January 17 2014

Published: 3/31/2014 11:59 AM


In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:

• Federal appropriations update (2 attachments)
• Art and Essay Contest Celebrates Governor’s Mansion Centennial (Will be sent to teachers this afternoon)
• Technical Assistance on CDIPs and CSIPs
• Letter to PGES Points of Contact (1 attachment)
• Topics for Next Superintendents’ Webcast
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Mike Borchers, Ludlow Independent
• Commissioner’s Blog


Fast Five on Friday
(Seven this Week)
  
Federal appropriations update – Below is a federal appropriations update that we received from the Council of Chief State School Officers on January 15:
 
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees released the bipartisan FY2014 appropriations omnibus bill on Monday night (H.R. 3547, as amended).  Below is a summary of how a few selected education programs fared in the bill.  The main takeaway for education funding is that, compared to FY2013, most Department of Education programs saw increases, but still not enough to catch up to pre-sequester FY2012 funding levels.  Overall funding for the Department of Education was set at $70.6 billion for FY14.
 
Attached are tables comparing the proposed FY14 omnibus funding levels to FY13 enacted levels, as well as a table prepared by the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) comparing the FY14 omnibus to FY13 (post-sequester) and FY12 (pre-sequester).  The 1,500 page bill, funding charts, and Joint Explanatory Statement are available on the House Appropriations Committee website: http://rules.house.gov/bill/113/hr-3547-sa (The Department of Education is under Division H, Title III).  CQ has some very helpful links, documents, and summaries on their website, EdWeek has more analysis on how education fared in the omnibus here, and The Washington Post has a good summary of the entire bill.  
 
The deadline to pass this omnibus bill out of both chambers was initially today, January 15.  In order to allow sufficient time to finish this bill, the House passed a 3-day Continuing Resolution (CR) yesterday, and the Senate is set to vote on the CR today, extending the deadline to Saturday. 
 
The House is ready to vote on the omnibus bill today.  This bill has been negotiated by the Republican chair of the House Appropriations Committee and the Democrat chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, based on the negotiated Murray-Ryan bipartisan budget that passed out of both chambers last month; therefore, we expect both chambers will whip enough votes to pass the omnibus this week and avoid another government shutdown.
 
Overall, the Department of Education sees level or increased funding above FY13 funding in many programs, but these totals are still $811 million below the FY12 pre-sequester funding levels. 
 
Title I
Funded at $14.4 billion, an increase of $629 million above the 2013 post-sequester level, but still nearly $131.7 million below FY12 pre-sequester levels.
 
IDEA
IDEA saw small increases in most programs, and IDEA Technical Assistance and Dissemination was bumped above FY12 pre-sequester levels.  Specifically, IDEA State Grants were increased to $11.5 billion; IDEA Preschool Grants were level-funded at $353.2 million, IDEA Grants for Infants and Families were increased to $438.5 million, IDEA State Personnel Development was increased to $41.6 million, and IDEA Technical Assistance and Dissemination was increased to $51.9 million.
 
School Improvement State Grants
SIG was level funded from FY13, at nearly $505.8 million.  However, the real news for SIG is that the bill allows two new choices for turnaround and also allows states to make 5-year awards, providing additional time for planning and implementation.
 
Impact Aid
Impact Aid received $1.289 billion, an increase of $64.7 million over FY13.  The bill also includes a provision allowing a district to carry its section 8002 eligibility to a new school district that was formed as a result of district consolidation.
 
Early Childhood Education
The Administration’s request for a $750 million Preschool Development Grant Program was denied.  Instead, $250 million is provided for early education competitive funding Race to the Top, and an additional $500 million is provided for Early Head Start-Child care partnerships.  In other words, the Administration received the funding they requested for early learning, but not the exact program they were hoping to create. 
 
Under the Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start was fully restored to pre-sequester levels and Child Care and Development Block Grants were increased to $2.4 billion.  
 
