February 13, 2020

Your voice is needed — speak up for Kentucky’s SBDM councils and call House Education Committee Members to oppose SB 7.


Active SBDM Bill


Senate Bill 7 diminishes council impact in Kentucky and takes decision-making out of the hands of those closest to the students and gives it to the superintendent and school board.

Last Thursday, February 6, the Senate voted in favor of SB 7* (with a committee substitute), which greatly reduces the authority of the school council. Now this bill moves over to the House where it has been assigned to the House Education Committee. Your action can stop this bill now.

Road to Passing a Bill in KentuckyDuring the Senate vote last week, Senator Reginald Thomas from Fayette County referenced an old saying when he voted against the SB 7, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Clearly, trying to dismantle the thirty-year-old SBDM law is a good example of the harm caused by too many changes in our education system — fixing things that aren’t broken and not fixing things that are broken.  

*The Senate approved a Senate committee substitute to SB 7 that:

  • amends the bill to 3 teacher members, 3 parent members (adds a parent member) and 1 principal
  • removes attempts to lessen teacher involvement by allowing transfer of teacher members
  • keeps the Jefferson County Principal Selection provision (enacted 2019) that provides for the superintendent to be part of the council for principal selection, principal selection training for council, interviews and votes, but ultimately, if the superintendent does not agree with the selection then the superintendent may override the final vote


Now is the time to contact ALL of the members of the House Education Committee and tell them to Vote NO on SB 7 because you support school councils. 

Despite changes made last week, SB 7 is still a major concern because it:

  • Requires council policy to be consistent with local board policy and district goals
    Issue 1: SBDM councils could be greatly limited by the school board’s policies; for example, think about a policy that requires uniformity at every school in the district. A one-size-fits-all approach has never been proven effective.

    Issue 2: Councils could potentially waste months on planning and decision-making only to have a decision overturned by new board policy. This diminishes the role of the council, which in turn, could discourage the involvement of teachers and parents who wish to be a part of school governance.

  • Has the superintendent select the principal after consultation with the school council
    Issue: 1) The selection of the principal is removed from the people in the school and given solely to the superintendent, taking us back 27 years.  2) In the current process, the collaboration between the superintendent and the council sets the principal up for success. New principals need support from shareholders. 3) Not all superintendents agree with this proposed change. There are many who appreciate the collaboration with the council.

   


Your calls, emails, tweets, etc. stopped a similar bill last year so please TAKE ACTION NOW. Tell the House Education Committee Members to Oppose:

SB 7
SB 110
HB 350

 
Adequately funding our public schools is an issue we all must take seriously. Two bills have been filed to create a new income tax credit for private school scholarships that will impact the funding to your district. Please call now to Oppose SB 110 and HB 350.
  1. Contact House Education Members:

    Regina Huff - Chair

    Jim Glenn

    Kimberly Poore Moser

    Steve Riley - Vice Chair

    Mark Hart

    Melinda Gibbons Prunty

    Kim Banta

    Scott Lewis

    Attica Scott

    Tina Bojanowski

    Mary Lou Marzian

    John Sims Jr

    R. Travis Brenda

    C. Ed Massey

    James Tipton

    Randy Bridges

    Bobby McCool

    Russell Webber

    John Bam Carney

    Reginald Meeks

    Lisa Willner

    Jeffery Donohue

    Charles Miller

     

     

    PhoneMessage line: 1-800-372-7181 With one phone call, you can ask that all legislators receive your message.


    Email — If you wish to write to your specific legislator, be sure to let him/her know you are a constituent. Use Find Your Legislator to find the legislators and contact information.

    Resistbot logoUse RESISTBOT — Resistbot is a non-profit that sends your messages to state and federal leaders. Getting started is easy, and it’s always free:
    Text “resist” to 50409 and prompts will walk you through the very quick set-up. Once your address is in, you’ll be able to contact your Kentucky Senator and Representative. Using Resistbot on Facebook Messenger is also quick and easy.

  2. Engage other members of your school community (parents, teachers not on the council, classified staff, community members) in the issues and encourage them to reach out to these legislators.

  3. Use your social media accounts to raise awareness on SB 7 and ask others to call. Do this frequently to highlight specific issues with the bill. Check out KASC’s tweets and Facebook posts for ideas or use the messages below.

Sample Phone, Email, and/or Social Media Messages

Taking decision-making away from SBDM councils: parents, teachers, and principals will inspire less commitment and more compliance. Say no to SB7.

Decisions made on behalf of students should be made by the people closest to their needs: parents, teachers, and principals. Stop SB7, which erodes and overrides the authority of SBDM councils.

School Councils are the best way to develop parent leadership in our communities. Do not take away school council authority and put our local school decisions in the hands of just one person. Vote against SB7.

“Just tell me what to do” is not what we want from our students. Why do we want that from our school leadership? Say no to SB7, which allows superintendents and school boards to control councils.

