Partnerships to Reduce Need for Remedial Courses: Gov. Jack Markell (D) announces a partnership between high schools and local colleges to reduce new college students from needing to be placed in remedial classes. The partnership will be tasked with developing high school courses that help students succeed in college. Specifically, three high schools will pilot a college math course, which will help students from needing to take postsecondary remedial math.
New School Bullying Prevention Effort Launched: Gov. Steve Beshear (D) establishes the Kentucky Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force to make recommendations on how to address school bullying incidents.
The 22-member task force will include state and local officials, students, teachers, school administrators, and counselors. In the 2012-2013 school year, the Kentucky Department of Education reported more than 15,000 cases of school bullying. The task force will be charged with developing policies and initiatives and will report findings to the governor next year.
Dayton Strengthens Child Safety Measures: Gov. Mark Dayton (D) signs several executive actions to support investigating child abuse at the county level. The changes will give county workers access to a rapid consultation system, providing advice from state and county specialists. Additionally, decisions on whether or not to investigate child abuse complaints will be subject to random review by the department of human services. A task force will also be established to review current policies and make recommendations on further legislative and executive actions to prevent child abuse.
$22.4M Goes for College Readiness: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announces that $22.4 million in ED grant funding is available to prepare low-income and at-risk students for college education. The state won the funding through the federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The state will use the money to raise awareness of financial aid options and increase student involvement in advanced coursework. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to participate in the New York State Pathways in TechnologyEarlyCollegeHigh School program, which combines high school courses with college and career training to build students’ knowledge and skills for science, technology, engineering, and math careers.
Campaign Aims to Improve Early Literacy: Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) launches a campaign aimed at bolstering literacy by working to increase the number of children able to read by the third grade. The program makes use of a website to connect parents with activities they can do with their children to build literacy skills. Local businesses and community organizations are encouraged to donate books and promote awareness of the importance of reading to young children. The program is part of the governor’s ongoing initiative to increase educational attainment.
State Targets Childhood Obesity: Gov. Jay Inslee (D) rolls out an initiative to reduce rates of childhood obesity. The Healthiest Next Generation initiative, which involves cooperation across agencies and departments, will promote breastfeeding as a preferred option for infant health and assess to healthy school meals. The initiative will also involve the input of private-sector partners, such as the state dairy council and professional sports teams, to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles.