The law, passed in the 2021 legislative session, allowed $25 million a year in tax credits for those who donate to the accounts. The accounts in turn could be used to pay for private school tuition in counties with more than 90,000 residents and other educational expenses in the remaining counties. The law also directed districts to adopt a policy accepting nonresident students.
The Council for Better Education, a nonprofit made up of Kentucky school districts, along with several public school parents sued to stop the tax credit and opportunity account portion of the law.
After Shepherd ruled that the law violates the state constitution in several ways including that state funds cannot be spent to support private schools without voter approval, the Kentucky Department of Education interpreted the ruling to mean the entire law was invalid.
After the ruling and KDE interpretation, six independent districts – Augusta, Corbin, Paintsville, Pineville, Raceland-Worthington and Bowling Green – filed a motion asking the judge to clarify whether the ruling applied to the nonresident portion of the bill.
Shepherd said Monday that it did not and that his ruling had been “misconstrued.” Shepherd is expected to issue a written clarification of his order this week. The proponents of the tax credit portion of the bill are expected to appeal Shepherd’s ruling on the tax credit portion of the bill.
On Monday, KET’s Kentucky Tonight held a panel discussion on HB 563 and school choice with Brigitte Blom Ramsey of the Prichard Committee, Tom Shelton of the Council for Better Education, Andrew Vandiver of EdChoiceKY and Jim Waters of the Bluegrass Institute.
Beshear appoints two school board members to SCAAC
Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed an all-new School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council (SCAAC). The council was remade in 2019 by former Gov. Matt Bevin with members that Beshear said lacked racial and political diversity. However, the state legislature did not confirm the members.
In an Oct. 6 executive order, Beshear appointed 15 members and two university professors to be named later to the council. The new appointees include two local school board members, Debby Atherton, of Bullitt County Schools, and Chuck Fletcher, of Franklin County Schools. Two superintendents – Houston Barber, of Frankfort Independent, and Henry Webb of Kenton County Schools – were also appointed. The remaining members include parents, district assessment coordinators, principals, teachers, employers and professors.
The council meets four times a year. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 16.
Stephen Pruitt will be keynote speaker at KSBA's Winter Symposium
Registration for board members and administrators is now open for the 2021 Winter Symposium to be held Dec. 3-4 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.
Southern Regional Education Board President and former Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt returns home as the keynote speaker for this year's Winter Symposium, headlining a weekend of informative sessions and networking. Pruitt will discuss how local school boards can help navigate the new world we live in on behalf of students with a focus on how Mississippi was able to close reading gaps.
Winter Symposium marks the last in-person training opportunity of the year. Click the button above to begin easy online registration. Visit the Winter Symposium page of KSBA’s website for access to special conference-rate hotel accommodations and more helpful information.
School funding task force to vote on possible SEEK changes
The legislature’s School Funding Task Force will meet on Nov. 8 to vote on recommendations on possible changes to SEEK, the state’s education funding allocation formula, during the 2022 General Assembly.
The task force on Oct. 18 heard a presentation from the Kentucky Department of Education’s Chay Ritter on how state education funding could follow students from district to district starting on July 1, 2022 as called for in House Bill 563.
Ritter explained that the SEEK funding could follow students. Ritter, however, noted that KDE has no control over local tax revenue and that any attempt to transfer local tax money would face significant legal challenges.
KSBA President Davonna Page, a Russellville Independent board member, pointed out that school boards set tax rates for the people who live inside the district and the revenue is used to operate the district’s schools.
“It would be very difficult for me to ask my community to raise the taxes if they thought that money was going to be transferred to a district outside my community,” she said.
The task force also discussed possible changes to the SEEK formula including changing from using average daily attendance to using average daily membership to determine funding.
Other possible changes include add-ons for rural districts, special education, students in foster care or other student populations.
2022 Annual Conference call for proposals, student involvement, banners
While KSBA’s 2022 Annual Conference (Feb. 25-27) is still months away, association staff members are hard at work planning another meaningful weekend of training, networking and collegiality. Visit KSBA’s 2022 Annual Conference page for regular updates and important event information.
District involvement is at the heart of what makes KSBA events successful. We invite school districts and education leaders to participate in one or more of the following ways:
Breakout session proposals
KSBA is now accepting breakout session proposals for the 2022 Annual Conference. Topics should relate to the roles and responsibilities of public school board teams. View/download our session proposal form. All submissions must be received by Nov. 29.
