Jan. 12, 2023

In this issue:

  • 2023 KSBA Annual Conference registration now open
  • Districts file suit over charter school law
  • The 2023 legislative session has begun 
  • KSBA's top legislative priorities
  • Superintendent search alerts
  • School Board Recognition Month resources
  • January issue of Kentucky School Advocate magazine
  • Early registration open for inaugural COSSBA Annual Conference
  • KOSAA Annual Winter Meeting
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

KSBA opens call for Annual Conference student involvement

Attendee registration for KSBA's 2023 Annual Conference is now open. Click the link below to begin registration, or you may view/download a hard copy schedule and registration form (subject to possible changes). 




Hotel accommodations: KSBA has a limited block of reduced-rate hotel rooms at the Galt House for the nights of Thursday, Feb. 23 through Saturday Feb. 25. Rates include West Tower Deluxe Guestrooms for $144 per night and East Tower Executive Suites for $159 per night. The deadline for hotel reservations through KSBA's block of rooms is Wednesday, Feb. 1 (or until the block sells out). The hotel link to reserve special rate rooms will be included exclusively in your event registration confirmation email, so register now!

Additional conference information is available on KSBA's Annual Conference page

KSBA will once again display student-designed banner artwork depicting the conference theme. We invite school districts to submit banner artwork electronically. Banners will be featured in conference communications, displayed in a gallery at the event, printed in a commemorative conference booklet and more. Information on student banner art submissions. The deadline to submit banner artwork for the 2023 Annual Conference is Feb. 13.

Questions about this year's conference? Contact training@ksba.org or 800-372-2962.

Districts file suit over charter school law

The Council for Better Education, along with two local school boards, has filed a lawsuit to stop Kentucky’s new charter school law.

The lawsuit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court last week, claims that House Bill 9, passed by the legislature in the 2022 session, violates the state’s constitution.

Unlike the charter school law passed in 2017 which did not fund the schools, the new law requires school districts to transfer both state SEEK funds and local tax dollars to charter schools.

“The Kentucky Constitution demands that public money go to public schools, and not to unaccountable schools operated outside the management and control of the school district’s elected board of education,” the lawsuit states.

The law also creates a pilot program that requires the boards of Jefferson County and a collaborative of northern Kentucky school boards to authorize at least one charter school in each of those communities. In other districts, those with fewer than 7,500 students, a charter school would have to be endorsed by the board before it could open, but in the 16 districts with more than 7,500 students, the charter school would not need a board endorsement.

The lawsuit claims that HB 9 violates at least seven sections of the state’s constitution.

“HB 9 unlawfully diverts local tax revenue levied by local boards of education to unaccountable charter schools in violation of Sections 180 and 181 of the Kentucky Constitution,” the lawsuit states. Those sections prohibit tax revenue from being used for a different purpose than which it was levied and the General Assembly from requiring local entities to impose taxes.

Jefferson County Schools and Dayton Independent Schools are co-plaintiffs in the suit, which names the Kentucky Department of Education, Commissioner Jason Glass, the Kentucky Board of Education and Chair Lu Young as defendants.

Glass said Tuesday that KDE and KBE were required by the law to write and approve administrative regulations to carry out the law’s intentions, but he said he notified the legislature before the bill was passed that it would likely face a constitutional challenge.

“Those concerns that we raised were not taken into account, or acknowledged,” he said during Tuesday's KDE Superintendents Webcast.

The department and KBE will not expend the “time and resources” to defend the charter school law, Glass said. Instead, it will be up to Attorney General Daniel Cameron to defend the law in court.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the law from being implemented while the lawsuit winds its way through the courts.

Read more from the Herald-Leader and the Courier-Journal

The 2023 legislative session has begun 

Lawmakers gaveled in the 2023 legislative session on Jan. 3, then adjourned until next month.

So far, legislators have filed 200 bills to be considered during the 30-day session which ends on March 30.

In the short first week of the session, legislators in the House quickly passed House Bill 1 which reduces the income tax rate to 4.5% for this year and 4% in 2024. The Senate is expected to pass the bill when the session resumes Feb. 7.

Numerous bills impacting education have been filed, but two bills would have significant impact on school board members.

The bills, HB 50 and SB 50, filed by Rep. Matt Lockett, R-Nicholasville, and Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, respectively, would make local school board seats partisan, with primary elections in county districts. The bills would also apply to other nonpartisan offices such as city councils.

KSBA’s Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy explained in a Herald-Leader story that changing the office to partisan may be unconstitutional in light of at least two opinions. In the 1989 Rose decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court not only ruled that our system of common schools must not be subject to political influence, it also cited and reaffirmed another ruling from 1956 in which the Court held that our constitution mandates that the system “shall be nonpartisan.”

On KET’s Kentucky Tonight, legislative leaders Sen. President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, said they haven’t yet discussed the bill in caucus. Meade said the impetus for change is parents being even more engaged in schools after COVID-19.

“They want to make sure that those folks that are being elected are of their same ideas and their same beliefs, they want to know where they stand and be more transparent,” Meade said. “I also understand that partisan politics are invading every piece of society right now we want try to keep politics out of as much as possible.”

