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September 21, 2023

In this issue:

  • Ky. Board of Education appoints interim Education Commissioner
  • Legislators hear about drop in attendance
  • KSBA regional meetings continue
  • October Learn and Earn to discuss curriculum
  • Kevin Dailey of Boone County named 2024 Ky. Teacher of the Year
  • Nominate a program for KSBA's 2024 PEAK Award
  • State-mandated board training topic webinars
  • Early registration, call for proposals for COSSBA Annual Conference now open
  • September Kentucky School Advocate available online
  • Free COSSBA webinar on challenges facing rural districts
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

KBE appoints interim education commissioner

The Kentucky Board of Education on Sept. 14 appointed an interim education commissioner during a special meeting.

The board unanimously appointed Associate Commissioner Robin Kinney to lead the department of education while the board searches for a replacement for Jason Glass who will leave his post on Sept. 29.

Kinney currently oversees the Office of Finance and Operations: divisions that deal with budget and financial management, resource management, district support services and school and community nutrition. She first served KDE from 2003 to 2008, and then returned to the department in 2015.

“I'm honored to serve in this capacity until the board is able to select a new permanent commissioner,” she said. “My goal will be to make sure the initiatives of the board and the agency continue on through this transitional period. I look forward to working alongside Team KDE as we continue to support our schools and districts.”

Kinney previously served as acting commissioner following the resignation of former Commissioner Wayne Lewis. She will not be a candiate for commissioner.

KBE in August authorized the department to solicit proposals for firms to facilitate the search for a new commissioner.

During the meeting, the board approved a resolution honoring Glass for his service.

The resolution, read by KBE Chair Sharon Porter Robinson, acknowledged the commissioner's "unwavering commitment" and "wisdom and compassion" in the wake of the COVID pandemic and two natural disasters – western Kentucky tornadoes in Dec. 2021 and eastern Kentucky flooding in July 2022.

Glass will serve as associate vice president of Teaching and Learning at Western Michigan University.

KDE has established a webpage for information on the search for the next commissioner. 

Legislators hear about drop in attendance

Many districts could face a fiscal cliff after the state has returned to funding school districts based off current student attendance instead of pre-COVID numbers, a Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) official told lawmakers Wednesday.

Chay Ritter, director of KDE’s Division of District Support, explained to the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education that the statewide average daily attendance (ADA) has fallen 4.6% since the pandemic.

“Four-point-six percent historically, and in context, is really significant. That’s a quite a big loss,” Ritter said.

To help stabilize funding during the pandemic, the legislature allowed districts to choose to base funding on the 2018-19 or the 2019-20 school year. This year funding is based on ADA from the 2022-23 school year.

Some of the drops were drastic, he said. The top five losses by percentage were: Cloverport Independent (25%), Fairview Independent (22%), Letcher County (19%), Ballard County (18%) and Dawson Springs Independent (18%).

Under a state law, districts that have lost 10% or more will be able to recoup some of their ADA funding. This year, 58 districts qualify for that provision. That number includes 40 districts that were impacted by natural disasters and were eligible to recoup funding if they lost 3% or more.

Ritter believes that some districts have already begun to see a rebound in attendance and he noted that KDE works with the state budget director to reach a consensus on the projections for the upcoming budget.

“There’s a little bit of silver lining, we’ve been kind of monitoring and checking with districts, they’re starting to see an upswing in attendance,” he said. “It is getting a little stronger in some districts, which is exactly what we’d like to see.”

Lawmakers asked if districts would benefit from the SEEK formula using the average daily membership number instead of ADA for funding. Ritter said some districts would benefit but some districts would lose funding.

For more information on post-COVID attendance and its impact on funding, see this month’s Kentucky School Advocate cover story: Drop in attendance, end of COVID funds bring tough budget choices

KSBA regional meetings continue

The 2023 #ksbaRoadShow has almost reached the halfway point with five of 12 regional meetings in the books. The annual tour of the state, hosted by KSBA's 12 regional chairs, allows board members, superintendents and other education leaders 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 are 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. Find your district's assigned region.

Six of the regional meetings are holding regional chair elections this year. Links to the nomination forms for the regional chair positions, along with the nomination deadlines, can be found on KSBA's website.

Photo: Attendees at the Central Kentucky regional meeting stand as Garrard County students perform the National Anthem.

October Learn and Earn to discuss curriculum

The October installment of KSBA's 2023 Learn and Earn webinar series is “Curriculum: From input to implementation.” 


Recent legislation, including 2022’s Senate Bill 1 regarding the “reasonable review and response period” on proposed curriculum, make it necessary for board teams to have a solid grasp of how curriculum is developed. Join us from noon - 1 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, Oct. 11 as Jana Beth Francis, assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning for Daviess County Schools, discusses academic standards as the basis of local curriculum as well as the requirements for gathering input from school councils, principals, boards and the public. Participants will learn about special resources available to school leaders and best practices for the implementation of effective curriculum.


Register for this webinar


Pre-registration and payment is required for all Learn and Earn webinars at a cost of $50 per attendee. Each webinar counts for one hour of state-mandated school board training credit.


See descriptions and online registration for all upcoming Learn and Earn webinars.

