13th Annual Federal and State Law Update is June 14
Policy staff working on updates for districts
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Newly passed laws affecting school districts
KSBA’s listing of all bills that were enacted this legislative session impacting school districts has now been finalized and is available in this
A full legislative update, with more in-depth legal analysis and discussions of what is expected next session, will be offered at the KSBA 13th Annual Federal & State Law Update on June 14. More information about the conference is below.
Dayton Independent wins Spring 2019 PEAK Award
Dayton Independent Superintendent Jay Brewer has noticed the trend of children using tech devices more and more at an early age.
What those children are missing out on, he said, is the bond that comes from sitting down with a parent or loved one and reading a book.
“There’s really no trick that I know of to get around that lap time experience for kids to have at an early age, and just developing that and self-regulation, secure attachment and vocabulary,” he said. “We want kids on laps, not apps, at an early age.”
To help foster one-on-one reading experiences and encourage students to develop an interest in reading, Dayton Independent began its Book a Week program.
The four-year-old program, which is funded through the Preschool Partnership Grant, gives students in Dayton’s preschool and Head Start programs and children in local daycares - about 120 total - a free book every week for 30 weeks.
While students are adding books to their shelves, Dayton Independent is adding the KSBA Public Education Achieves in Kentucky (PEAK) Award to its trophy case.
PEAK Award, given twice yearly, was established in 1997 to focus statewide attention on outstanding public-school efforts that enhance student learning and promote the positive impact of public elementary and secondary education in Kentucky.
“Getting books into homes is so important for academic success from kindergarten through high school graduation,” said PEAK judge Kimber Fender, a member of KSBA’s board of directors and the Campbell County school board. “This project reaches many children with the books they need to become strong readers and book lovers by kindergarten.”
aired a forum on early childhood learning, which included Dayton Independent Superintendent Jay Brewer.
Beshear demands governor rescind subpoenas
Attorney General Andy Beshear has called on the governor and Labor Cabinet to rescind subpoenas sent to local school districts after teacher protests at the Capitol prompted several districts to close. Beshear said he will sue if the subpoenas are not rescinded within 10 days.
The subpoenas seek records and the names of teachers who may have participated in the “sickouts.” The cabinet said the subpoenas are part of an inquiry into possible violations of labor law which could result in $1,000 fines to individual teachers.
Beshear, in a
letter to the cabinet, said that the “sickouts” do not violate labor law and that any attempt to fine a teacher would violate their First Amendment rights. He also contended that the Bevin administration’s actions may constitute “intimidation, threats or coercion” in violation of state law.
“The governor and his administration are directly threatening teachers in an attempt to keep them from exercising their constitutional rights,” Beshear said. “These ‘sickout’ subpoenas represent another abuse of power by the governor and they must be rescinded.”
Because the “sickouts” were not related to conditions of the school employees’ employment, but instead related to a perceived attack on public school funding, the actions are protected by the First Amendment, Beshear said.
The letter also points to a similar case in Michigan in which the court found that the teachers’ actions were not in violation of the state’s labor laws, but instead constitutionally protected free speech.
The Labor Cabinet issued a statement that said: “Attorney General Beshear is wrong. The Labor Cabinet has complied and will continue to comply with Kentucky law.”
No invitation to the roundtable
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Gov. Matt Bevin held a roundtable discussion last week to discuss a school choice initiative funded by a proposed federal scholarship tax credit program.
Seated at the table were charter school proponents and advocates of a similar state tax credit program, including Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Hal Heiner, Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis and Executive Director of the Kentucky Public Charter School Association Joel Adams.
No representatives from Kentucky’s public schools were present at the invitation-only discussion held at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. When asked by reporters why public educators were excluded, Bevin
“The people here care about the kids. Every single person that sat around this table cares about the children. Not about funding, not about territory, not about power, not about politics,” he said. “They care about parents and they care about students and it was a broad representation of people who care about those things.”
A group of Fayette County Schools high school journalism students were turned away while attempting to cover the event. The students wrote an
editorial about their experience and made
Kentucky Gives Day set for May 14
Save the date! On Tuesday, May 14, the KBSA Educational Foundation, Inc., will join other non-profits across the state in Kentucky Gives Day, a 24-hour online fundraising campaign. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised during Kentucky Gives Day will go to KSBA’s First Degree Scholarship fund. Instructions on how to make your online gift will be posted to the KSBA website, Facebook page, Twitter account and distributed via email beginning May 1.
