November 14, 2018
In this issue:

  • KDE Commissioner to seek charter funding
  • Election recap: educators fall short
  • Beyond the Board with Dr. Carl Lebuhn
  • Winter Symposium: boot camp for newly elected members
  • Superintendents association names new director
  • KSBA poll question
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Lewis to seek charter funding in upcoming legislative session
Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis told an advisory group that he will ask the 2019 General Assembly to fund charter schools.

The announcement came Nov. 9 at the newly reconstituted Charter Schools Advisory Council which includes three members of the Kentucky Board of Education.

Legislation allowing charter schools in Kentucky passed in 2017, however there was no funding mechanism attached to the law.

The upcoming legislative session is not a budget session, but Lewis told the group that he is not requesting new money for charter schools, but wants the legislature to create a way for current dollars to follow the student.

“We need a mechanism that permits funds to move to a public charter school of choice with a child if the child’s parents elect to send them to a charter school,” he said. “If the General Assembly passes this mechanism, if parents do not choose to enroll their children in charter schools, no state dollars will flow to those schools.”

Lewis said he believes charter schools will help close the state’s achievement gap.

The legislature convenes on Jan. 8. The next Charter School Advisory Council will be held at 9 a.m., Jan. 23 at the Kentucky Department of Education in Frankfort.
Educators fall short on Election Day
Educators across the state pledged to Remember in November. But based on the outcomes of the Nov. 6 election, many forgot.

Spurred to action by changes to the state pension system and what they deemed a war on public education, thousands of teachers and education advocates flocked to protests at the Capitol this spring.

And some decided to run for a seat in the state legislature. In all, 53 candidates for Kentucky House and Senate in this month’s election had some tie to education. The candidates included retired and active teachers, higher education employees, current school board members and former school board members.

But when the ballots were counted, just 14 – seven Democrats and seven Republicans – won election.

The pension bill passed by the GOP-controlled legislature appeared to have little impact. Of the 49 Republican legislators who voted for the bill and ran for re-election, only four of them lost, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. E ight lawmakers — including five Republicans — who voted against the pension bill were defeated in either the primary or general election.

Two current local school board members, Ed Massey and Lisa Willner, won seats in the state House. Massey, a Republican who has served on the Boone County board for 21 years, was able to fend off an independent candidate backed by Gov. Matt Bevin. Willner, a Jefferson County board member, beat Republican Donna Lawlor.

One superintendent will be joining the legislature in January. Ohio County Superintendent Scott Lewis, a Republican, was successful in his bid to represent the 14th House District.

An in-depth look at this month's election, including school board races, will be included in the December issue of the Kentucky School Advocate.
Dr. Carl LeBuhn, of Paducah, is an infectious disease specialist who serves on the Paducah Independent Board of Education. He is the subject of this month's Beyond the Board.

How has your experience as a physician helped you as a school board member?
I live in Paducah where there are two reasonably-sized hospitals, so I have been involved with some of the medical staff leadership at those hospitals. You learn that if you hire good people and are involved with good people – people who are interested in lifelong learning – you end up with a very solid staff that is always growing in its capabilities. Seeing how such organizations work and trying to apply that to schools helps us to have strong policies and to hire good people who are sincere in their attempts to make things better.

In an organization like a hospital, certain approaches can make a really big difference for patient care. As a physician, I see how policies, procedures and vision can impact operations. In our school district, our vision is to try to know every student by name and need. Our policies really help us to focus on the student, just like our focus on individual patient needs in a hospital.

Why did you choose to run for your district’s school board?
I have always had an interest in education and have always been inspired by the people who encouraged me in learning. I think public schools are fantastic. It’s wonderful to see these kids and to help them grow. I think having strong public schools is important to growing all the kids in our community, hopefully helping them to get connected with jobs and to rise to their highest possible levels. We want students to come back and work in our community and to help our community get better.

What do you foresee as being the most important education-related issue this year?
You can introduce all the big solutions you want to try and bend the curve or improve test scores, but it really boils down to individuals helping individuals – teachers connecting with students – and getting down to the basics. It’s about doing those few things well and not getting bumped off course. I think it is incredibly important that we keep teaching as an elevated profession, as a career path that is inviting and satisfying. If we can’t encourage really strong, hardworking, interested people to go into education, it’s going to get harder for us to continue to help kids grow. 
Winter Symposium includes Boot Camp for newly elected board members

The 2018 KSBA Winter Symposium will be held Nov. 30–Dec. 1 at the Louisville Marriott East. Online registration for conference attendees is open. Click the button below to begin the registration process.  View the conference agenda. For additional details and hotel information, visit the Winter Symposium page on KSBA’s website.

KSBA will once again offer  New School Board Member “Boot Camp.” Hours earned by newly elected board members can be applied toward the 2019 calendar year. Winter Symposium is a fantastic way for those members to get ahead on state-mandated board training and it is the only conference to offer dedicated programming for our newest members. 
Flynn named superintendent association director
Jim Flynn, superintendent of Simpson County Schools, has been named executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents. Flynn, who is in his 16th year as Simpson County's leader, will begin his duties July 1, 2019, taking over for Tom Shelton, who has led KASS since 2015. 

F lynn was named 2015 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) , has served as president of KASS and was appointed by the General Assembly to the Local Superintendents Advisory Council.  

Flynn’s national leadership includes the American Association of School Administrators, the National School Boards Association, the National Superintendents Leadership Institute and the BellSouth Superintendents Leadership Network. 

He is also a board member with the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, serves in the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership & Research and at the Center for Leadership Excellence both at Western Kentucky University. Flynn is a graduate of WKU, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, Rank I and superintendent certification. He received a master’s degree from Texas A&M University and a doctoral degree from Northern Kentucky University. 

Flynn and his wife reside in Franklin and have three children. 
KSBA poll
Which Beatles song describes your post-election legislative outlook for public education in Ky?
"I Feel Fine"
"We Can Work It Out"
"The Long And Winding Road"
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Jan. 1 deadline for essential skills bill requirement

House Bill 3 (2018), the essential skills bill, requires that by Jan. 1, 2019, each local school board “shall collaborate with the local workforce investment board” to establish essential workplace ethics indicators for middle and high school students that are aligned with the characteristics listed in the bill, such as diligence, initiative, reliability, remaining and drug free. View a complete breakdown of the workforce development areas and the contact information for each workforce investment board.
Board leadership opportunities available
KSBA is seeking applications to fill upcoming vacancies on the KBSA Education Foundation board of directors and the KSBA Unemployment Program board of directors. The application deadlines for each have been extended until Friday, Nov. 26. Read about service criteria and responsibilities and access electronic applications via the "Learn More" button below.
This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |