2005 - 2006
The Business Forum on Kentucky Education was organized to review the state’s education system with the goal of accelerating school improvement to meet the demands of the 21st century. Forum members include employers and education advocates from across Kentucky.
The report noted that Kentucky schools are making progress but that the state is being outpaced by other states and nations that are the source of competition for Kentuckians in a global economy.
The report’s recommendations are organized into eight categories:
These goals have and continue to serve as the basis of much of the Kentucky Chamber’s education policy initiatives.
Amazon.com, Commerce Lexington’s Workforce Development Partnership, the Kentucky
Chamber Foundation and the Kentucky Adult Education-Council on Postsecondary Education partnered on the Go, Earn, Do — GED initiative to help adults in in 20 Campbellsville-area counties and Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine, Madison, Scott and Woodford counties receive their GEDs.
More than 1,500 people in 20 counties successfully earned their GED through the program. Amazon.com provided up to $40 for a GED test fee reimbursement, a $20 Amazon.com gift card and preference in hiring to GED graduates for program participants.
University of Kentucky Professor Ken Troske examined education spending in Kentucky both before, during and after the period when the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) and the Kentucky Post- Secondary Education Improvement Act, or House Bill 1 (HB1), were passed.
The report also compared spending in Kentucky with spending in the average U.S. state and with spending in states that boarder Kentucky to see whether Kentucky is “catching-up” with these other states. The primary findings from the main study revealed that while K-12 and post-secondary spending rose around the time of the respective reforms, more recent education spending, as a share of the economy, has slipped in Kentucky. In addition, spending on education in Kentucky remains below educational spending levels in the average U.S. state and below the levels in our boarder states.
The New Agenda for Kentucky developed an action plan of ideas and innovations that were be presented to Gov. Steve Beshear following the November 2007 election. The plan represented the best thinking of Kentucky’s business and civic leaders, young entrepreneurs and other citizens reflecting the state’s geographic and demographic diversity.
A task force of established business executives and young entrepreneurs from throughout Kentucky provided the oversight and guidance needed to ensure the innovation of the project. Craig Grant, regional president for PNC Bank, chaired the task force.
Citizens from across the state presented more than 400 of their best ideas. Each idea submitted should follow three simple guidelines:
The projected resulted in 5 goals the task force argued could change the face of Kentucky:
These goals were formally adopted as the framework for the Kentucky’s Chamber’s strategic plan in 2008.
The Task Force on Postsecondary Education made up of business leaders was convened to assess Kentucky’s progress toward achieving its goals in postsecondary education as they were established in legislation enacted in 1997. Those goals included moving Kentucky to the national average of education attainment and per capita income.
The task force, headed by E.ON U.S. Chairman, CEO, and President Victor A. Staffieri, concluded its work with the release of an extensive report prepared by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, a Colorado-based consulting firm engaged by the task force to conduct a review that included data analyses, interviews with policymakers and elected officials and a series of nine regional meetings held last summer throughout Kentucky.
The task force accepted the NCHEMS report and approved the recommendations.
NCHEMS’ findings—the basis for the recommendations—included the following:
The work of the task force provides the basis for much of the chamber’s higher education policy agenda and was the impetus for a governor-appointed task force to review affordability and alignment of Kentucky’s higher education system.