Here is our Byline rundown for today (full audio available below):
At the top – This week, Governor Steve Beshear released his state budget proposal for the next two years. Beshear has long said this would be the year he would re-invest in education, K through 12 education specifically. Funding has been about flat for years, and now the governor has made good on this pledge to address that. We hear from Kentucky Public Radio’s Capitol Bureau chief Jonathan Meador, along with WFPL’s Devin Katayama, Joseph Lord, and Erica Peterson.
12:15 – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s $20 billion budget includes nearly $190 million for K through 12 education, even at the expense of cuts to many other state agencies. And part of that funding for education is coming at the expense of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador says that the pension’s unfunded liability could bring about dire financial straits for the commonwealth.
16:45 – The number of Kentucky students taking college courses has increased in recent years. And many high school schools have formed partnerships with colleges and universities to help bridge the gap between the levels of education. But college readiness, which is a large part of Kentucky’s accountability system, is a hard thing to measure. Eminence High School in Nelson County is in its second year of a program that buses students to Bellarmine University. And next fall, Jefferson County’s Male High School is preparing to do the same. As WFPL’s Devin Katayama reports, Eminence students say it wasn’t easy transitioning to a college campus and there were a lot of first year growing pains.
20:50 – There are a lot of legends in Louisville, from historical hijinks to supposed celebrity sightings, this is a town that likes a good story. But sometimes, these stories aren’t true. In the Louisville Lip, a new online magazine, Syd Bishop looks into one legend: the story of Al Capone’s riverside hideout. Gabe Bullard talks to him about it.
27:25 – There’s been talk for months of the split between the Tea Party and mainstream Republicans being a, quote “full blown civil war.” But division in political parties is nothing new. The GOP had another civil war, and it came right after THE Civil War, the war between the states. Backstory historians Brian Ballough, Peter Onuf and Ed Ayers have the story, which begins as the Civil War ends.
34:20 – The Louisville arts community lost a legend this week. Thomson Smillie, who led the Kentucky Opera to become one of the nation’s leading regional opera companies, died Saturday at the age of 71. A memorial service was held yesterday, featuring some of his favorite music and closest colleagues, friends and admirers. WFPL’s Erin Keane was there, and prepared this audio postcard.
39:45 – Arts segment with Erin Keane. Erin talks about some local event highlights in the near future, then talks with Barbara Sexton-Smith of the Fund for the Arts, about their new fundraising campaign and a special event Tuesday to kick it off. We close the show with one more quick look-back at Thomson Smillie, via some candid and charming moments in the Louisville Public Media studios.