Student involvement opportunities
Student performances throughout KSBA’s Annual Conference provide districts a unique opportunity to showcase the talents of students in front of hundreds of our Commonwealth’s board members, administrators and public education advocates. View/download a 2022 student involvement form. Submissions must be received by Nov. 29.
Student banner artwork
Arguably our most popular annual conference tradition, KSBA will once again display banner artwork depicting the conference theme. We invite each district to submit a student-designed banner for display in conference materials and in the banner gallery area. The banners serve as a powerful reminder of schools’ primary focus – learning and learners.
View/download banner instructions and artwork specifications. Following the success of the 2021 banners and overwhelming positive feedback, we are once again requesting all banners be submitted digitally for the 2022 conference. Rather than mailing in a physical banner, we are asking districts to send us a digital version that can be used in communications, displayed around the convention center, included in the app and so much more.
Register now for CSBA's 2021 Virtual Fall Meeting
KSBA and Kentucky Council of School Board Attorneys (CSBA) will host a three-hour virtual update on the latest developments in school law from 9 a.m. until noon (ET) Nov. 9. School board attorneys and education leaders involved in school law are encouraged to participate.
This webinar is free for CSBA members and $150 for non-members. Presenters include KSBA Staff Attorney John Powell and Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy. Click the button below to begineasy online registration.
Nominations open for Kentucky School Board Member of the Year
Nominations for KSBA’s inaugural School Board Member of the Year (BMOY) Award are now being accepted. The new award honors exemplary service of association members and celebrates the critical roles school boards play in the advancement of public education in Kentucky. Serving as the association’s highest individual honor, winners will be selected based on their contributions in areas such as advocacy, leadership and student achievement. The 2022 winner will be honored on stage at KSBA’s 2022 Annual Conference in February.
November webinar: "Board Leadership Essentials: Your Public Image"
KSBA’s final Learn and Earn of 2021 will be at noon (ET) Wednesday, Nov. 10. Join us for “Board Leadership Essentials: Your Public Image,” a one-hour virtual training that meets mandated ethics training requirements for board members.
About the webinar: It’s not just the decisions you make as school board members that impact your district. How you do your job also influences the success of your school system. The image you project depends largely on how the governing body – your school board – conducts its public business. Do you inspire your community, or do you provide regular examples of dysfunction? Being a public official is not easy; often thankless. We can make the experience better by adopting productive habits and focusing on becoming a healthy team.
Registration is required and space is limited.
Apply to be a director-at-large on KSBA's board
KSBA is seeking candidates to fill four director-at-large seats on our board of directors for a three-year term. The four director-at-large seats are currently occupied by:
Sheila Wicker, Russell Co., who is completing her eligibility.
Kim Fender, Campbell Co., who is eligible to serve a three-year term.
Vanessa Lucas, Breckinridge Co., who is eligible to serve a three-year term.
Stephanie Spires, Fayette Co., who is eligible to serve a three-year term.
Members of the KSBA Board of Directors focus their efforts on the shared interests of all Kentucky local public school districts as well as the health and relevancy of the association. In keeping with the association’s bylaws, any Kentucky school board member in good standing may place his or her name before KSBA’s Selection Committee by completing and submitting the online application by Nov. 1. The committee will make selections based on application information and interviews.
Nominations open for KSBA's First Degree college and CTE scholarships
Nominations are now open for KSBA's 2022 First Degree Scholarships. Once again, the association will provide four college-bound high school seniors each with $2,500 scholarships toward the pursuit of postsecondary degrees. As the name suggests, scholarship recipients will be the first in their immediate families to complete a postsecondary degree.
New this year, KSBA is excited to announce we will also be awarding at least 24 career and technical education (CTE) scholarships to Kentucky public high school students (one male and one female student in each of KSBA’s 12 regions). CTE scholarships will fund Industry Certification assessments for students still in high school. Eligible nominees come from immediate families whose members (parents, guardians, siblings) have not previously earned a postsecondary degree.
In total, KSBA will award approximately $22,000 in scholarships for students this year.
Questions about KSBA's scholarship opportunities? Contact Josh Shoulta.
The First Degree Scholarship program is made possible by the generous support of our members, partners and education leadership like you. If you wish to help KSBA strengthen our scholarship offerings, please consider a meaningful gift to the KSBA Educational Foundation. Learn how to give.