Career, Technical, and Adult Education
The bill renames the Office of Vocational and Adult Education as the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.  CTE received nearly $1.118 billion, nearing pre-sequester restoration.  The bill urges the Department of Education to focus on initiatives that serve adults with the lowest literacy and numeracy skills, as well as prisoner re-entry education programs.
 
Changes to Existing Programs
A number of programs have been consolidated under the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE), including Arts in Education, the Data Quality Initiative, Full Service Community Schools, Javits Gifted and Talented Education, and others.  FIE received $67.4 million to support these programs.
 
Art and Essay Contest Celebrates Governor’s Mansion Centennial – Yesterday, the Governor’s Office distributed the press release found below where First Lady Jane Beshear invited Kentucky students to submit original visual art works and essays for display and prizes as part of the Governor’s Mansion Centennial celebration. We wanted to make sure superintendents and principals are aware of the contest and that we will be distributing the same information today to all teachers.  Please encourage your students to participate.
 
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 16, 2014) – Kentucky public, private and home school students are invited to submit original artwork and/or essays in the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Visual Art and Essay Contest sponsored by First Lady Jane Beshear, the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion Centennial Committee and the Kentucky Department of Education.  The contest is part of a yearlong series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the current Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, also known as the “People’s House.”
 
“The yearlong Centennial Celebration is an exceptional opportunity for Kentucky students of all ages to learn about the architectural, political and social history of the Governor’s mansion,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “These contests are a perfect way to get students involved in the Celebration, and winners will be honored at a special ceremony and have their works displayed at the Mansion alongside historical Centennial exhibits.”
 
The visual art contest is open to students in grades K-12. Students may use any medium to create a two- or three-dimensional artwork that reflects one of the visual art contest’s themes. First, second and third place winners will be named for students in grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.  Students must submit digital images of their work for judging.
 
The essay contest is open to students in grades 4-12 who must choose one of three writing prompts for the theme of their essay.  First, second and third place winners will be selected at the following award levels:  grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.
 
First place winners in each age group will receive a $100 prize, join the First Lady for lunch at the mansion and have their work publicly displayed at the mansion.  Prize-winning student art work and essays will become sole property of the mansion as part of the mansion’s permanent collection.
 
Complete contest information, rules, judging criteria and an official entry form are available here and online at http://governorsmansion.ky.gov/centennial/contest/.  Only electronic entries submitted via e-mail will be accepted.   The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 14.  Questions may be directed to maryann.miller@education.ky.gov or rebecca.blessing@education.ky.gov.
 
All Centennial events and exhibits are sponsored through private donations to the Kentucky Executive Mansions Foundation, Inc. (KEMFI).  KEMFI is a 501(c)(3) organization established to undertake, promote and assist financially and otherwise support the modification to the restoration, maintenance and preservation of public buildings, sites, structures, places and objects of historic significance owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
 
For information about the mansion, tours and all the centennial events, visit the Governor’s Mansion website, like the “KentuckyGovernor’sMansion” on Facebook and follow “GovMansion1914” on Twitter.
Technical Assistance on CDIPs and CSIPs – As part of 703 KAR 5:225, Section 8 (1), Monitoring, the Division of Consolidated Plans and Audits (DCPA) will be reviewing Comprehensive District Improvement Plans (CDIPs) and Comprehensive School Improvement Plans (CSIPs).  The purpose of the review is to provide feedback to schools and districts that will assist them as they develop and modify their improvement plans.  Every district and school has been assigned a DCPA consultant who will review their improvement plans and provide feedback. This year will be the pilot process which will take place January 2014 – October 2014, with the Priority Schools, Focus Schools and Focus Districts receiving the first reviews. 
 
Each school and district needs to see this process as a technical assistance measure and not a “got you” technique.  We have a guide/rubric by which we will be reviewing these plans and will post the rubric for schools and districts to use prior to revising current plans and developing new plans to be submitted by December 2014. 
 
