Jess Clark

Intro to Jess Clark


  The Kentucky Department of Education has released options and guidelines for graduation ceremonies amid the coronavirus pandemic, including virtual ceremonies, small in-person ceremonies and drive-in ceremonies.


Before state lawmakers left Frankfort this week, they passed changes to the school accountability system. If signed by the governor, the measure would scrap the state’s 1-year-old 5-star rating system, and replace it with a color-coded speedometer. The changes are modeled on California’s school rating system.

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  To slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear and other public officials are asking Kentuckians to maintain strict social distancing and stay “Healthy At Home.” 

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When Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday that districts need to be ready to close with 72 hours notice, some districts were ready; others were not, based on a sample made by WFPL News.

One of the biggest challenges confronting districts is how to continue providing instruction when their students are not in classrooms.

Jess Clark / WFPL

  A state senate committee has moved forward a measure that would reorganize the Kentucky Board of Education – again. Under the measure, the board members appointed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear would lose their seats, and Beshear would appoint another board according to new rules.

Jess Clark

A federal judge has issued a preliminary ruling against several former Kentucky Board of Education members who are trying to get their seats back. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove denied a request Thursday for a preliminary injunction sought by seven former members appointed by former Gov. Matt Bevin. 

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 State lawmakers have proposed changing Kentucky’s new 5-star school rating system.

Legislative Research Commission

bill filed by Kentucky Senate president Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) would take away the power of the governor to reorganize the state board of education. The bill would likely prevent future wholesale ousters of board members, like the one carried out by Gov. Andy Beshear.

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The state’s first charter school applicant, River Cities Academy, lost its appeal to the Kentucky Board of Education. The board decided Tuesday not to overturn a decision by Newport Independent Schools to deny the group a charter.

A group of parents in Northern Kentucky wanted to open the state’s first charter school, called River Cities Academy (RCA), pulling students from six districts along the river. According to the application, the school was to serve a “diverse learner population” in grades K-8, and focus on closing the achievement gap through experiential learning.

Governor Andy Beshear has signed a bill into law requiring all Kentucky school resource officers, or SROs, to carry a gun.

“The threats to our children in our schools is very real,” Beshear said, citing incidents where guns were found on school campuses, a thwarted school shooting plot in Shelby County, and the 2018 shooting in Marshall County.

“I simply cannot ask a school resource officer to stop an armed gunman entering a school without them having the ability to not only achieve this mission, but also to protect themselves,” he said.