First Lady Beshear Speaks In Favor Of Graduation Bill

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear continues her crusade to raise the state’s drop out age from 16 to 18. She implored the House Education Committee Wednesday to approve the so-called Graduation Bill, which passed the House last year, but died in the Senate.

Mrs. Beshear says the current law hasn’t changed since 1934.

“In 1934, many of our students left school to go to the farms or go into the mines. Today, you can’t work on a farm or work in the mines without some education. As a matter of fact, you can’t even join the military unless you have a high school diploma,” she said.

The committee approved the bill 20-3, with Republican Representatives Bill Farmer, Jim DeCesare and Ben Waide voting no. The measure now awaits a House floor vote.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.