Questions on this process can be directed to Donna Tackett at (502) 564-3791, ext. 4046 or via e-mail at donna.tackett@education.ky.gov.
 
Letter to PGES Points of Contact – I wanted to make sure you knew about the letter found below that went to all districts’ Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) Points of Contact: 
 
Dear PGES Points of Contact,
 
Attached, please find the updated version of the model district certified evaluation plan. This resource should be used as a guide in assisting your district in making the appropriate decisions and revisions to your District Certified Evaluation Plan.
 
All updated plans should reflect the local decisions made to support a district-wide implementation of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES). Procedures and processes for the implementation of PGES should be based on the recommendations and in concert with the local evaluation committee. Each local board of education must approve the revisions to a district’s Certified Evaluation Plan prior to submission to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
 
Revised, Certified Evaluation Plans (CEP) MUST be submitted to KDE on or before December 20, 2014. If your district has submitted an updated CEP, please review the attached model plan to ensure all sections have been appropriately addressed. 
 
The regional PGES consultants will be available to provide support to district PGES teams in order to meet the deadline outlined above. Additionally, KDE in partnership with the educational cooperatives, will host a work session to go through the model certified evaluation plan with district teams. The dates for these regional sessions will be released very soon. Please look for this information in the upcoming PGES webcasts and newsletters.
 
Thank you for your commitment to ensuring every child is taught by a highly effective teacher and every building is led by a highly effective leader.
 
Next Superintendents’ Webcast – The next superintendents’ webcast will occur on Jan. 27th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.  The topics for the webcast include the following:
• PGES summative model for teacher effectiveness and latest draft of regulation
• Legislative and budget update
• Districts of Innovation update
• Superintendent PGES progress
• Coop directors’ meeting update
• K-Screener Opportunities
 
Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Mike Borchers, Ludlow Independent (Picture Attached)
The Ludlow Independent school district has been named a Proficient District and both the elementary and high schools made significant gains during the 2012-13 school year. In addition to gains in student assessment, the district has several other initiatives in the areas of community engagement, dual credit course options, mentoring and more.
 
Ludlow Independent is working with Gateway Community & Technical College and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) to see that all of its students, especially during their senior year, have the opportunity to leave high school with some college credit. In addition, the district is working on removing the financial barriers that students face when enrolling in these dual credit options. Starting this month, all senior AP English students are participating in the new hybrid ENG 101 course that NKU is piloting.
 
The district received a $40,000 grant from the Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE) initiative to be used for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The PIE KydPreneur Program will be used to teach STEM concepts in a real-world curriculum. The initiative is the first of its kind in the state and will be used as a model for other schools to incorporate these 21st-century skills.
 
Because of the unique opportunity of the campus being in one large building, the district capitalizes on the fact that it is easy for high school students to mentor elementary students. During the school day, students in grades 11 and 12 can work as a Peer Tutor in elementary and junior high classrooms while earning a class credit. The Peer Tutors work directly with younger students, helping one-on-one, with small groups, or the class as a whole. The positive relationships the younger students build with their older role models is priceless.
 
The district believes in connecting with the Ludlow parents and community as much as possible. Staff runs a Facebook page for the district and set up a mobile app for anyone to download on a compatible device and use the district’s website to connect with the community. Once a month, the superintendent holds “Coffee with the Community” sessions at a local restaurant in town for anyone who wants to come and listen to updates on the school’s programs and projects. In addition, he welcomes any feedback and suggestions from those who attend.
 
Commissioner’ Blog – This week’s blog is titled “Elevating and integrating career and tech ed”.  You can access it at the following link: http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2014/01/elevating-and-integrating-career-and.html.
 
If you have questions on any of the articles included in this edition of Fast Five, please contact me at the e-mail address or phone number found below.
 
Terry Holliday, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education
Kentucky Department of Education
Office 502-564-3141
Fax 502-564-5680
E-mail Terry.Holliday@education.ky.gov
Twitter @kycommissioner
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kydeptofed