After several years, a bill allowing charter schools in Kentucky has received a hearing in a House committee.
Advocates for and against the measure spent this morning debating the merits of the education reform in the capitol. Charter school administrators from other states joined Rep. Brad Montell, the bill's sponsor, and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce president Dave Adkission in support of the bill.
Environmental activists are urging state lawmakers to stop supporting mountaintop removal coal mining and throw their weight behind renewable energy legislation. Today is I Love Mountains Day at the state capitol, and more than one thousand are expected to attend a rally. They’re supporting the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, which would mandate a certain percentage of energy in Kentucky come from renewable or efficient sources. Recent studies have linked mountaintop removal to birth defects, cancer and other diseases.
A coalition of groups has formed to press Kentucky lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment that could legalize casinos in the Commonwealth. The coalition includes several longtime gambling proponents from business and labor.
Kentucky education officials are adding a requirement to school health screenings to combat growing childhood obesity problems. The Board of Education recently approved a proposal requiring schools to record a child's body mass index, the relation of body fat to height and weight. Pediatricians say early intervention can prevent life-threatening adult conditions like Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. The proposal also eliminates a decades-long practice of checking middle-school students for signs of the spine condition scoliosis.