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Aug. 9, 2023

In this issue:

  • Glass announces departure
  • KBE approves budget request
  • Federal appropriations bill proposes major education funding cuts for FY24
  • Wolfe County gets Kentucky's first electric school bus
  • Applicants sought for KSBA Unemployment Program Board of Trustees
  • Regional meetings begin Aug. 29
  • Changes to KBE members, leadership
  • State-mandated topics webinars
  • Legislative panel hears from JCPS, instructional coaches and math center
  • KDE's Read at Home Plan Family Guide now available
  • August Kentucky School Advocate available online
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Glass announces departure 

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason Glass announced July 31 that he will step down from his position on Sept. 29 to become associate vice president of teaching and learning at Western Michigan University.

Glass was appointed in 2020 by the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). His contract was set to expire in September 2024.

“I wish to thank the members of the Kentucky Board of Education for their wisdom and leadership, the staff at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) for their exemplary service and those working in education roles across the state for their continuing efforts to serve and support all of Kentucky’s children,” he said. “I have a heart full of gratitude.”

In a letter to then-KBE Chair Lu Young, Glass said he is “committed to working diligently to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities and to provide any necessary support to whomever is selected as an interim or new commissioner.”

Young said Glass will leave a positive and lasting impact on public education in Kentucky.


“He led deftly through the challenges of the pandemic and two major natural disasters while, at the same time, galvanizing support across schools and communities around a bold new vision for learning and teaching in the Commonwealth,” she said.

Over the past year, Glass had come under attack by the Republican-led legislature for his guidance on policies inclusive of LGBTQ students.

Glass said in a news conference that in addition to a recently passed law that would require Senate confirmation to renew his contract in 2024, that the passage of Senate Bill 150 was a factor in his decision to leave the state.

Glass said he could not “in good conscience” implement the bill which requires students to use the bathroom corresponding to their sex at birth and says teachers do not have to call students by their preferred pronouns.

When Glass announced his resignation, Republican gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Daniel Cameron retweeted KDE’s tweet announcing the resignation and said: “One down, one to go.”

Gov. Andy Beshear, in a statement, thanked Glass for his service.

“I will call on the Kentucky Board of Education to conduct a national search to find the right person to fill this important role and continue to move our education system forward for children across the Commonwealth.” 

The KBE will meet Aug. 22 to discuss the search for a new commissioner.

KBE approves budget request

At its August meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education listed increasing SEEK funding as its top priority for the next biennial budget.

The board listed raising the overall SEEK amount first on the list of additional budget requests when the legislature meets in 2024 to craft a new two-year budget. The additional requests are on top of the regular funding for the education department.

“Our job now is to educate, inform and advocate for these dollars,” said KDE Associate Commissioner Robin Kinney.

The additional budget requests will be submitted to the governor’s office by Oct. 1. KBE ranked its requests. In addition to SEEK, the list includes:

  • Universal preschool
  • Educator Workforce Recruitment and Retention
  • SEEK transportation
  • Kentucky Educational Recovery Fund
  • Kentucky Educational Technology Systems funding
  • Read to Succeed additional funding

During the meeting, the board also heard updates on the development and implementation of statewide and local Portraits of a Learner. A Portrait of a Learner, is an agreed-upon set of aspirations for what every learner should know and be able to do when they graduate.

KDE Division of Innovation Program Manager Sarah Snipes updated the board on the current data on Kentucky school districts’ Portraits of a Learner:

  • 42 districts have finalized a set of competencies.
  • 37 districts are developing a set of competencies.
  • 21 districts are considering development of a set of competencies.
  • 8 districts are not considering development.
  • 63 districts have not indicated where they are at with a Portrait of a Learner.

Snipes said the next steps are to continue soliciting survey responses and continue tracking examples of work at the district level.

Federal appropriations bill proposes major education funding cuts for FY24

A “marked-up” version of the federal FY24 Labor, Health & Human Services, & Education Appropriations bill was advanced by the House Appropriations Committee during its July 14 meeting. The bill includes nearly $17 billion in cuts to education funding. This includes a proposed 80% cut in Title I funding for schools serving large numbers of low income students and elimination of Title II-A funding.

Passage of the bill could result in $220,977,024 fewer Title I dollars and elimination of $33,015,878 in Title II-A educator grant dollars for Kentucky schools. Linked below are documents, compiled by the Consortium of State School Boards Association (COSSBA), with additional details.

