The Kentucky Department of Education recognized Rep. Kelly Flood with the 2015-16 Stilwell Award for her personal dedication to and support of education technology.
Rep. Flood was successful in her efforts to get an additional $5.8 million appropriated during the 2014-16 biennium in support of five major education technology projects. The initiatives came to fruition in 2015 and 2016, and continue to benefit teachers and the children in each of the state’s 173 school districts.
The projects include:
- Faster Internet speeds. In August 2015, Kentucky became the first state in the nation with fiber connections in all schools and district offices that provided at least 100 kb per student of Internet speed.
- Firewall protection from cyberattacks. In November 2015 all 173 districts had this in place.
- An Internet content management system that maximizes the 100 kb per student/digital citizenship. Almost all school districts have transitioned successfully to the new system; the remaining six districts are expected to make the transition this summer or when their existing contracts end.
- Additional financial assistance to school districts for technology. The state was able to stretch state funds by taking advantage of the federal E-rate program and was able to help more school districts replace their aging computers.
- Kentucky’s first IT Academy for K-12’s students. The Kentucky K-12 Microsoft IT Academy launched successfully in August 2015 and has since been renamed the Kentucky K-12 Imagination Academy. Since its inception, students have taken 40,000 IT-related courses and completed more than 25,000 of them. Kentucky K-12 students have successfully completed more than 6,000 professional IT certification exams – the best of any state in the nation during its inaugural year of implementation.