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Failing Schools; State News; Pondering Taxes; Downtown Vacancies: Today on Byline

Here's the rundown for Byline today:At the top - Kentucky’s education commissioner says some low-performing Jefferson County public schools face a state takeover if they don’t show progress soon.  We discuss the status of the schools, his remarks, and the JCPS response with education reporter Devin Katayama.7:30 - Devin Katayama speaks with University of Louisville professor Craig Hochbein about failing schools.  Hochbein's team looks at how persistently low achieving schools--now called priority schools--were identified and they raise the question of whether the right resources are going to the right schools.  23:15 - Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston has an update on an industrial hemp bill, the effort to pass a statewide smoking ban, and other state legislation.  WFPL political editor Phillip Bailey joins the conversation to talk about the possibility of local option sales taxes in Kentucky.28:00 - Here in Louisville, a proposal to raise the city’s tax on insurance premiums by one percent to help pay for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund appears to be all but dead.   Phillip Bailey explains.32:00 - Hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space in downtown Louisville sit vacant.   The 26-story Meidinger Tower at Fourth and Muhammad Ali is almost have vacant and the building is in foreclosure.  In addition, the Aegon Center is one fourth vacant, the Brown and Williamson Tower is 30 percent vacant, and 14-percent of the PNC Plaza is available.  The Courier-Journal’s Chris Otts joins us to explore the reasons and the consequences.37:00 - Weekly arts segment with WFPL's Erin Keane.  She comments on some of the event highlights for this weekend, then is joined by visual artist Matthew Ronay, a widely exhibited artist originally from Kentucky.  Ronay has a new exhibit opening at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

Brad Yost is a senior producer for LPM. Email Brad at byost@lpm.org.

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