Cutting our way to excellence

County Schools are headed toward financial crisis.

A three-part series in the Richmond Register details the pitfals of reality. From pension fund expenditures in Madison County to being ranked 31st in the nation when it comes to student spending, Kentucky’s educational proirities are screwed up– and it’s showing on the local level like never before.

What’s more, we’re already dumping some 60% of the state budget into education, according to Sen. Ed Worley.

down the drain


Read the entire series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

What was that “surplus” Ernie said he had? $400,000,000? Yeah. Let’s talk about that surplus.

If the 103-Degree Heat’s Not Killin’ Ya…

Eating their own. Novak says the Kentucky gubernatorial race leans Democratic. Huh. You mean the gubnuh who “clears” himself via his hand-picked ethics panel isn’t ahead by light years? [HE, C-J]

Astrological Forecast? CQ says Sen. McConnell is safe in 2008, going so far as to call him the state’s political kingpin. [CQ]

Fuzzy Math on the Internets. WKYT has a poll looking toward the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.

Top 3 Contenders:

    McConnell – 40.7%
    Chandler – 19.6%
    Stumbo – 25.6%

What if Chandler wasn’t included? His 19.6 percentage points would be split among the other four Democrats in the poll. People in the Stumbo camp say he’d garner at least 15% of those points, putting him in a dead heat (40.6%) with McConnell in the unscientific web poll. [WKYT]

Make Your Voice Heard, Armchair Bandits! 2007/2008 Election Survey up on The Bluegrass Report. Mark Nickolas wants to know how you’ll vote. Go take the survey. It’s open until 12:00 noon on Aug 17. [Bluegrass Report]

S-m-r-t. We am so smrt. ACT releases Kentucky’s test scores – With 70% of Kentucky’s high school graduates taking the college prep exam, this gives us a glimpse into our abilities when it comes to standardized test taking.

National average composite score: 21.2. Kentucky’s: 20.7, with all scores improving from 2006 by about 1/10th of a point.

Average Kentucky scores:

    English 20.3 (Nat’l benchmark: 18)
    Math 20 (Nat’l benchmark: 22)
    Reading 21.2 (Nat’l benchmark: 21)
    Science 20.6 (Nat’l benchmark: 24)

Click here to download the full report. Warning: PDF link. [ACT]

Birds of a feather. “Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and last time I checked he was sleeping with your boss.” Who said this? Check the Huffington Post to find out. You’ll be appalled. [Huffington Post]

Nothing to see here. U.S. spy satellites are now watching your every move. You know, in case you were interested in privacy. Officials say law enforcement use of satellites will proceed slowly to make ensure civil liberties are “protected.” Feel safer yet? [AFP]

Why Kentucky Can’t Have Nice Things

Billy’s Earworm. On his new StraigtnFlush web site, journalist Billy Reed hammers the Fletcher Administration for its “hell bent determination to throw money at Peabody.” A month ago, even Dems agreed that attracting the Peabody plant would be good for the state. But as Billy points out, it ain’t so good for the environment, and its not the economic windfall some envisioned. And he brings up the $62 million gift to e.On US that the state is providing to move some equipment across the street to make way for the flawed Louisville Arena project. [StraightNFlush]

Death by Meeting? Looks like the H-L’s John Stamper and Jack Brammer were the only media members hanging with lawmakers in Frankfort for a five and a half hour meeting – its result – plans for another meeting. Despite lawmakers’ comments afterward, the two sides are quibbling over something. Could it be that the Supreme Ruler of Kentucky, desperate to bring a social issue (a la the marriage amendment) to the table in a special session, is holding out because he wants Dems to talk about his silly domestic partner proposal? Is it coincidence that the anti-gay kooks lined up chairs in the Capitol Annex and tried to get in the meeting? Does everything Fletcher attempts reek of desperation? [H-L/PolWatchers]

Correction: Al Mayo of WHAS Radio informs us that several others were present, including: Mr. Mayo, Tony McVeigh, Tom Loftus, Joe Biesk. Our apologies.

Lesson #1 for the Kentucky Board of Education: Do what Jefferson County did and actually hire a head honcho who is qualified and capable. Is it possible to compare Sheldon Berman with Barbara Erwin? We won’t even attempt it. The state Board may learn a lot about leadership and education by reading Berman’s letter. [C-J]

JERRY!
From the WTF Dept: Jerry, Esq. What did the King of All Things Mayoral say is his greatest challenge? Get ready for it: “Absorbing the diversity of immigrants coming in from all over the world.” For real. [The Ville Voice]