Sept. 28, 2022

In this issue:

  • Legislators hear about KSBA's district raise survey
  • LSAC approves charter school regulations
  • Task force studying bourbon barrel tax
  • Save the date for COSSBA Annual Conference
  • Applications now open for KSBA Board of Directors
  • October webinar focuses on superintendent evaluation
  • Nominations open for KSBA's student scholarships and grants
  • Call for nominations: 2023 School Board Member of the Year
  • KSBA September board meeting recap
  • KSBA is hiring. Join our team!
  • PEAK Award nomination deadline
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Legislators hear about KSBA's district raise survey 

KSBA’s Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy discussed KSBA’s survey on school district employee raises at the legislature’s Sept. 21 Interim Joint Appropriations and Revenue Committee meeting.

Kennedy explained that KSBA asked school districts, “Did your school board approve an across-the-board employee raise for the 2022-23 school year (that was separate and in addition to step increases, and no matter if it was called a cost of living/COLA increase; increment; raise; etc.)?”

Ninety-five percent answered, “Yes.” All but nine of Kentucky’s school districts included raises in their 2022-23 budgets. About 37 percent gave all employees the same percent raise, while approximately 58 percent of districts adopted more complex compensation packages for 2022-23 such as additional raises for targeted employees, alternating increases for classified/certified staff or increases determined by years of service.

For example, some districts gave raises to food service workers, transportation and daycare workers because the previous year they gave raises to certified staff. Another district gave an across the board 4% raise to all employees, he said.

“Really the big takeaway here is that most districts gave something, but it was all a unique local approach,” Kennedy told legislators.

Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights, asked if KSBA supports having legislators decide funding levels and local districts decide on employee pay – instead of a legislators mandating a raise.

Kennedy said most KSBA members support local decision-making on raises because many districts would not be able to pay for an unfunded, state-mandated across-the-board raise.

Fayette County Schools Internal Auditor and Kentucky Association of School Business Officials President Nick Clark, who presented along with Kennedy, said that the SEEK increase in the current state budget allowed districts to tailor raises to their needs. 

"Right now, there are a lot of districts across the state, across the country having issues filling positions, not just teaching, but probably having more trouble finding classified employees," he said. "So allowing local school districts to make the decision is huge." 

LSAC approves charter school regulations 

The Local Superintendents Advisory Council on Tuesday approved changes to the state’s charter school regulations – changes needed because of House Bill 9, the state’s new charter school law.

The changes to the existing charter school regulations simply mirror the requirements of the statute, Education Commissioner Jason Glass explained.

Glass also said he believes the law is likely unconstitutional on multiple grounds and if a lawsuit is filed, the Department of Education will not defend the law.

“Instead that will be a matter for the attorney general to take up,” he said.

While LSAC approved the changes to the regulations, all of the superintendents said they also believe the new law is unconstitutional.

“At no point would I like to say that I voted for charter schools, because I didn't,” said LSAC Chairman and Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Robbie Fletcher.

Harrison County Superintendent Harry Burchett said he knows that the department did their due diligence with the regulations but also believes the law is unconstitutional.

“I too believe there are serious constitutional issues with local taxing authorities levying taxes and then transferring that to unelected bodies to expand it,” he said. “I don’t believe that is the way that our founders intended for this to work.”

The Kentucky Board of Education will vote on the new regulations at its Oct. 12 meeting. 

Task force studying bourbon barrel tax 

Legislators reviewing Kentucky’s tax on aging bourbon barrels heard from KSBA’s Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy about how the tax impacts school districts.

Currently, 29 school districts receive revenue from the distilled spirits tax, up from just 14 districts eight years ago. Those 29 districts now receive $18.5 million a year in local revenue from the tax and, if the tax were repealed, would face a net loss of about $6.2 million a year.

Some of that lost revenue is already spoken for – in payments for school facility projects, Kennedy explained.

“It’s like a mortgage: I mean, you can’t go back in time and not issue the bond,” he said. “You’re on the hook for those bond payments.”

Sen. President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the task force doesn’t have a preconceived notion of what should happen the to tax.

The Kentucky Distillers Association said school districts  are the biggest beneficiaries of the tax, taking in $26 million a year by their estimate.

Read more from Spectrum News 1 and the Kentucky Association of Counties

Save the date for COSSBA Annual Conference 

The Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA) has announced the dates of its much-anticipated inaugural COSSBA Annual Conference to be held March 30-April 2 in Tampa, Florida. This three-day event will offer a variety of training sessions and keynote presentations as well as ample opportunities for member networking. The event will kick off March 30 with special “early bird” sessions from the Urban Boards Alliance – encouraged for all attendees whether an urban, rural or suburban school district. Further details, including a full agenda and registration information, will be released in November.

