Eastern Kentucky Higher Education Playing Catch Up?

By: Danielle Morgan
By: Danielle Morgan

To some, there seems to be more road blocks for students in southeast Kentucky compared to the rest of the state.

University Center of the Mountains Student Naomi Duff says Eastern Kentuckians want more options.

"More people need more jobs, different jobs..." says University Center of the Mountains student Naomi Duff, "not everyone wants to be a social worker or a teacher or work in criminal justice or counsel."

"The people of the region deserve the same right to public higher educational opportunity as people in other states." says Ron Daley,
Director of the University Center of the Mountains.

Daley says students here face challenges like a lack of jobs, fewer high school diplomas and a poverty rate that triples the national average, yet the state did not commit reoccurring funding to what is being called a model program for the rest of the state.

"The university center of the mountains is an engine for economic development the way that you build local economies is having higher educated people that start up operation." says Daley.

Some eastern Kentucky students say earning a Bachelor degree from home is their only option.

State officials say one half million dollars in coal severance tax money for UCM was included in a line item veto by Governor Fletcher for 2008, but the perry county fiscal court can apply for any amount.

State officials say so far, the fiscal court has not applied for any of that funding for UCM.

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