From: Cash, Michael M.
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 12:33 PM
To: McCreary Co Staff
Cc: Greg Bird; Brandon Kidd; Debbie Gibson; Nelda Gilreath; Rhonda Armijo; Roxanne Shook
Subject: Editorial Kentucky Kernel
FYI... Please read.
We have a lot of positive things going on in our District; Unfortunately, the rumors and negativity by very few staff and community members is what we hear most.
We (that includes all of us) need to promote the positive and successful things happening everyday in the District. If you have suggestions on how to help in "promoting positives " within the district, please share with your respective principal.
Please look over the editorial at your convenience.
Thanks for all you do!
Editorial: State education system could learn from McCreary County
OCTOBER 28, 2015 BY OPINIONS
Like a C student or President George W. Bush’s report card at Harvard University, Kentucky’s education is average. There is, however, a lot of potential to help Kentucky meet the goals of the Department of Education.
The state budget for education allows for more than $4.7 billion to go to specific offices, like Operations and Support Services, Learning and Results Services, and SEEK.
Operations and Support Services covers the running and maintenance of state offices, schools and specific programs like the National School lunch Program. Operations and Support Services has $386,067,000 in the state budget, including federal funding.
Click here to view the state budget
In 2015 the state allotted more than $1.5 billion to Learning and Results Services, the part of the Department of Education that assesses students and school curriculum in order to make Kentucky schools competitive and successful. It also budgets for programs that help migrant, disadvantaged and special needs students.
SEEK, or Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, has budgeted $3,911 per student in the fiscal year of 2015. Next year the Budget of the Commonwealth allots for an extra $70 per child. SEEK is the base amount that is budgeted per-child, basically acting as a tuition amount.
Massachusetts, known for being one of the best school systems in the nation, has a program similar to SEEK. The state budget assigns a specific amount of funding to their students, as well as how much should come from local taxes. Counties can raise more money that exceeds this “foundation budget.”
Kentucky’s program is similar to Massachusetts, but the results aren’t the same. Massachusetts spends $13,157 per student — almost $10,000 more than Kentucky. However, with the Kentucky budget as tight as it is, an extra ten grand isn’t feasible.
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The 2014-15 test results show that money isn’t everything when coming to our education. With dedicated faculty and staff, schools can drastically improve.
In Fayette County, the lowest performing school in 2013-14 was William Wells Elementary. After the 2014-15 CATS testing, the school had a 19.2 point increase and has increased 26 places.
McCreary County, Kentucky’s poorest county, went from being 56th in the state to 82nd. In 2013 an improvement plan was created to help boost the county. The plan contains goals such as improving the average freshman graduation rate, and reading and math scores for elementary and middle school students.
The success of plans like this are evident in McCreary County’s scores, and in other counties and schools.
Despite independent attempts to revitalize the school system, the state needs to examine how the money is being spent throughout the state and how this is affecting students. It seems unrealistic that $3,911 is enough to educate, transport and feed a child for an entire school year.
While the increase in funding will help students with special programs, cases like McCreary County show that improvement is based on community involvement and goal setting.