SBDM councils provide voice to people interacting with students daily: their parents, teachers, and principal. Let’s keep it that way. Say no to SB7.


Governor Beshear’s Proposed Budget HB 352

On January 28, Governor Beshear offered his proposed budget, described as an “education first” budget and includes increases to public education including:

  • $2000 teacher raise
  • 1% increase in SEEK per pupil fund in 2021
  • Full funding for Teacher’s Retirement System
  • Health care funding for retired teachers under age 65
  • Textbook funding of $11 million for each year
  • Pre-school funding in low-income areas $5 million each year
  • School safety upgrades $18.2 million

The Governor’s budget is a proposal, and the General Assembly must pass the final budget.  Stay tuned for the House to release their budget bill in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can read more about the highlights of Governor Beshear’s proposed budget

Other Bills of Interest
 
SENATE BILLS

SB 8 School Safety Bill
Amends the 2019 school safety law to require one school counselor per public school; one school-based mental health professional per 250 students; clarifies which school facilities are required to have a school resource officer; require all school resource officers to carry a gun at all times.  January 13 introduced in Senate and assigned to Senate Education Committee; January 23 the Senate Education Committee voted in favor of this bill and on January 27 the bill passed the Senate.  February 4 passed the House Education Committee. February 7 the House voted in favor of the bill and on February 10 delivered to the Governor.

SB 35 School Personnel Investigations of Child Dependency, Neglect, or Abuse
Amends KRS 620.030 to require that a report of child dependency, neglect, or abuse be made before school personnel begins an investigation. January 7 introduced in Senate and assigned to Health & Welfare.

SB 63 Virtual High School Diploma for Adults
Creates an option for a school district to allow adults over 21 who have dropped out of high school to enroll in a virtual high school classes and receive a high school diploma. January 7 introduced in the Senate and passed the Senate Education Committee. February 5 passed the full Senate and received in House. February 7 assigned to the House Education Committee.


SB 77 Child Sex Abuse Education
Creates a new law to require each public school to provide developmentally appropriate instruction on child abuse and child sexual abuse to students in K-12th grades. The instruction shall be provided as part of a health, physical education, or other course or during the designated classroom period, as determined by the school council. January 9 introduced in Senate.

SB 101 Standardized Articulation Agreement
This law will ensure that dual credit hours earned in high school would be transferable to Kentucky universities. January 21 introduced into Senate, February 6 passed Senate Education Committee and February 11 passed the full Senate. February 11 received in House.

SB 110 Scholarship Tax Credit
Creates a new income tax credit for tuition assistance based on contributions to a qualified scholarship granting organization including private and religious schools.  January 24 introduced in Senate. January 27 assigned to the Appropriations & Revenue Committee. Call and ask legislators to vote against this bill!

SB 143 Moment of Silence
Create a law requiring the school board adopt a policy requiring a moment of silence or reflection at the beginning of the school day; the time period must be at least one minute and no longer than two minutes; school staff are prohibited from providing instruction to any student regarding the nature of any reflection a student may engage in; students must remain seated and silent.  
 
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 and turnaround intervention funds to districts identified for comprehensive support and intervention; CSI schools would be identified every three years; revise criteria for targeted support and improvement and additional targeted support and improvement; prohibit the Department of Education from serving as the turnaround audit team; remove the principal evaluation and reassignment provisions; remove high school graduation requirement from including a minimum test score on a statewide assessment; remove charter school board training unless an application is received. February 10 introduced into Senate.

 
HOUSE BILLS

HB 9 Require Historical Instruction
Create a new law requiring African and Native American history instruction in middle and high school courses in United States history; require the Kentucky Board of Education to promulgate administrative regulations establishing academic standards for the required historical instruction; require school councils to adopt curricula for required instruction; require Department of Education to develop recommended curricula and instruction guidelines and professional development materials. January 7 introduced in House.

HB 20 Student Loan Forgiveness for STEM Teachers
Creates new law to establish a student loan forgiveness program for STEM teachers employed at a public school within a federally designated promise zone. January 7 introduced into House and February 11 passed the House Education Committee.

HB 22 Corporal Punishment Prohibited
Creates a new law that prohibits school district employees, nonfaculty coaches, and nonfaculty assistants from using corporal punishment on any student.  Corporal punishment is defined as deliberate infliction of severe physical pain on a student by any means intended to punish or discipline the student, including but not limited to paddling, striking, shaking, or spanking. February 4 passed the House Education Committee and on February 7 passed in the House. February 10 received in Senate. 

HB 25 Repeal Public Charter Schools
Repeals Kentucky’s Public Charter School laws. January 7 introduced in House.