KSBA opposes such cuts. Kentucky students and our schools face unprecedented challenges, including a significant educator shortage, greater special education needs and recovery from pandemic learning loss. The bill would jeopardize the ability of Kentucky schools to meet those challenges. KSBA will follow its progress and keep membership apprised.

Wolfe County gets Kentucky's first electric school bus

The Wolfe County Board of Education celebrated the delivery of Kentucky’s first electric school bus with a community gathering on Aug. 7 at Campton Elementary.

The bus is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Clean School Bus Program.

Approximately 60 electric buses are on order for 10 Kentucky school districts that applied to the EPA's lottery. Each district will receive different buses depending on their infrastructure and needs. Over the next five years, the program will provide $5 billion across the country to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. 

"This helps us create a greener county and a sustainable future for generations to come," said Kenny Bell, Wolfe County Schools superintendent. "More importantly, this allows us to model to our students that we not only talk about green energy, we not only talk about environmental sustainability, but we take action." 

Electric school buses cost about $400,000, compared to about $150,000 for a diesel bus, said Elisa Hanley, KDE's pupil transportation branch manager.

See more information.

Photo: Wolfe County Board of Education members, and Superintendent Kenny Bell (third from left), joined representatives from Thomas Built Buses and Boyd Truck Centers at the district's Campton Elementary to celebrate the delivery of Kentucky's first electric school bus on Aug. 7, 2023. (Photo provided by KDE)

Applicants sought for new members of the KSBA Unemployment Program Board of Trustees

KSBA’s Unemployment Program is currently seeking individuals to serve on its board of trustees to fill positions that will become vacant on Oct. 1. Trustees, who meet for quarterly (usually virtual) meetings, are responsible for the supervision and management of the program, the day-to-day operation of which is delegated to KSBA staff. Duties, conducted during the board’s quarterly meetings, include but are not limited to review of program’s financial performance, appointment of an outside auditor, oversight of investments, review of annual participant refunds and billings, etc.

Additional information about KSBA’s Unemployment Program may be found on the Unemployment Program page of KSBA's website. Interested individuals are encouraged to complete an online application form. Begin the online application.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 31 with anticipated appointment of new members at the board's Sept. 28 meeting. Questions may be directed to Steve Smith, KSBA chief financial officer, at 1-800-372-2962 or by email at

Regional meetings begin Aug. 29

KSBA will hit the road again this fall as the association's 12 regional chairs host meetings for board members, superintendents, district staff and friends of education. The annual tour of the state allows members to gather in proximity to the communities they serve.

A short format program offers an evening of learning and networking in an intimate setting and members who attend will earn 1.25 hours of state-mandated school board training credit.

Meeting details will be communicated by host districts approximately five to six weeks prior to your region's meeting. See more information on regional meetings, including a list of dates for each meeting. Find your district's assigned region.

Six of the regional meetings will include regional chair elections. Those regions are: Northern Kentucky, Middle Cumberland, Second, Eastern Kentucky South, Fourth and Upper Cumberland. Links to the nomination forms for the regional chair positions for those six districts, along with the nomination deadline, can be found on KSBA's website.

Changes to KBE members, leadership

The Aug 2. meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education was the first for new member, former Boone County school board member Julie Pile.

“It’s truly an honor to serve on our state board of education,” Pile said. “I’m not an educator, I’m a parent and I believe in being a voice for all of our kids across the entire state.”

Pile is the second former school board member on the board, joining former Middlesboro Independent board member Jamie Bowling.

It was also the first board meeting for Diana Woods, former superintendent of Campbellsville Independent, as well as the board’s two new nonvoting teacher and student members - Christian County educator Alissa Riley and Whitley County junior R.J. Osborne.

Also at the meeting, the board named Sharon Porter Robinson as chair and Lu S. Young as vice-chair, flipping their leadership roles.

“It’s going to be a pleasure continuing our work together,” Robinson said.

Young said the switch in roles brings stability to the board and the department as Glass’s tenure ends and the board begins it search for a new education commissioner.

The move allows the board to “continue making forward motion and progress rather than sitting back and waiting,” she said. 

