The Chatter: Education bills on the move; More problems found in the Ag Dept.

01/15/2012 02:28 PM

The big education issues in the 2012 General Assembly will be raising the school dropout age and finding ways to engage at-risk students, as well as charter schools and education funding.

In the meantime, lawmakers are pressing forward with several other measures aimed at making the education system more inclusive.

A Senate panel last week approved a measure sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dennis Parrett of Elizabethtown that would allow special needs students who get through high school to get a diploma — not just a certificate of participation.

One parent supporting the legislation, Pam Hinton, described what the measure would mean for special education students who receive an alternative diploma.

Another bill that passed the Senate’s education committee on Thursday would move the minimum school age up a bit. Children who turn 5 after August 1 would be eligible for kindergarten, instead of an Oct. 1 deadline under the bill proposed by Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon.

- (Reporting and video production by Don Weber.)

Half a Million dollars of equipment missing from Ag Dept

One of the first moves by Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer was to bring in new Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen to take a look at the management and spending of the $29 million agency as it was run by Richie Farmer.

As Edelen said, there were a lot of questions about the management of former commissioner, Richie Farmer.

Friday, (the Lexington Hearld-Leader’s Janet Patton) broke the story that about a half-million dollars worth of the department’s equipment has gone missing.

According to the documents Patton obtained, the list of (missing items include) :

  • Three 1993 Chevy vans
  • An executive desk
  • Computers and laptops, including several listed to Farmer
  • A phone system including 15 phones and 2 consoles

Farmer was unavailable for comment, as Patton reported. Some of the equipment missing, however, might have dated back to the previous administration of Democratic Ag Commissioner Billy Ray Smith.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.