Education briefs

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By Stevie Lowery

Test results released

Data released from the Kentucky Department of Education last week shows that Lebanon Middle School leads the region in its math scores and ranks No. 1 in reading, regionally.

Results from the EXPLORE and PLAN assessments show that Kentucky's public school students continue to improve in nearly every subject area tested. The percentages of students meeting college benchmarks also have improved in most subjects.

Regionally, Lebanon Middle ranks No. 1 in math, No. 2 in reading and No. 5 in English. St. Charles Middle School scored above the state average in English and math.

State funding a major issue for tech center

Marion County Superintendent Chuck Hamilton reported to the school board that funds from the Marion County Fiscal Court will be used (if permissible by the court) to employ an industrial maintenance instructor at the Marion County Area Technology Center. Currently, the Marion County ATC is not allowed to hire a replacement at this time because it's a part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Workforce Development Cabinet, which is under a hiring freeze due to ongoing state budget issues.

Discussions of the Marion County Public School District taking responsibility for the programs at the tech center have been ongoing, but the main hold up is the funding, according to School Board Chairman Michael Mullins.

The only way Marion County schools could take on that responsibility would be if the school continued to receive the state funding that it currently receives now. For the first initial year, the school would receive the full $800,000 in state funding. But, for every year after that, the state would reduce it's funding to $300,000 a year.

"Nobody can tell me where that money is going to go," Mullins said. "It's ridiculous to me what they're doing."

Mullins and Hamilton have had conversations with State Sen. Jimmy Higdon and Commissioner Terry Holiday regarding the funding issue, and they plan to continue having more discussions with other state leaders in the future.

"We're going to try to get something done about it," Mullins said. "I don't know how long it's going to take... But, we think that if the tech center is under the umbrella of the Marion County school system, it will benefit the students."

FRED Award recipients

Several local school employees recently received the "Fred Award." The award is inspired by well-known author Mark Sanborn, and is named in honor of Fred Shea, the subject of Sanborn's national bestseller, "The Fred Factor." The people nominated for the award must be individuals who choose to make a positive difference each day, have a heart for people, change ordinary moments into memorable ones, and lead by example. The 2012 FRED Award recipients from each school and the bus garage are as follows: Calvary Elementary's Betty Cox, Glasscock Elementary's Bernadette Bright, Lebanon Elementary's Shannon Elder, West Marion Elementary's Marcia Yates, Lebanon Middle's Barbara Adams, St. Charles Middle's Susan Mudd, Marion County High's Kenny Followell and Dennis Whitehouse from the bus garage.