KSBA announces new lineup of webinars on state-mandated board training topics

Planning out your board training schedule for the remainder of the calendar year? For the convenience of our members, KSBA offers a new lineup of webinar opportunities in August - October on the state-mandated topics of ethics, finance and superintendent evaluation. 

Each of the state-mandated topic webinars is $50 per attendee and pre-registration and pre-payment is required. If you are not able to attend after you register, you will have access to the recorded version of the event and will be able to complete the session at your convenience. 

Members will also be able to complete state-mandated training requirements during Winter Symposium, which will be held Dec. 8-9 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. More information on Winter Symposium will be available later this fall.

View a full lineup of webinars and clinic session offerings for the remainder of the calendar year on state-mandated topics.

See more information on upcoming Learn & Earn webinars.

Questions? Contact

Legislative panel hears from JCPS, instructional coaches and math center 

The General Assembly's Interim Joint Committee on Education heard three presentations during its August meeting.

Jefferson County Superintendent Marty Pollio updated the legislature on the district’s progress including its plan to increase student achievement and safety.

Pollio thanked the legislature for passing Senate Bill 1 (2022) which allowed superintendents to decide curriculum with the consultation of school-based decision making councils. The bill allows the district to implement a consistent literacy curriculum across 155 schools.

“If a kid goes from one school to the next they have the same literacy curriculum, and it clearly follows Senate Bill 1 from 2022 passed by you all, which is ensuring that we have high quality literacy curriculum,” he said. “So this is a huge change.”

The district is implementing new staggered school start times designed to help with the bus driver shortage. Pollio also said a new A-I based weapons detection system will be placed inside several district high schools this school year.

At the meeting, representatives from the New Teacher Center and the Southeast South-Central Educational Cooperative (SESC) discussed programs to provide support to new teachers. So far 168 teachers in the SESC’s region have been coached through the co-op’s partnership with the new teacher center.

Also during the meeting, representatives from the Kentucky Center for Mathematics (KCM) explained their efforts to improve numeracy throughout the commonwealth. 

The center at Northern Kentucky University provides services for teachers and anyone else interested in mathematics.

“We really focus on that math intervention. We focus on diagnostic assessment, coaching, and mentoring is really an important part of what we’re doing,” said Kelly Stone DeLong, executive director. “And that’s becoming more and more of what we’re working on and other instructional strategies to address students’ needs.”

Over the past three years, nearly 2,200 teachers have participated in 2,293 hours of professional learning through KCM.

KDE's Read At Home Plan Family Guide now available

Due to the passage of Senate Bill 9 (2022) the Read to Succeed Act, beginning in the 2023-24 school year, if a student’s rate of progress toward proficiency in reading needs accelerated interventions as demonstrated by the results of an approved universal screener and reading diagnostic assessment, the local school district shall provide families of those students with a Read At Home Plan.

“The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) values strong partnerships between schools and families and recognizes strong partnerships are built on clear communication and support. The 'Read at Home Plan Family Guide' is created on these values and supports the implementation of the student’s Reading Improvement Plan,” the Kentucky Department of Education said in its July 31 Monday Message email.

The “Read At Home Plan Family Guide” includes learning experiences families can have with children at home to support their reading skills development. Additionally, the guide includes information about SB9, Reading Improvement Plans and the key role families play in student success. A glossary of literacy terms and general tips for reading at home also are included. The at-home learning experiences contained in this document are organized into the five essential components of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension).

KDE will partner with district and school administrators and teachers to offer support through the “Read at Home Plan Family Guide” to help districts effectively implement Read At Home Plans.

For more information, contact Christie Biggerstaff, KDE director of early literacy.

August issue of Kentucky School Advocate available online

Faced with teachers leaving because of a lack of child care in the area, Bowling Green Independent plans to open a child care facility that will not only help teachers and employees find affordable care, but also allow high school students to get hands-on education experience. Read about Bowling Green's plan and how Pulaski County Schools' child care center has impacted its district in the August Kentucky School Advocate.

Also in the August Advocate:

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Aug. 15: Superintendents Webcast

Aug. 22: Kentucky Board of Education meeting

Aug. 24-25: COSSBA Urban Boards Alliance Symposium "Doing the Work - Every Student Every Day" in Chicago

Sept. 19: Interim Joint Committee on Education

Sept. 19: Task Force on School and Campus Safety

Sept. 25-27: COSSBA Federal Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

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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