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May 25, 2023

In this issue:

  • Registration open for KSBA's Summer Leadership Institute
  • KSBA explains SB 5 policy on Superintendents' Webcast 
  • Two co-ops receive nearly $17 million for mental health services
  • Webinar will walk boards through the superintendent search process
  • Law Update to be held virtually June 8
  • 2024 Legislative Issues Survey
  • CERS board votes to increase assumed rate of return
  • COSSBA to host two Urban Boards Alliance events
  • KSBA presents Board Member of the Year Award to Varia
  • Superintendent search alert
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Registration open for KSBA's Summer Leadership Institute

KSBA's 2023 Summer Leadership Institute will be held July 14-15 at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington. Registration is now open!

A full conference schedule, including keynotes, clinic session descriptions and registration instructions, is available here.

The Kentucky Organization of Superintendents' Administrative Assistants (KOSAA) will host its 18th Annual Summer Conference on July 14. See more information.

KSBA explains SB 5 policy on Superintendents Webcast 

Local boards of education must adopt a complaint resolution policy under Senate Bill 5 that addresses complaints submitted by parents or guardians alleging material, a program or an event that is harmful to minors.

During KDE’s Superintendents Webcast on Tuesday, Katrina Kinman, director of Policy for the Kentucky School Boards Association, told superintendents that school boards need to have the policy in place by July 1. Because of the timing, it may require an emergency reading at a special called meeting, she said.

KSBA’s model policy on SB 5 was released April 17 along with KDE’s Supplemental Guidance on the law. The policy was also included in KSBA’s Annual Policy Update that was sent to districts on May 19.

Under the new law, the school principal must review the complaint and take reasonable steps to investigate the allegations.

“It’s only a parent or a guardian of the student who may, in writing, file this complaint,” Kinman said. “So it’s not the general public, it’s not a just a group of concerned citizens.”

Appeals to the principal’s decision will then go to the local board of education.

“It specifically states that the board is the one to do the investigation and determination as to whether the board believes is harmful to minors, and that they may not delegate that responsibility to anyone else,” she said.

The law also requires that each board member’s vote be published in the local newspaper.

KDE guidance on recent laws passed with an emergency clause can be found on the KDE 2023 Legislative Guidance – Emergency Bills webpage. The guidance on additional legislation will be posted the week of June 5 ahead of the effective date of June 29. 

Two co-ops receive nearly $17 million for mental health services

The U.S. Department of Education has selected two educational cooperatives to receive nearly $17 million for school-based mental health services. The West Kentucky Educational Cooperative (WKEC) will receive $2.9 million over five years and the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (GRREC) will receive $13.9 million over five years.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman presented the grants May 22 in Bowling Green.

“I applaud the U.S. Department of Education for this funding, the educational cooperatives for their leadership and the participating school districts for prioritizing their students’ mental health,” she said.

WKEC will use the funding to create Partner and Connect: MSU/WKEC Mental Health Providers Academy in which WKEC will partner with Murray State University to train and credential 30 mental health providers and place them in 14 school districts.

GRREC will use the funds to initiate Project ACCESS (Acquiring Clinical Counselors for Equitable Student Services in Mental Health). In partnership with Western Kentucky University, GRREC will recruit, train and hire 45 licensed mental health counselors who will serve students in 184 schools in the GRREC region.

Read the full news release

Webinar will walk boards through superintendent search process

For the June installment of our 2023 Learn and Earn webinar series, KSBA presents, “Be prepared: If your superintendent left, would you know how to fill the job?” Join us Wednesday, June 14 as former superintendent and KSBA Superintendent Search Consultant Don Martin weighs in on one of the most important decisions with which every school board is eventually faced. This session provides practical insights all boards should know long before they are required to fill a superintendent vacancy, including statutes and regulations, timelines and considerations in undertaking a search, and developing a contract.

Register for this webinar.

Other upcoming Learn and Earn webinars:

  • July 12 - Senate Bill 9 (2022): The Read to Succeed Act’s implementation and initiatives
  • Aug. 9 - KSBA’s eMeeting service: Its value to boards and SBDM councils

See descriptions and online registration for these and other upcoming Learn and Earn webinars.

Sessions are from noon – 1 p.m. (ET) on the second Wednesday of each month at a cost of $50 per session. Pre-registration is required. All Learn and Earn webinars count for one hour of school board training credit. While information is presented through the lens of school board service, some topics may be relevant to district administrators and other education stakeholders. All are welcome to participate.

