information on legislative committee meetings can be heard at 1-800-633-9650 and to check the status of a bill, you may call the toll-free Bill Status Line at 1-866-840-2835.