Stivers said voters want to know a candidate’s party because it defines their beliefs.

“I also understand that people want to try to get away from partisan politics,” he said, “but when you see some of the things that parents have seen during COVID that their children have brought home, through their internet classes, and their homework, it has really raised concern to where people want to be more engaged in this educational form and how critical school board elections are in determining the direction of what way a school goes.”

Kennedy encourages board members to reach out to their legislators about the proposal. At least one board member, a federal firefighter, would have to resign if the bills pass because federal law only allows employees to hold a nonpartisan office. 

KSBA releases legislative priorities for #KYGA23

The 2023 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly kicked off last week. KSBA's top legislative priorities this year focus on the following areas:

  • Supporting local board leadership of school operations, to address the unique needs of each district.
  • Continuing to review school facility requirements and construction processes, to collaboratively develop legislation with local boards, construction stakeholders, and the Department of Education.
  • Restructuring state-required professional development, to refocus time and resources on the training most impactful on student achievement. 
  • Expanding access to early childhood education programs, and quality childcare for working families. 
  • Continuing the ongoing analysis of school funding this session, to identify ways to make the next biennial budget even stronger for students

Visit KSBA's website for a detailed breakdown of these priorities or view/print a downloadable version for your reference.

Superintendent search alerts

KSBA's Superintendent Search Service is currently facilitating searches in the districts listed below. Click the district name to be directed to the position posting.

Boyle County Schools

Application deadline: Jan. 31, 2023 


Estill County Schools

Application deadline: Feb. 6, 2023

KSBA's experienced Superintendent Search consultants have worked with local school boards across Kentucky to facilitate more than 300 successful searches.

Sponsors step up big for KSBA student scholarships, grants

KSBA will once again provide thousands of dollars in college scholarships and CTE grants this year to Kentucky high school students. So far this year, five organizations (logos below) have stepped up to sponsor the association's annual student aid opportunities.

American Fidelity Educational Services, Houchens Insurance Group Education and the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative are each sponsors of KSBA's 2023 First Degree Scholarships, awarding postsecondary support to Kentucky high school seniors who will be the first in their families to receive a two- or four-year college degree. Each student recipient receives a $2,500 scholarship.

ABM and ESG (Energy Systems Group) are sponsors of this year's CTE Student Grant program, awarding dozens of Kentucky high school students each with $250 grants to cover costs associated with completion of their CTE industry certifications.

Interested in serving as a sponsor of KSBA's 2023 student scholarship and grant programs? There is still time! Sponsors will be honored on stage at KSBA's 2023 Annual Conference in February and in future KSBA publications. Contact KSBA Communications Director Josh Shoulta for more information.

Learn more about KSBA's student aid opportunities, funded through the KSBA Educational Foundation. KSBA's scholarships and grants are made possible by the generous support of our members, partners and friends like you.

Celebrate School Board Recognition Month

January is School Board Recognition Month, a time when schools and community stakeholders are encouraged to show their support and gratitude to the locally elected men and women charged with governance of your district. Highlighting your board members has never been easier thanks to KSBA’s School Board Recognition Month toolkit – complete with social media graphics, templates, local celebration ideas, certificates and more!

During the month of January, post your SBRM moments on social media and use the hashtag #LoveKySchoolBoards. KSBA will share many of our favorites!

Access KSBA's School Board Recognition month toolkit.

January Advocate available online

As we celebrate School Board Recognition Month, veteran board members share their advice for the 101 newly elected board members who began their service this month.

Also in the January Advocate:

Registration open for inaugural COSSBA annual conference

Join KSBA and board teams from across the nation March 30 – April 2 in Tampa for a long weekend of training and networking at the Consortium of State School Boards Associations’ (COSSBA) inaugural Annual Conference. The early registration deadline for COSSBA's Annual Conference is Jan. 28. After this deadline, registration costs will return to the regular rate. Conference hotel accommodations are filling up, so act now.

Learn more and register (once redirected, scroll to bottom of page). See a full list of keynote presenter topics and bios here. You can review a schedule of breakout sessions here.

KOSAA Annual Winter Meeting

KSBA will host the 2023 Annual Winter Meeting of the Kentucky Organization of Superintendents’ Administrative Assistants (KOSAA) during the association’s 2023 Annual Conference in Louisville. The Winter Meeting will be held at the Galt House Hotel on Friday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. (ET).

See more details and register for the 2023 Annual KOSAA Winter Meeting.

This meeting is open to all KOSAA members. If you are not currently a member, you can join KOSAA by registering for this event. Annual KOSSA membership is free for Kentucky superintendents’ administrative assistants. 

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Jan. 16 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (KSBA offices closed)

Feb. 1 - KSBA 2023 Annual Conference special rate hotel room deadline

Feb. 7 - Kentucky General Assembly reconvenes for 2023 Regular Session

Feb. 13 - KSBA 2023 Annual Conference student banner artwork submission deadline

Feb. 14: KDE's Superintendents Webcast

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 | ksba.org
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