Law update to be held virtually June 8

KSBA’s 2023 Federal and State Law Update will be held virtually from 9 a.m. until noon (ET) on Thursday, June 8. This training is recommended for school board members, superintendents, assistant superintendents, board attorneys, school/district administrators, finance officers, etc. The agenda, presented by knowledgeable KSBA attorneys and policy staff, includes an in-depth legislative session recap, board policy and procedure updates, recent Open Meetings and Open Records decisions, case law developments and federal updates.

Register for this webinar. 

Participants are eligible for three hours of training credit (state-mandated board training, CLE* and EILA). For board members, the training qualifies for Level IV/V elective credit in KSBA's Academy of Studies. The registration fee for this event is $200. 

View/download an informational flyer, including schedule and presenters. 

Questions? Contact

*CLE approval requested

Attention board members and superintendents! If you have not done so already, please do not forget to complete KSBA’s legislative survey. You should have received emails from KSBA linking to the brief survey. If you did not receive anything, check your spam folder or contact KSBA’s Eric Kennedy.


Why is your response so important? The results of this survey will directly inform KSBA's 2024 legislative priorities, which will be adopted by the association's board of directors. Results will also be shared with all members as part of our 2023 Regional Meetings this fall. 

Survey questions touch on a range of education issues, such as school enrollment trends, education funding, partisan school board elections, school facilities issues, etc.

This survey will remain open through Monday, May 29. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

CERS board votes to increase assumed rate of return

The County Employees Retirement System (CERS) Board of Trustees voted on May 9 to increase the assumed rate of return for its investment portfolios to 6.50% from 6.25%. The increase covers the CERS Nonhazardous and Hazardous Pension and insurance funds, which as of March 31 comprised $16.1 billion in assets.

The move was supported by KPPA Investment staff, investment consultant Wilshire, and the systems’ actuary GRS.

“This increase parallels the pension and insurance plans’ consistent performance since 1984 of 8.5% to 9% or better," said Betty Pendergrass, CERS board chair. "More importantly, the board’s funding strategy shifts the funding burden from taxpayers to investment markets with a prudent asset allocation strategy.”

Factoring into expected capital market returns were higher interest rates and higher equity market return expectations following the market decline in recent years. Actuary GRS also recommended decreasing life expectancy for KPPA retirees overall based on data that shows retirees are not living as long on average as previously expected.

See the full news release

COSSBA to host two Urban Boards Alliance events

The Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA) has two upcoming events, both as part of its Urban Boards Alliance (UBA).

A UBA Symposium "Doing the Work - Every Student Every Day" will be held Aug. 24-25 in Chicago. Early registration is $525 through July 17. After July 17, the cost is $595. Visit COSSBA's website for more information on the symposium.

The UBA Webinar Series will continue on June 20 with a session on Food Insecurity and Public Education. The free webinar, which will begin at noon (ET), will explore how food insecurity impacts children and families in the United States and will share practical steps that school districts can take to address opportunities in their communities.

Roxanne Moore, executive director of the Stop Hunger Foundation, will guide the interactive conversation that includes panelists Topaz Arthur, national manager for Education and School Foods with No Kid Hungry, Robert S. Harvey, president of FoodCorps and former CEO of Simmons College in Louisville, and Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark, physician and culinary-medicine instructor. Visit COSSBA's website for more information and to register.

KSBA presents Board Member of the Year Award to Varia

KSBA attended Floyd County Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday to present the association’s 2023 Kentucky School Board Member of the Year Award to Dr. Chandra Varia. The award was co-presented by KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling (right) and Rebecca Combs (left), state manager for American Fidelity, this year’s award sponsor.

Superintendent search alert

KSBA's Superintendent Search Service is currently facilitating a search in the following districts. Click the district name to be directed to the position posting.

Wayne County Schools

Application deadline: June 7

Russellville Independent Schools

Application deadline: June 9

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

June 6: Filing deadline for Nov. 2023 special board elections

June 6: Interim Joint Education Committee

June 6-7: Kentucky Board of Education meeting

June 8: Federal and State Law Update

June 14: June Learn & Earn webinar

June 20: Superintendents Webcast

July 12: July Learn & Earn webinar

July 14-15: Summer Leadership Institute, Lexington

July 14: KOSAA Summer Conference, Lexington

This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Tier 1 Affiliates

Tier 2 Affiliates

Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |
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