November 27, 2018
In this issue:

  • Comments closing soon on graduation requirements, read KSBA's letter
  • SBDM reform before education committee
  • Lovell retires after 32 years of service to school board
  • AG’s office issues opinion on school board candidate transcript requirement
  • School board elections yield 143 new members
  • Fayette Co.'s Caulk named KASA Superintendent of the Year
  • Last chance to register online for Winter Symposium
  • Polling question, results
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Graduation requirements public hearing Thursday, comment period ends Friday

Time is running out to submit comments to the Kentucky Department of Education on proposed changes to the state’s minimum graduation requirements.

Comments must be submitted to [email protected] by Friday, Nov. 30. In addition to receiving written comments, KDE will hold a public hearing on the changes to the graduation regulation at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at 300 Sower Blvd. in Frankfort.

The Kentucky School Boards Association has submitted a letter outlining our concerns with the proposal and a representative plans to speak at the hearing.

KSBA’s concerns include our belief that the plan will further exacerbate school resource inequities already existing across the state; cause the graduation rate to drop which will decrease the likelihood of students’ success in life; cause the workforce participation rate to decrease; and lead to other detrimental effects on public education and the general welfare of Kentuckians.

We worry that districts will not be able to offer multiple new course options needed under the plan due to a lack of funding and personnel. KSBA is also concerned that a new high-stakes test will create undue stress and anxiety among students and waste scarce resources on testing at a time when colleges are moving away from using testing as a predictor of student success.

In addition, KSBA warns that the narrow pathways to transition readiness will make it difficult for students, particularly in rural areas, to achieve that designation and therefore will fail to earn a diploma.

In our comments, KSBA asks that KDE delay changes to the graduation requirements to allow to for more public engagement and feedback from students, parents, teachers and other education stakeholders. 
SBDM reform before education committee

The General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Education met on Nov. 19 to discuss, among other topics, reforms to School Based Decision-Making Councils (SBDM).
Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, told the committee he plans to file a bill to change the laws around SBDMs in the upcoming session.

Eric Kennedy, KSBA’s director of governmental relations, Davonna Page, Russellville Independent school board member, and Randy Poe, Boone County Schools superintendent, joined Schickel to advocate for administrative regulations that define and balance the authority of SBDMs and local boards of education.

Page, a former member of an SBDM prior to board election, emphasized the importance of public involvement in the common school system.

“I believe SBDM plays an important role in making decisions as does the local board of education,” she said. “We too often look at everything in silos. My interest is not to merely move one area of authority from one silo to another, but to more fully broaden the base of involvement and engagement in our schools to the entire community which the schools serve.”

Concerns addressed during the meeting included the underrepresentation of parents on SBDMs, excessive legal costs due to disputes with school boards and superintendents’ authority to hire principals. 

View the committee meeting in its entirety here .

For information on KSBA’s position on SBDM reform, visit KSBA’s website .
Lovell retires after 32 years of service to school board

There are 867 Kentucky public school board members who willingly give their time and talent to the students in their districts. Most board members make it through their first term and many sign on for multiple terms. A select few take board service to what amounts to a second career.

Bill Lovell is retiring next month after 32 years of school board service to McLean County where he has been a strong advocate for public education and his district. For 16 of Lovell’s 32 years on his local board he simultaneously served on the KSBA Board of Directors, including a stint as KSBA’s president. He was also part of KSBA’s training cadre for several years. 

KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling joined Lovell’s family, friends, McLean County board colleagues and members of the community at the district’s November board meeting to honor Lovell for his tenure.

On behalf of its members and staff, KSBA extends our sincere gratitude and congratulations to Lovell for his service. We wish him the very best of all things to come.
AG’s office issues opinion on school board candidate transcript requirement

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office has released an opinion on the new transcript requirement for candidates filing for school board elections. The opinion, issued at the request of Fayette County Clerk Donald Blevins, says that a potential school board candidate has to provide a “transcript” that proves “the candidate completed the twelfth grade.” 

The opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Taylor Payne, advises that a college transcript on its own does not meet the KRS 160.180(2)(e) filing requirement because “a college transcript alone could not evidence of completion of the twelfth grade.”

The opinion does not explicitly address a college transcript that does include evidence of completion of the 12th grade, such as the student’s high school graduation information stated on the college transcript itself. 

KSBA does not read the opinion as a rejection of its previous guidance that a college transcript specifically including information that the candidate has completed the 12th grade satisfies the literal requirements of the statute, but it does underscore the importance of candidates in future elections making all reasonable efforts to obtain their high school transcripts.

The opinion does not deal with the issue of personal information on transcripts that is covered extensively in KSBA’s guidance. Finally, the opinion also did not review the statute’s allowance for “results of a twelfth-grade equivalency examination” in lieu of a transcript with the board candidate’s filing. 

Read the full opinion here.

Read the Lexington Herald-Leader’s story on the ruling.
School board elections yield 143 new members

In January, 143 new board members will take their seats on school boards across the state. The number of new members is the largest in this type of election cycle since 2000 when 150 new members came aboard.  

When the new members are sworn in, 101 of Kentucky’s 173 school districts will have at least one new board member. 

Four districts, Pendleton County, Todd County, Silver Grove Independent and Murray Independent, will have three or more new members on their boards. 

The 2018 election cycle, in which three independent district seats and two county district seats are on the ballot, left the make-up of 72 boards unchanged. 

Eighty-three percent of the incumbents up for election retained their seats, down slightly from the last similar cycle in 2014 when 86 percent of incumbents won re-election. 

More school board and statewide election coverage can be found in the December issue of the Kentucky School Advocate.
Caulk named superintendent of the year by KASA
Fayette County’s Manny Caulk was named Superintendent of the Year recently by the Kentucky Association for School Administrators.

The Fayette County school board hired Caulk in 2015 and since then “he has led Fayette County Schools through a dramatic turnaround by intentionally engaging students, staff, families and community members in a top to bottom examination of the district and building systems necessary for sustained success,” according to a KASA news release.

The superintendent finalists included Sherry Horsley of Greenup County Schools, Steve Miracle of Trimble County Schools and Patricia Sheffer of Union County Schools. Caulk will now participate in the American Association of School Administrators’ Superintendent of the Year Award program and attend its national conference in Los Angeles. 
Last chance to register online for Winter Symposium
Do you still need training hours to complete your 2018 requirements? If so, KSBA's 2018 Winter Symposium is a perfect opportunity to get your hours completed. Wednesday, Nov. 28 is the final day to register online.
KSBA Polling Question
Would you prefer an equal number of parents & teachers on SBDM or the current teacher majority?
Equal number of parents and teachers on SBDM
Teacher majority on SBDM
KSBA Polling Results
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
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