March 13, 2019
In this issue:

  • Governor signs school safety bill in final days of legislature
  • Two Kentucky schools receive national honor
  • Beyond the Board with KSBA President Ronnie Holmes
  • Annual Conference FAQs
  • Coverage of KSBA's conference in March Advocate
  • New KSBA Board of Directors ratified
  • Poll question
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Governor signs school safety bill in final days of legislature
Gov. Matt Bevin on Monday signed SB 1, the School Safety and Resiliency Act. The bill, which was the result of a bipartisan effort that included input from KSBA, the Kentucky Center for School Safety and other education groups, takes effect immediately.

The final version of the bill sets goals for hiring more school resource officers, counselors and mental health workers, and creates the new position of state school security marshal. It also requires some facility upgrades , requires local school boards to have a memorandum of understanding with the employing agency of SROs and specifies that the Department of Homeland Security shall make available a reporting tool to all school districts.

After the session, KSBA will provide more detailed explanations of all that SB 1 does and does not require. KSBA will also assist in gathering information over the summer that will lead to a budget request for next year’s General Assembly.

The legislature met Tuesday, and will meet Wednesday and Thursday of this week before a 10-day veto period begins. A conference committee on Wednesday finished hashing out differences between the House and Senate versions of HB 354 , the tax bill. The final bill does not include the scholarship tax credits proposed by HB 205.

The conference committee is expected to meet Thursday to reach an agreement on HB 268, amendments to the current state budget.

The General Assembly will reconvene on March 28 to consider any vetoes.
Two Kentucky schools receive national honor
The National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) honored two Kentucky schools as 2018 National ESEA Distinguished Schools on Jan. 31, during the 2019 National ESEA Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The Kentucky schools were among 68 schools nationwide to receive the honor.

Boyle County's Perryville Elementary School (pictured above) was recognized for exceptional student performance for two consecutive years. Monroe County's Gamaliel Elementary School (pictured below) was recognized for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups.

The National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators – formerly the National Title I Association – is dedicated to building the capacity of education professionals to provide disadvantaged children with a high-quality education. NAESPA implemented the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program to highlight schools that have effectively used their ESEA federal funds to improve education outcomes for students. The program acknowledged the success of hundreds of schools in one of three categories:

  • Category 1: Exceptional student performance for two consecutive years

  • Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups

  • Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homelessness, migrant, English learners, etc.)

Title I is the cornerstone of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and is the largest federally funded pre-college education program in the United States. Together with other federal education programs of the ESEA – which are jointly focused on student equity and access – they provide funding to school districts to aid primarily in the education of economically disadvantaged students.

More information about all National ESEA Distinguished Schools is available on the NAESPA website. Click here to download the list of 2018 schools.
Ronnie Holmes took over as president of KSBA's Board of Directors during last month's Annual Conference.

You have served your board for more than three decades. What about school board service has changed since you first took office?

When I first became a board member, we actually did the hiring and firing of personnel, and those processes have significantly changed. Board member training has also changed. The learning opportunities for board members, designed to help us better serve our districts, have grown tremendously.

Why did you choose to run for your district’s school board?

 My wife taught in the Graves County school system and at that time a spouse could run for school board. Our school district was in terrible shape. The buildings were old. I told my wife that if I wasn’t a 35-year-old man I might just sit down and cry. The buildings were in that bad of shape. I decided I had to run for school board and try to make a difference. We have accomplished so much in Graves County since then, and I still enjoy it to this day.

What do you see as the most important education-related issue that districts currently face?

The uncertainty in Frankfort is going to have an effect on our schools. I think we will begin to see more young people staying out of the teaching profession. I hope not, but unless things in Frankfort stabilize where people understand what kind of salaries and retirement they can expect, it will negatively impact the decisions of young people considering educational professions. If we don’t have good teachers, we are in trouble.

What is a piece of advice you would give to newly-elected board members?

