Frankfort Local News

Education Commissioner Says Kentucky Will Be Granted NCLB Waiver

Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education is confident the commonwealth will receive a waiver from No Child Left Behind standards.

Terry Holliday has been in direct talks with federal officials, and he says a big announcement confirming the waiver is coming next week.

“We’re in great shape. We’ve been talking with the Department of Education,” Holliday tells KPR. “We’re about 100 percent confident we’ll be granted a waiver. It’ll be announced next week.”

Kentucky is among 11 states that filed last year for relief from federal regulations. There was some uncertainly about how the White House would handle the waivers, since states had to promise to adopt President Obama’s education initiatives. But Holliday says there is no doubt Kentucky will be in line with federal regulations and qualify for a waiver. 

The waivers are necessary, the White House says, because Congress has been slow in updating or reforming federal education laws.

Local News

Education Commissioner Denies Free Trips Influenced Contract Decision, Rand Paul to Release GOP Jobs Plan, UK President Says Schools Must Modernize, Occupy Louisville Continues: Afternoon Review

  • Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says international trips paid for by an education foundation did not lead to the decision to contract with its business arm. The New York Times reported several states entered into agreements with Pearson after it gave them free trips. Holliday says there were no ethical violations.
  • Offering an alternative to President Obama and his American Jobs Act, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, John McCain of Arizona, and Rob Portman of Ohio have drafted and released a “Real American Jobs Act.”
  • University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says the state’s economy and the proposed super-region between Louisville and Lexington relies in part on upgrades to public universities.
  • A week and a half in, the Occupy Louisville protest continues in Jefferson Square Park downtown, but the protest’s size and location change throughout the day.
Local News Politics

Education Commissioner Receives Positive Review

A year ago, he was the 2009 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year.  Now, after one year on the job as Kentucky’s Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday is getting rave reviews from the State School Board.  But Chairman David Karem says in the current economy, the board isn’t able to give Holliday a raise.

“I don’t think he would take a pay raise at this point in time,” says Karem. “And I frankly admire him for that, because while we’re not staffing up as much as we like, and we’re having furlough days and things of that sort, I think he feels, and we all feel, that would not be appropriate at this time.”

Holliday has a four-year contract that pays him $225,000 per year.  Holliday replaced former Commissioner Jon Draud who resigned for health reasons.

Local News

Holliday to Promote Virtual Learning Program to Offset Disaster Days

by Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The head of Kentucky public schools believes virtual learning on the Internet may be the best way to avoid losing instructional days to disasters.

Last school year, disaster days, which don’t have to be made up, were granted to 11 Kentucky school districts, including nine days each in Knox and McCreary counties. But Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is trying to figure out a way to avoid disaster days, and believes virtual learning may be the answer.

“The solution we think might be possible is to build upon a system we already have in place and it’s our virtual learning system,” says Holliday.

He wants five districts in eastern Kentucky to participate in a pilot project to see if the system can work. Holliday wants to present the proposal to lawmakers in January.

Among the obstacles to be overcome are computer availability and Internet access in rural areas.