The Kentucky Board of Education’s (KBE) Charter School Advisory Council met Jan. 23 to discuss possible changes to the charter school regulations that were implemented after the 2017 law which allowed charter schools in the state.
One change that KSBA has been advocating for is to reduce the number of charter specific training hours now required for local school board members. Under the current regulation, school board members with fewer than eight years of service must complete 12 hours of charter school training each year.
Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Commissioner Wayne Lewis said his office has recently been getting several questions about the number of training hours required.
“The rationale for that is that if they are to consider and act on application, they really do have to have that training to be able to act as they are required to do,” he said.
Kentucky Board of Education member Ben Cundiff, who also serves on the charter advisory council, noted that most of the 173 school districts will likely not be faced with a charter school proposal.
“Probably 165 of them will never see a charter application,” he said.
KDE Associate Commissioner Kelly Foster pointed out that some charter training can be done concurrently with some of the regular required training.
“We are working with KSBA to be able to provide those options,” she said.
Eric Kennedy, KSBA’s director of governmental relations, said while charter authorizer training is important, KSBA believes that a reduction in the number of hours will still allow for robust charter training without crowding out time and money available for training on other topics.
“Reducing the current required number to perhaps six hours annually, while still allowing for overlap or a ‘dual credit’ concept to apply for some topics, is something KSBA hopes will be considered by the council and the state board,” Kennedy said.
The advisory council plans to meet sometime before the next scheduled meeting in May, though a date has not been set. Any changes made to the charter school regulations will then have to be approved by KBE.