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.

Andrew Horne on Soldier Suicide

Soldier suicides are at a 26-year high and the Army confirmed 99 committed suicide while on active duty last year. 900 more tried to kill themselves. More than a quarter were those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reports say attempts are directly linked to the number of days troops serve in these war-torn countries.

Sound troubling to you? Troubling to Kentucky’s Col. Andrew Horne, Senior Advisor at VoteVets.org, as well. He was on Live with Dan Abrams on MSNBC last evening along with Pete Hegseth, a Vet for “Freedom”.

Take a look. Two-parter for your convenience.

Part 1:

[flv:/video/HorneMSNBC1.flv 320 240]

Part 2:

[flv:/video/HorneMSNBC2.flv 320 240]

The full segment is available on YouTube for your use. Links back when mentioning the clip are appreciated.

Andrew comes off sincere, as the gentleman he is and poses a great question at the very end. Can we do this for ten more years?

Full Disclosure: I worked on a previous campaign of Andrew Horne’s and consider him a good friend.

Spillman Update – Media Jumps On It

You first learned about it on Page One: UofL football player JaJuan Spillman hit with DUI and possession charges. Now it appears this story has legs. Since our initial publication, outlets like the Courier-Journal and WHAS11-TV in Louisville have picked it up.

From the C-J:

Officer Charles Sturgeon responded to an accident at the intersection of Second Street and Cardinal. According to the police report, Spillman and an unnamed passenger admitted to Sturgeon that they had smoked marijuana in the car. The officer found 9.3 grams of marijuana.

From WHAS:

[flv:/video/Spillman.flv 320 240]

We learn from WHAS that Coach Steve Kragthorpe says Spillman was “internally disciplined”– without providing further details, of course.

Does this mean ‘traditional’ media are already looking to us for breaking news? We selfishly think so. And so do our stats:

Hi guys!

Feigned precociousness and sarcasm aside, we’re glad people are paying attention. Thanks to everyone beginning to read Page One and to everyone providing a link back. It’s appreciated. Keep those tips coming!

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]

Spending money to lose money

More from the Why Kentucky Can’t Have Nice Things Dept

ERNIE $$$What’s wrong with this picture? The state spent three times its previous marketing budget to promote tourism by taxing folks staying in hotels, which results in a downturn in state revenue for tourism.

Auditor Crit Luallen released the report critical of the tourism department, suggesting creation of a (light bulb going off here) strategic marketing plan and an oversight committee to keep an eye on how all the promotional money is being spent.

Read moreSpending money to lose money

Red State? Blue State?

How About WHITE State!

Our beloved homeland of Eastern Kentucky is among the whitest areas of the United States, according to the Census Bureau. Magoffin County, the birthplace of Larry Flynt, checks in with 98.9 percent of its population as milky white. That put it in with an Iowa county for whitest in the country, and 13 other Kentucky counties are more than 98 percent white. The Herald-Leader points out that these areas are also among the poorest and least educated.

Finally, it’s not the press perpetuating stereotypes, right? It’s the gubmint.

White Kentucky - Visit Appalachia

Poverty and education aside: go visit Appalachian Kentucky! Head east. It’s the gem of our fine state and it’s deserving of your tourism dollars. And Kentucky’s famed festival season starts at the end of the month.