Kevin Dailey of Boone Co. named 2024 Ky. Teacher of the Year

Kevin Dailey, a middle school social studies teacher at Ballyshannon Middle School in Boone County, has been named the 2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.

"I am really blessed and honored to be able to represent 40,000 plus teachers in Kentucky," Dailey said. "This day is about all of our kids and all of our families. This day is about Kentucky." 

Dailey also was named the 2024 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year. Russell County Schools’ Donnie Wilkerson was named the Elementary School Teacher of the Year, and Jefferson County Public Schools’ Kumar Rashad was named High School Teacher of the Year.

“Today’s ceremony recognizes and celebrates the most important profession there is, teaching. These award-winning educators represent more than 40,000 of their colleagues across our state who give of themselves every day to help students,” Education Commissioner Jason Glass said.

Dailey has taught in Boone County Schools since 2021 and has been in education for 10 years.

As a child, Dailey never thought he would become a teacher. But he took a computer repair class his sophomore year of high school with a teacher named Linda Foxx, who changed his view on education and life.

“For the first time in my life, the person in the front of the room didn’t see me through my parents’ successes and failures, or as a ‘poor kid from Covington.’ Instead, Mrs. Foxx saw me as me,” Dailey said.

Now, as the 2024 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Dailey hopes to ensure students across the Commonwealth have access to teachers who are as supportive of them as Foxx was of him.

“I tell my students from day one, I already love you,” Dailey said. “I don't know you yet, but I love you. I think you're awesome and you're going to do great things.”

Photo: Kumar Rashad, left, a mathematics teacher at Breckinridge Metropolitan High School (Jefferson County); Kevin Daily, center, a U.S. history teacher at Ballyshannon Middle School (Boone County); and Donnie Wilkerson, right, a 5th-grade social studies teacher at Jamestown Elementary (Russell County). Photo provided by KDE

Nominate a program for KSBA's 2024 PEAK Award

KSBA's Public Education Achieves in Kentucky (PEAK) Award is celebrating its 27th year and we invite districts to nominate a program.

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.

The 2024 PEAK Award winner will again be announced during KSBA's Annual Conference in March. All nominations must be submitted online.

KSBA has honored more than 50 programs throughout the years with the PEAK Award. We are looking for programs that are innovative, address a need and have proven results. A program must have been implemented at least one year prior to the nomination deadline to be eligible.

KSBA encourages districts to consider submitting a nomination for the prestigious award. Entries must be submitted by the local board of education or district administrators. It is recommended that you prepare your entry offline prior to accessing the online form linked below.

The deadline to submit entries is Nov. 16. 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.

PEAK Award nomination form

KSBA is also accepting nominations for the 2024 Kentucky School Board Member of the Year and the KOSAA KUP awards. Visit the links for more information on the awards.

Nominations are also now open for KSBA’s 2024 First Degree College Scholarship and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student Grant programs. The deadline for districts to submit nominees for both is Nov. 30. More information, including criteria and online nomination forms, can be found at

State-mandated board training topic webinars

Planning out your board training schedule for the remainder of the calendar year? For the convenience of our members, KSBA is offering webinar opportunities 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.


Questions? Contact [email protected]

Early registration, call for proposals for COSSBA Annual Conference now open

The Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA) will host its 2024 Annual Conference Feb. 23-25 in Dallas with a preconference on Feb. 22.

Early registration is now open at a cost of $595 for the COSSBA Annual Conference only and $825 for the conference and the preconference day. Early registration is available through Dec. 4. Registration is available on COSSBA’s website.

Those attending the COSSBA conference can also reserve hotel rooms at a conference rate by visiting COSSBA’s website. The deadline for hotel reservations is Feb. 1.

COSSBA is also accepting session proposals for its Annual Conference. The deadline has been extended through Sept. 29. Proposals should be innovative with a focus on experiential and interactive learning. However, some high-quality traditional learning sessions will also be considered. Visit the COSSBA website to submit a proposal.

September Kentucky School Advocate available online

Districts survived the pandemic thanks to federal COVID relief funding and stabilized state funding based on frozen average daily attendance (ADA) numbers, but SEEK funding has returned to normal and the COVID relief funds must be spent in less than a year. Read about the difficult budget decisions facing school boards in the September issue of the Kentucky School Advocate.

Also in the September issue:

Free COSSBA webinar on challenges facing rural districts

The Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA) will offer a free webinar Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. (ET) on the unique challenges faced by over 9.3 million public school students in rural environments in ensuring their consistent access to high-quality education.

This webinar, “Strategies for Quality Programs in High-Needs Environments: Empowering Rural Education,” is the third installment of COSSBA’s 2023 Urban Board Alliance webinar series. Because KSBA is a COSSBA member state, Kentucky school board members are eligible to take part in this complementary virtual learning opportunity.

Learn more about this free webinar and register. The link also provides access to recordings of previous webinars in the series. 

Upcoming dates, deadlines and events

Sept. 25: KSBA regional meetings continue

Oct. 10-11: Kentucky Board of Education meeting

Oct. 17:  Interim Joint Committee on Education

Oct. 17: Task Force on School and Campus Safety

Oct. 17: KDE Superintendents Webcast

Oct. 18-19: KSPMA Annual State Conference

This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Tier 1 Affiliates

Tier 3 Affiliates

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