School board members need to practice patience. Take every opportunity to listen. Do not be tempted to try to change the world overnight. Patience is a good thing.
KSBA values the feedback of our members. We invited annual conference participants to reflect on their experiences via written evaluations, the results of which will inform future conference planning. We also study the results for topics that may require clarification. These are the topics most frequently addressed in this year’s evaluations. We are grateful for the thoughtful feedback from our annual conference attendees!
The Kentucky School Boards Association DOES NOT require its members to earn charter authorizer credits. Like with all school board training required by statute, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) regulates and enforces curriculum for elected school board members. KSBA does, however, actively work to provide ample opportunities to earn the required training hours through conferences, regional meetings, in-district trainings and self-study programs.

To help alleviate this burden, we work with KDE to approve courses that qualify for both standard requirements (like finance, ethics, equity) and newly required charter authorizer topics. In doing so, KSBA is helping to decrease the total number of training hours and is encouraging curriculum that is relevant for everyone. A total of 28 dual credit courses were offered at this year's annual conference. 
KSBA uses hotels and conferences centers that can accommodate our large number of attendees at competitive rates. Acting as effective stewards of association funding is a priority. To avoid increases in registration costs, KSBA looks for ways to keep fees and incidental charges low.

At annual conference, coffee costs approximately $80 per gallon. Soft drinks are $5 each. We set caps on refreshments so that the cost does not carry over to you. Most conference hotels strictly prohibit groups from bringing in their own refreshments or catering, requiring KSBA to use the hotel's services. The cost paid by attendees for meals is less than (sometimes half of) what the hotel charges KSBA. As much as we would like to cover the full expense of each meal and provide more refreshments, that would require us to increase costs.
In anticipation of questions and concerns regarding the personalized agendas, advanced notice was given on three occasions: (1) during the conference registration process, (2) within your confirmation email and (3) within a “frequently asked questions” email sent to attendees the week of conference. We also provided mobile app instructions and IT support on-site to help those with questions. Confusion over event arrangements underscores the importance of reviewing conference literature prior to your arrival. 
Coverage of KSBA’s 2019 Annual Conference
The March edition of the Kentucky School Advocate is available exclusively online, containing coverage of the 83rd Annual Conference.

This issue has recaps of the three general session speakers and business session, stories on this year's award winners, a photo slideshow and more.

The next Kentucky School Advocate print edition will be mailed at the end of the month and will arrive in mailboxes in early April.
New KSBA Board of Directors ratified
During the 2019 Annual Conference business meeting, Russellville Independent school board member Davonna Page (pictured) was officially installed as president-elect of KSBA's Board of Directors through ratification by the membership. Page was selected by a committee last fall. 

Page began her board of directors service in 2013 as chair of the third region. Following the expiration of her three-year term as a regional chair, Page was elected as a director-at-large in 2017.

The membership also ratified the selection of five directors-at-large to serve on KSBA’s board. They are:

• Sheila Wicker, who just completed an unexpired term as a director-at-large. The Russell County school board chair was re-elected to a second term on her local board in November.

• Kimber Fender, a Campbell County board member who has served seven years.

• Vanessa Lucas, the vice-chair of Breckinridge County’s school board. Lucas has spent eight years as a board member.

• Kevin Woosley, a 10-year veteran of the Oldham County school board where he serves as vice-chair.

• Jason Reeves, who has served two years on the Barbourville Independent school board. Reeves replaces the seat held by Page and his appointment is for one year.
KSBA poll
How do you most commonly support your district outside of school board service?
Attend school functions (games, performances, etc.)
Volunteer (community service, reading to students, etc.)
District fundraising
Advocate for education issues
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Kentucky Breakfast at the NSBA Annual Conference

Sunday, March 31, 2019 -- 7:30 – 9 a.m. ET

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Salons C & D of the Grand Ballroom
1201 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

For more information, contact Beth Pritchett.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Kristin Campbell
This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |