April 9, 2019
In this issue:

  • State board to discuss budget request, hear JCPS update
  • KSBA's Spring Training tour
  • Does your school board have a governance mindset?
  • Two Kentucky districts recognized at NSBA Annual Conference
  • Beyond the Board with Ramona Malone
  • Summer Leadership Institute call for proposals
  • April Kentucky School Advocate available online
  • Poll question
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
State board to discuss budget request, hear JCPS update
The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) will meet Wednesday, April 10 in Ashland marking the first time in several years KBE has met away from Frankfort.

The meeting, which begins at 8:30 a.m., will be held at the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation offices and streamed live. The agenda includes a discussion of KBE’s and Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) priorities for the next biennial budget. In its 2017 request, KBE asked for $800 million, including $266 million to fund district transportation at 100 percent, $343 million for all-day kindergarten and $157 million to expand the number of low income 4-year-olds who qualify for preschool. The legislature did not fully fund any of those requests.

The KBE/KDE request for the 2020-22 budget will be finalized in November.

The board will also hear an update on Jefferson County Schools' corrective action plan and review comments that have been submitted on the social studies standards. In its statement of consideration on the standards, the department is recommending a change to clarify school-based decision making councils’ role in implementing curriculum.

KBE also plans to create a finance advisory group to advise the board’s finance committee. See the full agenda
KSBA's Spring Training tour
KSBA is hitting the road this spring, offering regional trainings at Kentucky’s educational co-ops. Each training event will provide three training hours/courses on the topics of Ethics, Finance and Charter Authorization. Members can sign up for one, two or all three hours at a cost of $50 per hour. 

Click here for more information on the training in your area.
Does your school board have a governance mindset?
What are the fundamental elements of highly effective governance systems in school districts? Davis Campbell (right), retired executive director of the California School Boards Association, examines that question in a guest blog on the Education Week website.

"What we have found in working with hundreds of high performing, effective school board trustees and superintendents is that in every case, they govern with a profound commitment to quality education for all, combined with a deep understanding, sometimes learned sometimes intuitive, of what governance is all about," Campbell writes.

Click here to read the full blog.
Kentucky districts attend NSBA conference, return with knowledge and hardware
More than 100 school board members and education leaders from the Bluegrass traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the 2019 National School Boards Association Annual Conference (March 30 - April 1). State school board associations from across the nation descended on the “city of brotherly love,” with an estimated attendance of nearly 6,000. Attendees took part in informative sessions, networked with peers and were inspired by thought-provoking keynote speakers. 
Four members of KSBA’s board of directors served as Kentucky’s delegation during the 2019 Delegate Assembly on March 29 (pictured above). Representing our Commonwealth were President-elect Davonna Page (Russellville Ind.), President Ronnie Holmes (Graves Co.), KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling, Immediate Past President David Webster (Simpson Co.) and Regional Chair Pamela Morehead-Johnson (Eminence Ind.). The assembly, made up of approximately 150 delegates, is charged with electing NSBA officers and board of directors, adopting amendments to NSBA policies and approving resolutions for the coming year. Resolutions recommended at this year’s gathering touched on topics such school safety, equity, childhood nutrition and Every Student Succeeds Act implementation.
Left: The 2019 Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Award is presented to Steve Becker, Danville Ind. board member, and Jane Dewey, director of arts education for the district. Right: Newport Ind. board chair Ramona Malone accepts the 2019 Magna Award.

This year’s conference included recognition for two Kentucky public school districts. The Danville Independent Board of Education won the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2019 Award. The honor is only given to one school board in the country each year. Danville Independent board member Steve Becker and Jane Dewey, director of arts education, accepted the award.

Newport Independent Schools received a 2019 Magna Award for its innovative home visitation program. Ramona Malone, Newport Independent board chair, accepted the award on behalf of her district. Each year, Magna grand prize and first place awards are presented to only a small handful of districts (categorized by district size), with this year’s focus on education equity best practices. You can read more about Newport's program here.
Along with its association counterparts, KSBA participated in the NSBA Central Region Luncheon where Kerri Schelling, pictured above, discussed Kentucky’s role in organizing August’s 2019 Central Region annual meeting and business session. As this year’s host state, KSBA will organize NSBA’s Central Region gathering in correlation with NSBA’s Summer Leadership Seminar in Chicago.

KSBA hosted its annual Kentucky Breakfast on the Sunday morning of the conference. The event was made possible in part by our generous sponsors American Fidelity and Ross, Sinclaire and Associates.
Ramona Malone, Newport Independent board chair, recently accepted the 2019 Magna Award on behalf of her district at this year’s National School Boards Association annual conference in Philadelphia. Newport was recognized for its innovative home visit initiative, joining a select group of districts across the country honored for efforts in equity.

What inspired you run for school board?

My parents were very involved in the community. My mother worked at voter polls and my father was involved in door-to-door voter registration. They were always campaigning for the greater good. My father served as a voice for the African American community. That is where my desire for change came from, my upbringing. I grew up in an environment where knowledge was power. There is scripture that says, “My people parish due to a lack of knowledge.”
My father was also a proponent of education. He was very strict about education, discipline and choosing studies that were going to empower us. When my siblings and I were old enough to select our own classes, we had to take our schedules home and my father would go through them. He would say, “You don’t need that. You need to take this. You can live without that. You can learn this at home.” He went to all the parent-teacher conferences. That’s how involved he was. We grew up in a very disciplined home environment.

What advice would you give to those new to board service?

Keep your eyes on the prize the students. They represent our future citizens. Do your best to make decisions that are focused on student achievement and student success. If you do that, at the end of the day, you can live with the outcome. We do our best to make the right decisions and the decisions we make don’t always work out or have the impact we anticipated. However, if our motive was to do what was best for the students and their families, we have made the right decision.

What do you feel is the most pressing education issue?

Funding. It is written in our state constitution the promise of adequately funded public schools. We have lost sight of that commitment to education. Getting our legislators back to valuing public education and every citizen’s right to a public education is going to continue to be the challenge. We are charged with providing a quality education, but money answers all things. You need money to eat. You need money for a roof over your head. You need money to exist in this society. The tax system of our society was set up to provide our citizens with certain privileges that come with being an American. We need to get back to the things we promised to do for Americans. 
KSBA has spaces available for presenters for Summer Leadership Institute workshops on Saturday, July 13. We invite interested parties to submit proposals. The deadline is May 3. Proposal form, criteria and event info here.
April Advocate available online
Fort Thomas Independent has a history of high rankings and successful test scores, but that didn't stop district administrators from asking tough questions about the success of their students once they graduated high school.

The results of their findings led to the creation of a Portrait of a Graduate program and a new mantra: “Yes … And."

“Yes, we’re going to continue to excel academically. We’re not putting that away. We’re going to continue and we’re going to make sure students have these skills, because this is what’s going to help them be successful beyond the academics,” Fort Thomas Superintendent Karen Cheser said.

You can read more about Fort Thomas’ Portrait of a Graduate and the district’s new LAUNCH facility in the April edition of the Kentucky School Advocate.

Also in the April Advocate:

KSBA poll
Which aspect of the Senate Bill 1 framework will have the greatest impact on school safety?
Additional school counselors
Increased number of school resource officers
More secure facilities
Oversight provided by a state school security marshal
2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark   Rose v. Council decision, paving the way for education improvement in Kentucky and the nation. Throughout the year we will join our partners to remember that mandate and honor our shared mission. Check out KSBA’s Facebook and Twitter pages as we regularly share language from the court decision using the hashtag #RoseAT30.
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 | www.ksba.org