The KSBA Educational Foundation, Inc., is the charitable arm of the Kentucky School Boards Association. Formed in 1992, the foundation provides valuable support to KSBA and seeks to fulfill its priorities of training for school board members, research, community engagement, student support services, technology and school safety. One of the foundation’s main goals is to secure funds for the First Degree Scholarship Program.
Every year since 2012, KSBA’s Board of Directors has awarded two $2,500 scholarships to eligible Kentucky high school seniors who would be the first in their immediate families to receive a postsecondary degree. The foundation’s board of directors hopes to increase the amount raised for the program to support more Kentucky students.
A campaign launched this week to debunk the false beliefs held by many adolescents and teens e-cigarettes are either harmless or at least healthier than smoking.
The I Just Didn't Know campaign, developed by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, includes public service announcements featuring Kentucky students sharing what they've learned about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
"We continue to hear from our school leaders that the surge of e-cigarette use came out of nowhere, and that it is hard to combat partly because too many students and adults think these are harmless or no big deal," said Kerri Schelling, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association. "We believe this campaign will help everyone become aware of the health dangers these devices really pose."
The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has launched a
campaign website that includes facts, resources and a social media toolkit.
State board meets in Ashland
The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) met outside of Frankfort for the first time in several years, holding its April meeting at the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation in Ashland.
During the meeting, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) staff began discussing with the board the department’s 2020-2022 Biennial Budget request. KBE members will continue to discuss budget priorities at the next two meetings before voting on the final budget request in October.
KBE Chairman Hal Heiner (right) requested that staff create a detailed analysis of both KDE’s budget and districts’ operating budgets to analyze how rising health care and pension costs have impacted classroom spending. Board member Kathy Gornik also asked for a breakdown of local funding versus state funding for each district. See the full meeting on
The next KBE meeting is June 5 in Frankfort.
Law Update to show how schoolhouses rock
For some going to school in the summer might be a punishment, but for school board members, administrators and board attorneys it’s an opportunity.
KSBA’s 13th Annual Federal and State Law Update, sponsored by the Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS), will be held June 14 at Fayette County’s Frederick Douglass High School. The event will give attendees a first-hand look at how schoolhouses rock.
In addition to legislative and policy updates that anchor the one-day conference, this year’s theme will be school safety.
“The realities facing schools today makes it a natural fit for this conference, as a law update, to have the focus on school safety,” said Amy Peabody, KSBA staff attorney/Legal Training Services who is coordinating the conference.
The conference will include presentations from Jon Akers, KCSS executive director, Alex Payne, commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Training, Eric Kennedy, KSBA director of governmental relations and other KSBA staff.
2019 Law Update: Schoolhouses Rock
When: 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., June 14
Where: Frederick Douglass High School, 2000 Winchester Road, Lexington
Who: School board members, district administrators and board attorneys.
What: 7.25 training hours available; catered breakfast, lunch
Can’t attend? Order materials from the conference on KSBA’s website.
Policy staff working on updates for districts
Under state law, districts must update their policies by Aug. 15. This year, KSBA staff is working to update approximately 50 polices and 30 procedures which stem from revisions to state and federal law. The annual update will be sent to superintendents and policy contacts by the last week of May so that boards can have two readings before the start of the school year.
Unless a completely new policy or procedure is involved, the update will include changes marked in edit mode so that reviewers can see what has been added or removed. The update must be signed by the superintendent and board chair and returned to the district’s KSBA policy consultant.
KSBA polling results
Which aspect of the Senate Bill 1 framework do you think will have the greatest impact on school safety?
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
KSBA's Spring Training tour
KSBA is hitting the road this spring, offering regional trainings at Kentucky’s educational co-ops. Each 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.
Did you know the week of April 22-26 is National Public School Volunteer Week? Education leaders know “it takes a village,” and the countless volunteers involved in our Commonwealth’s public schools make it possible to provide students a world class education. Take this opportunity to thank the parents, caregivers, neighbors and friends who give of their time and talent. Districts should show their gratitude to volunteers year round!
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
Twitter pages as we regularly share language from the court decision using the hashtag #RoseAT30.
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