With the cost of a college education rapidly rising, Beshear said students and parents “ought to be able to know that they can graduate in four years.” HB 160 will enable students to save money by attending a community and technical college with the knowledge the credits they earn will count toward a four-year degree, enabling them to earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, the governor said.
Because of the nationwide recession, the two-year budget he hopes the General Assembly will approve during a special session in May will be the seventh reduction in spending since he took office in 2007, Beshear said.
“My top priority in all these cuts is to preserve and protect our education system at all levels,” Beshear said. “Education must always be our first priority.”
After the governor spoke, Dr. Michael McCall, president of KCTCS, commended the governor for living up to that commitment. Despite tough economic times, the governor has “preserved and protected” education to assure that quality has not been sacrificed, said McCall, who has headed KCTCS since its creation 11 year ago.
During the 2 1/2 hour dedication ceremony, attended by about 250 in the large room that will serve as the building’s cafeteria, that room was named the Rocky Adkins Pavilion in honor of the 100th District state representative and House majority leader for his efforts in securing funding for the building.
A surprised and tearful Adkins said he was “completely humbled and honored” by that designation.
Adkins recalled the day in 1997 when he delivered a letter from Larry Addington in which the Addington family donated 1,000 acres for what became EastPark plus the right of way for the Northeast Kentucky Industrial Parkway, linking Interstate 64 and U.S. 23. More than 1,200 are employed in EastPark and ACTC’s EastPark campus will help attract hundreds of new jobs to the industrial park, he said.