Oct. 27, 2022

In this issue:

  • Citing declining test scores, teacher vacancies, Gov. Beshear presents education plan
  • Registration now open for 2022 Winter Symposium
  • District leaders address Bourbon Barrel Taxation Task Force
  • Apply to serve on KSBA Board of Directors
  • Nominations open for KSBA's student scholarships and grants
  • Call for nominations: 2023 School Board Member of the Year
  • Finance the focus of November webinar
  • KSBA is hiring. Join our team!
  • PEAK Award nominations are being accepted
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Citing declining test scores, teacher vacancies, Gov. Beshear presents education plan 

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday laid out a plan to address declining test scores and teacher shortages.

After disappointing statewide test results and underwhelming state scores on the NAEP assessments, Beshear said it is time to act by increasing district employee pay, universal pre-K, increasing social-emotional education and providing incentives for teachers to stay in the classroom including restoring pensions and forgiving teachers’ student loans.

“It’s simple, folks. You can’t catch a child up on math if you don’t have a math teacher. Our teacher shortages are the result of not just the pandemic, but years of cutbacks that have left schools underfunded,” Beshear said.

The state has 11,000 teacher vacancies and 72 percent of the current teacher workforce is at risk of leaving their jobs – either because they have less than five years’ experience or more than 25 years.

Beshear was joined by Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Education Commissioner Jason Glass, Kentucky Board of Education Chair Lu Young and Representative Rachel Roberts, D-Newport. Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Lexington, had planned to attend but had a family emergency.

The plan includes:

  •  A 5% raise for all district employees. The raise would be in addition to any board-approved raises this year.
  • Universal pre-K for 4-year-olds
  •  Restore funding for professional development, text books and other instructional materials
  • Provide up to $3,000 per year of loan forgiveness to public school teachers
  • Create eight regional institutes to train teachers on social-emotional learning and create two new grant programs to provide mental health services to teachers
  • Restore the teacher’s pension system to eliminate the hybrid plan new teachers now enter.

Beshear’s plan relies mostly on whether the Republican super majority in the legislature agrees. Citing the state’s record surplus, Beshear, a Democrat, called on the General Assembly to open the budget in the upcoming session to fund the plan.

That may not be likely based on a statement issued after the press conference by the Republican Party of Kentucky.

“Our teachers and superintendents worked hard to navigate the difficulties of remote learning during COVID-19,” the statement said. “Despite his efforts to run away from his pandemic actions, students and parents will not forget the biggest contributor to learning loss in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Gov. Andy Beshear.” 

Registration now open for 2022 Winter Symposium

KSBA’s 2022 Winter Symposium is Dec. 9-10 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. This conference is the last in-person training event before the end of the year – the deadline for school board members to complete their state-mandated school board training hours.

Winter Symposium of an election year provides a unique opportunity for newly elected board members to complete training before they take their oaths of office. If you expect new members joining your school board team this January, register them for this year’s event. KSBA's "New Board Member Express" includes a six-session track tailor-made for newly elected board members.

Registration packets have been mailed to all board teams, or you can view/download a printable PDF version. Access easy online registration by clicking the button below. Additional event information can be found on KSBA’s Winter Symposium page.

Click for online registration

District leaders address Bourbon Barrel Taxation Task Force

The Bourbon Barrel Taxation Task Force held its monthly meeting Oct. 21. Click here to view a recording. Henry County Superintendent Jim Masters, Franklin County Superintendent Mark Kopp and Marion County Superintendent Chris Brady, whose school systems all collect taxes on distilled spirits, discussed the potential impact of the loss of the tax revenue.

Kopp noted a heavier burden that Franklin County has shouldered as more funding for the district has shifted from state to local revenue, a situation made more difficult because his district cannot draw property tax revenue from the many state-owned properties.

“What I would ask you to consider is that $2.9 million to a school district our size is significant,” he said, citing the amount of tax revenue the district draws from bourbon aging in warehouses.  

Other stakeholders, including several judge-executives, fire district employees and EMTs, testified in support of the keeping the barrel tax. Representatives from the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA) and Kentucky Chamber testified in support of reducing or outright eliminating the tax on aging bourbon.

“You represented to the locals when you moved to the communities the benefits of this barrel tax,” Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights, said to the KDA. “And you have not just an economic, but a moral obligation to the commitment you made to those folks.”

KSBA's Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy testified at the September meeting about the impact losing the tax would have on the 21 districts that collect taxes on aging spirits. 

“Eric Kennedy gave some of the best testimony” said Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy. 

Watch a recording of Kennedy’s testimony from the September meeting or view the PowerPoint slides from his testimony. 

Apply to serve on KSBA Board of Directors

KSBA wants you! The association is currently seeking interested candidates to fill director-at-large seats on its board of directors. Members of KSBA's board focus their efforts on the shared interests of all Kentucky local public school districts as well as the health and relevancy of the organization. Members may place their names before KSBA’s Selection Committee by submitting online applications 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.

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.

Review instructions, award criteria and online nomination forms for KSBA’s 2023 First Degree College Scholarships and 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), 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.  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.

Finance the focus of November webinar

KSBA presents, “How to get a good night's sleep as a board member,” at noon (ET) on Nov. 9 as the final installment in our 2022 Learn and Earn webinar series.

A school board member often attends one meeting a month, yet the business of the school system is 24/7. So, how does a board member sleep well at night knowing the business of the school system is being done efficiently and effectively? By developing, maintaining and monitoring the policies and procedures of the district. This session will focus on internal and external fiscal controls that boards should assure are implemented in their district.

This virtual training counts toward mandated finance training requirements. The cost is $50 per person and pre-registration is required. Register for this webinar.

KSBA is hiring. Join our team!

KSBA is hiring for the position of KSBA Policy and Procedure Consultant/eMeeting Trainer. This full-time Frankfort-based position is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day maintenance of public school district policies, procedures and other services for assigned districts. Access the full job description and online application link on KSBA’s employment opportunities page.

KSBA's Public Education Achieves in Kentucky (PEAK) Award is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The PEAK Award was established in 1997 to focus statewide attention on outstanding public school efforts aimed specifically at enhancing student learning skills and, in doing so, to promote the positive impact of public elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth.

KSBA encourages eligible districts to consider submitting a nomination for the prestigious award. Entries must be submitted by the local board of education or district administrators. The deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 15. More information on entry guidelines and links to articles on some previous winners can be found on KSBA's website. Please contact Matt McCarty with questions via email or at 502-783-0074.

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Nov. 1-30: Native American Heritage Month

Nov. 1: Interim Joint Education Committee meeting 

Nov. 2: Interim Joint Budget Review Subcommittee on Education 

Nov. 8: Election Day 

Nov. 13-19: American Education Week (includes Family Day on Nov. 15, Education Support Professionals Day on Nov. 16 and Substitute Educators Day on Nov. 18)

Nov. 14: KDE Superintendents Webcast

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 2 Affiliates

Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 | ksba.org
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin