The Policy Connection is a free quarterly publication provided by the KSBA Policy Service that is sent to all board members, superintendents, KOSAA members and others who request to receive it.
August 2020
Katrina Kinman, Editor
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest executive orders from Gov. Andy Beshear urging everyone who can to stay “Healthy At Home,” KSBA has limited office operations and many of us are working remotely to serve you. Thank you for your patience.
Welcome to our new subscribers
Certified and Classified Employee Handbooks – Boone County Board of Education

Substitute Teacher Handbook – Boone County Board of Education
COVID-19 impact on policies
KSBA does not recommend making permanent changes to local board policies to address unique and evolving COVID-19-related issues. Guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Department of Public Health will drive decision-making at the local level on such issues. As this situation is fluid, it will be necessary for districts to have the ability to quickly make decisions and the adoption process and timelines for formal policies and procedures limit this ability and may create barriers to prompt changes where needed. In most cases, districts can deal with these issues via evolving plan documents communicated to stakeholders, administrative directives where appropriate or board resolutions. Visit KSBA's COVID-19 page for helpful resources and links.
Policy reference 01.5
KBE gives school boards flexibility on employee emergency leave
At the Aug. 6 meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE), the board adopted Emergency Regulation 702 KAR 1:190, giving local boards of education the authority to approve additional emergency leave (beyond the statutory three-day limit) due to COVID-19. These provisions are very similar to those provided under Senate Bill 177 that were in effect through the end of the 2019-20 school year. This emergency regulation will go into effect immediately upon its filing with the Legislative Research Commission.

KSBA has composed a sample resolution for school boards to grant district employees additional days of COVID-19-related emergency leave. Districts should be aware that providing this new emergency leave is optional. The sample resolution is designed to match the KBE emergency regulation and contains parenthetical notes “flagging” some of the areas where the district has options. Readers should also be aware that based on discussion during the KBE meeting, additional KDE guidance on this regulation may be forthcoming.   

The matters of whether to provide this leave, coordination with existing federal leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (which will continue to require partially paid leave for COVID-19-related reasons for eligible employees through Dec. 31) and the desired wording particularly as relates to reasons for the emergency leave should be considered in consultation with district legal counsel.  

Policy reference 03.1236/03.2236
New Title IX regulations

As districts plan and prepare for implementation of the new Title IX Rule, which becomes effective on Aug. 14, it will be necessary to post new information on their websites.
The new Title IX Rule specifically requires school districts to post:

  • The contact information for the school’s Title IX Coordinator(s) (TIXC);
  • The school’s non-discrimination policy; and
  • Training materials used to train the school’s Title IX personnel.

KSBA sent new Title IX Sexual Harassment policies and procedures to districts in an Interim Update on July 28. Additionally the TIXC’s contact information must be provided in all handbooks and publications. KSBA has posted training materials on its website.

Policy references 03.113, 03.1621, 03.212, 03.2621, 09.13, 09.428111
District reporting of child abuse and neglect

At the July 22 meeting of the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee (video), representatives from various child welfare groups testified that reporting of possible child abuse and neglect fell precipitously following the closure of in-person instruction last school year. Despite this drop in reporting, abuse and neglect likely increased across the state, due in part to family stress related to the pandemic. School districts and their employees represent the top source of the Commonwealth’s reporting of child abuse and neglect.

KSBA understands this is a major concern for our members, and we have been in close consultation with KDE and Cabinet for Health and Family Services staff who are creating guidance on ways schools can meet the needs of students in foster care, and steps districts can take to protect at-risk students. KSBA will share this guidance as soon as it is finalized. 

Policy reference 09.227
COVID-19 liability exposure

Many local board members have raised questions about possible COVID-19 related legal liability to the district, the board or individual board members. Todd Allen, interim general counsel for KDE, along with the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and representatives of one of the largest providers of insurance coverage to Kentucky school districts, discussed this topic during the June 9 KDE superintendent webcast.

There is no guarantee as to the limits of your possible liability exposure, but KSBA believes the information Allen presented is accurate and well-describes the nature of immunity that a district, board and board members may have so long as they act in good faith, and follow all mandatory government orders and required actions.

Kentucky’s Sen. Mitch McConnell is a leading voice at the federal level on providing expanded COVID-19-specific legal liability protections to school districts and school board members as part of the next round of federal pandemic relief legislation pending in Washington. This proposal would allow COVID-19-related lawsuits to be filed in the federal courts, with appropriately heightened thresholds for liability (either gross negligence or willful misconduct), which are key to re-opening our schools. Please consider reaching out to McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul and your U.S. representative to express your concerns regarding this vital issue.

Policy reference 01.11
Mileage rate update

If your district reimburses for mileage at the state rate, be advised that the rate per mile effective July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, is 39 cents per mile. This information can be reviewed quarterly via this link:

Policy references 03.125/03.225
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |