The Chatter: Williams calls NCLB request a "farce," Input on Ohio River Bridges and more

06/24/2011 09:10 AM

Republican Senate President David Williams rarely misses a chance to criticize Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, especially on education issues.

The two are facing off in the fall governor’s race.

Williams latest criticism of Beshear is for a request he made for an exemption to the federal No Child Left Behind law.

In his request with Kentucky’s Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, Beshear asked the U.S. Department of Education to exempt the state from the testing accountability portions of the federal law. Instead, Beshear wants Kentucky’s own system to be used when the state is graded under NCLB standards.

But Williams called the request a “farce,” because the state has yet to fully develop it’s own accountability system after scrapping the previous system. Because a system is not yet in place, Williams accused Beshear of playing politics with education.

Holliday deferred when asked about Williams comments, saying he wasn’t a politician. But the commissioner said he doesn’t believe Kentucky is at any disadvantage in its request, despite not having its own standards set in stone yet.

Instead, Holliday said Kentucky’s push is similar to other states who want standards set at the state level.

Paul headlining local tea party fundraiser

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is set to headline a fundraiser for the Northern Kentucky Tea Party, Amanda Van Benschoten of the Kentucky Enquirer reports.

Paul is considered one of the national leaders of the tea party movement, but this is seemingly the first time he’s headlining a fundraiser for a Kentucky tea party group.

The event will celebrate the Northern Kentucky Tea Party’s second anniversary and will be held July 22 at the Holiday Inn Airport hotel in Erlanger.

Ticket prices vary.

Two chances for input on Ohio River Bridges Project

There are two remaining opportunities for input on the Ohio River Bridges Project, a three-part construction project in Louisville.

The first meeting is Monday from 4-to-8 p.m., at Holiday Inn Lakeview, North 505 Marriot Drive, Clarksville, Ind.

The second meeting is on Tuesday, 4-to-8 p.m. at Holiday Inn Hurstbourne, 1325 Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville.

The project would include a new East End bridge that would connect Interstate 265 over the Ohio River in eastern Louisville to southern Indiana. It would also add a new bridge in downtown Louisville and a re-do a major interchange in downtown Louisville.

Tolls as high as $1 have been floated as one way to help pay for the project, which is estimated in the billions. In response, two anti-tolling groups, one in Indiana and one in Louisville, plan to use the public input meetings as chances to rally against tolls.

The group Say No to Bridge Tolls has released a video encouraging anti-toll supporters to push their message one last time at the meetings, held by the Bridges Authority.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


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