2020 Legislative Budget Update

The General Assembly adjourned last night on April 15 and will not come back into session until January 2021, unless called into special session by the governor. Most of the laws enacted will take effect in mid-July except for a few bills that had emergency effective dates.

Fortunately, the anti-SBDM bill, SB 7 did not pass the entire legislature although it did pass the Senate. We expect that a similar bill will be filed next year. KASC will continue to educate legislators regarding the essential work done by school councils and the necessity to keep the current law in place. Please share with us your ideas to encourage legislators to Support SBDM.

The legislative highlights this week concern:

  • HB 352 the Executive Budget,
  • SB 158 Accountability changes
  • Kentucky Board of Education Confirmations.

HB 352 Executive Budget: — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Senate and House adopted a one-year Executive Branch budget instead of the usual two-year budget. The Executive Budget was line-itemed vetoed by the Governor on April 13, but those vetoes were overridden by the General Assembly on April 15.

Major points related to education in this budget include:

  • Most public education spending will remain at the current levels for this upcoming year
  • Teacher pensions will be fully funded
  • SEEK level stay at the current $4000 per year.
  • No appropriation for teacher or staff raises

SB 158 Accountability Changes
Amends Kentucky accountability system; schools would be measured on “status” and “change”; remove the star rating system and replace with school performance being color-coded on dashboard; require the Department of Education to provide audit services and turnaround intervention funds to districts identified for comprehensive support and intervention; revises the definition of ‘achievement gap” on page 46 of the bill to state “the difference between performance goals and actual performance”; CSI schools would be identified every three years; revise criteria for targeted support and improvement and additional targeted support and improvement; remove the principal evaluation and reassignment provisions; remove high school graduation requirement from including a minimum test score on a statewide assessment; allow schools to pick KDE or other option approved by state education leaders to lead turnaround efforts; remove charter school board training unless an application is received.
Passed by both Senate and House and delivered to the Governor on April 15.

Kentucky Board of Education confirmations
On the final day of the session, the Senate confirmed ten of the 11 voting members of the Kentucky Board of Education who were appointed by Governor Beshear in December. The Senate did not confirm the appointment of KBE member David Karem who was the chairman of the board. This vacancy will be filled by the governor. The Senate did not vote on the governor’s appointment of two ex officio seats to the board for the secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and for an active elementary or secondary school teacher. Those seats were held by Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and Allison Slone, a special education teacher from Rowan County.

In a later issue we will publish a summary of education bills.

In addition, KDE posted on April 7 guidance on several other issues important to schools and districts:

  • Considerations for the Senior Class of 2020
  • Considerations for Instruction
  • Considerations for Professional Learning
  • Considerations for Mental Health and Wellness
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