Auditor says juvenile justice review shows ‘lack of leadership’ from Beshear administration

BY: - January 31, 2024

FRANKFORT — A review of Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice found “​​disorganization across facilities” and a “lack of leadership from the Beshear Administration,” Republican Auditor Allison Ball said Wednesday. However, an administration spokesperson said neither the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) nor the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet was given the opportunity to review the […]

Anti-DEI bill seeks to remove ‘trauma-informed approach’ for Kentucky schools from state law

BY: - January 16, 2024

FRANKFORT — A bill aimed at preventing education funding to go to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging frameworks in K-12 schools would also remove language protecting “trauma-informed” methods in Kentucky schools if the bill remains unchanged as it makes its way through the General Assembly.  Part of recently-filed Senate Bill 93 from Sen. Stephen Meredith, […]

Home not just for the holidays: Meet two Kentucky families who open their hearts to foster children

BY: - December 22, 2023

In Spring 2022, Brydie Harris and husband Xian Brooks got an email that would change their lives.  A newborn Kentucky girl, flown to Tennessee for medical care, needed a foster family soon.  “Xian started to read the email to me and was like, ‘would you want this newborn–’  and I was like ‘yes,’” Harris recalled. […]

School clubs for gay students meet uneasy future under Kentucky’s anti-LGBTQ law

BY: - December 18, 2023

OWENTON — During a school-wide club fair in this northern Kentucky town, a school administrator stood watch as students signed up for a group for LGBTQ+ students and their allies. After the club sign-up sheet had been posted, students wrote derogatory terms and mockingly signed up classmates, according to one of the club’s founders. The […]

Student absenteeism up as Kentucky schools recover from some hard years

BY: - October 31, 2023

Kentucky’s new School Report Card shows the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic on student learning. Interim Education Commissioner Robin Fields Kinney told reporters Tuesday that “a multi-year recovery period” will likely be needed “before school performance really gets back” to pre-pandemic levels. Kinney and other state education officials briefed reporters on newly released assessment […]

Kentucky’s youth are caught in the middle as Beshear-Cameron spar over transgender care

BY: - August 16, 2023

Ysa Leon is questioning their future in the commonwealth. The outcome of Kentucky’s gubernatorial race this November will be a deciding factor.  “I’ve told my family: Be prepared in November because that might change where I’m staying after I graduate in May,” said Leon, a 20-year-old nonbinary student at Transylvania University, where they are president of […]

Kentucky Family Caregiver Program benefits restored

BY: - August 2, 2023

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story mislabeled the restored program. More eligible people who are raising their grandchildren will receive benefits through the Kentucky Family Caregiver Program, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday.  All 15 of the state’s Area Development Districts (ADD) will be able to participate in the program, Beshear said, thanks to […]

Juvenile justice would get more money, more scrutiny under bills approved by Kentucky Senate

BY: - March 7, 2023

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate Tuesday unanimously passed two bills aimed at stemming what lawmakers called a crisis in Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice. Senate Bill 162, sponsored by Sen.  Danny Carroll, R-Benton, would allot more than $50 million for salaries, retention, new workers and security upgrades, including $30 million for workers in the adult […]

Kentucky juvenile justice reforms have multi-million dollar price tags, state budget director says

BY: - February 14, 2023

FRANKFORT — State Budget Director and Executive Cabinet Secretary John Hicks told lawmakers Tuesday that the price tags to support executive branch reforms in the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice are $20 million in the next fiscal year’s operating budget and $26 million in the current capital budget.  Amid discussions about Kentucky’s juvenile justice system, […]

Students could use KEES to pay for certificate programs under bill clearing House Education Committee

BY: - February 14, 2023

FRANKFORT — Four bills that clarify and expand existing programs in Kentucky schools moved forward in the legislative process.  The bills, which are all sponsored by Republicans, received favorable recommendations from the House Education Committee Tuesday. Topics they address are dual credit courses, higher education scholarships, qualifications for classified school employees and insured student loans.  […]

Transgender youth face uncertain future as legislation targets their identities

BY: - February 13, 2023

In many ways, Alex Lounsbury has been lucky. He knows that. Now in his senior year at Atkins High School, a technology magnet in Winston-Salem, N.C., he’s happy, healthy and looking toward the future. But it wasn’t easy getting there. Assigned female at birth, Alex knew he was transgender by the time he was in […]

Is 16 old enough to serve on a county conservation board?

BY: - January 20, 2023

A Kentucky teenager made history last fall when he became one of the youngest people ever to win elected office in the state, gaining a spot on his county’s soil and water conservation district board. But his victory may become an electoral outlier if lawmakers pass a bill that would prevent other teenagers from doing […]