Founded by state school boards associations in late 2021, COSSBA is a nonpartisan, national alliance dedicated to sharing resources and information to support, promote and strengthen state school boards associations as they serve their local school districts and board members. KSBA is a proud founding member of COSSBA. 

Applications now open for KSBA Board of Directors

KSBA is seeking interested candidates to fill four director-at-large seats on its board of directors for a three-year term to begin February 2023. Members of the KSBA Board of Directors focus their efforts on the shared interests of all Kentucky local public school districts as well as the health and relevancy of the association.

Any Kentucky school board member in good standing may place his or her name before KSBA’s Selection Committee by submitting the online application by Nov. 15. The committee will make selections based on application information and in-person interviews to be held during KSBA's Winter Symposium, Dec. 9-10 in Louisville.

See the full description of KSBA Board of Director responsibilities and the online application.

October webinar focuses on superintendent evaluation

KSBA presents, “Superintendent evaluation: Exploring the seven standards,” at noon (ET) on Oct. 12 as the next installment in our 2022 Learn and Earn webinar series.

This session will discuss standards to be used when school board members conduct the required annual evaluation of their superintendents. How do we judge performance on such wide-ranging standards for performance? How can boards provide productive input to superintendents to ensure continuous improvement? Presenters will also discuss examples from the audience on how we can ensure annual reviews provide a path for successful school district leadership.

Register for this webinar and to view other upcoming webinar dates and descriptions.

KSBA’s “Learn and Earn” webinar series offers school board members monthly topics, each good for one hour of state-mandated training credits. Sessions are noon – 1 p.m. (ET) on the second Wednesday of each month at a cost of $50 per session.

Nominations open for KSBA's student scholarships and grants

Nominations are open for our First Degree College Scholarship program and CTE Student Grant program (previously called First Degree CTE scholarships). KSBA and the KSBA Educational Foundation will award nearly $25,000 in scholarships and grants to public high school students across Kentucky in 2022-23. This year, nomination forms are offered exclusively online and the process has been streamlined, making it easier for districts to put forward the names of deserving students. 

KSBA's First Degree College Scholarship is expanding from four scholarships to five thanks to a generous gift from the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC). As a result, one of the five scholarships will be awarded to a high school senior from an OVEC member district. The original four scholarships will still be awarded to students statewide.

Beginning this year, all CTE Student Grants will be $250 each. Grants will be awarded directly to selected students for use towards costs associated with their CTE career pathways; assessments, course materials, travel or other expenses incurred in pursuit of industry certification. KSBA also removed previous criteria that immediate family members of CTE student grant nominees have not previously earned postsecondary degrees (thereby expanding eligibility to more students).

See instructions, criteria and online nomination forms for KSBA’s 2023 First Degree College Scholarships and 2023 CTE Student Grants. The nomination deadline is Nov. 30.  

Call for nominations: 2023 School Board Member of the Year

Nominations are open for KSBA’s 2023 School Board Member of the Year Award (BMOY). The BMOY was established this past year to honor the exemplary service of association members and to celebrate the critical roles school boards play in the advancement of public education in Kentucky. Selected honorees are those who have made significant contributions to public education through service on their local boards.

Board members, superintendents, district personnel and community members may nominate individuals for this award. Online nominations must be submitted by Dec. 16. Access BMOY award criteria, instructions and the online nomination form. Please read the criteria carefully for a full understanding of eligibility.

KSBA September board meeting recap

KSBA’s board gathered in Frankfort for its September meeting on Sept. 17. Agenda items included strategic plan updates, approval of policies/procedures and executive director evaluation. The board was also presented with a clean annual audit report. Lakeshore Learning Materials hosted the board for its Friday evening work session during which members discussed strategies to increase director engagement. Meet KSBA's board of directors. 

KSBA is hiring. Join our team!

KSBA is hiring! Access full job descriptions and online application links to current vacancies on KSBA’s employment opportunities page.

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Oct. 11-12: Kentucky Board of Education meeting, Russellville

Oct. 18: KDE Superintendents Webcast

Oct. 19: Budget Review Subcommittee on Education 

Nov. 8: Election Day 

Dec. 9-10: KSBA Winter Symposium, Louisville

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

Tier 3 Affiliates

Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |
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