HB 30 Bullying Definition Expanded
Amends KRS 158.148 to expand bullying to non-school-sponsored locations and activities and through the use of technology that is not provided by the school district. Requires each school district’s Code of Acceptable Behavior to contain procedures for notifying parents or guardians of an alleged victim and an alleged perpetrator, including actions to be taken to prevent future acts of bullying or retaliation. Additionally, the Code shall provide procedures for restoring a sense of safety for a victim and assessing the victim’s needs for protection.  January 7 introduced in House.

HB 37 Arts Instruction Required in Schools
Creates a new law to require public schools containing grades K-5 to offer all students a minimum of 120 minutes per week in standards-based instruction in visual and performing arts, such as music, visual arts, theater, and dance; For school containing grades 6-8, offer all students standards-based visual and performance arts instruction (no specific time period); schools shall submit an annual arts program data report to the department of education; schools shall implement policies that include arts instruction, prohibit discipline options from including revoking participation in arts instruction, and prohibit reducing arts instruction for the remediation of student deficiencies in other subjects; the department of education shall develop school program standards for visual and performing arts; encourage school councils to develop arts program models; require arts data to be included in school report card. January 7 introduced in House. January 28 committee substitute approved that deleted references to the SBDM law KRS 160.345, passed House Education committee and heading to House for a full vote.

HB 41 Require Full-Day Kindergarten
Amends current law to require full-day Kindergarten. The state will have to provide funding to school districts for the attendance of full-day Kindergarten students. January 7 introduced in House.

HB 101 Voter Preregistration
Creates a new law to permit voter preregistration for persons 16 years old. Schools shall inform and assist students in the proper completion of voter preregistration and registration forms. At least once a year, the state board of education shall implement voter education classes for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. School districts shall submit an annual report documenting the number of students that have registered and preregistered to vote in each school, and a plan for encouraging students to register and preregister to vote. January 7 introduced in House.

HB 132 Student Privacy in School Restrooms
Create a new law to require school restrooms and locker rooms to be used by students according to their gender at birth; require schools to accommodate these students who identify with a different gender, with their parent's written consent, to access single-stall bathrooms, unisex bathrooms or controlled use of faculty bathrooms. This law creates a private right of action (including attorney fees) against the school for a student who encounters a person of the opposite biological sex in the bathroom, if school personnel gave permission to use the facilities or failed to prohibit the person from using the facilities. January 7 introduced in House.

HB 165 Required Nonteaching Time for Teachers
Creates a law that requires teachers to be provided a minimum of 120 minutes per week for nonteaching activities which are teacher-directed and used for common planning time to collaborate on curriculum development, examine student work, plan instruction, professional development, school-based decision making, and outreach activities involving their students’ families and the community. This law shall not supplant provisions in an existing employer-employee bargained contract.  January 7 introduced in House.

HB 190 Bullying
Amends KRS 158.148 to require the local school district Code of Acceptable Behavior to include the order of reporting bullying incidents to staff; include a specific timeline for beginning and completing an investigation and providing a written response; procedures for appeal; and procedures for reporting incidents to parents and guardians.  January 9 introduced in House. January 16 the House Education approved and on January 29 the entire House vote unanimously in favor of this bill.  February 1 received in Senate and assigned to Senate Education Committee.   

HB 200 Reduce Maximum Class Sizes
Amends KRS 157.360(5) to reduce maximum class sizes by three.  Maximum number of pupils enrolled in a class shall be 21 in primary (currently 24); 25 in grade four (currently 28); 26 in grades five and six (currently 29) and 28 in grades seven to twelve (currently 31). January 7 introduced in House. January 9 assigned to House. Education Committee. 

HB 243 Religious Texts Literacy Course
Amends current law to replace courses on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament, and New Testament with courses on the various religious texts of the many religions practiced in the Commonwealth.  January 13 introduced in House.

HB 295 Require minimum physical activity in schools
Amends KRS 160.345, the SBDM law, to require at least 25 minutes of student physical activity each school day for students in grades K-8.  The policy shall prioritize free play activities taking place outdoors, weather permitting.    January 21 introduced into the House.  January 23 assigned to the House Education Committee.

HB 296 Comprehensive Sex Education Instruction
Requires each school district to provide comprehensive age-appropriate sex education instruction; A school shall make curricula available to the parent and allow parents to submit a written excuse to remove their student from the sex education class without penalty; Kentucky Department of Education shall adopt regulations and issue a report on sex education; January 21 introduced in House. January 23 assigned to House Education Committee. 

HB 301 Financial Literacy Graduation Requirement
Amends KRS 158.1411 to add a half credit of financial literacy is required as a graduation requirement.   Current law requires “one or more courses or programs” in financial literacy for graduation.   This amendment clarifies “half credit” versus “one course”.   January 21 introduced in House.  January 23 assigned to the House Education Committee. 

HB 350 Scholarship Tax Credit
Creates a new income tax credit for tuition assistance based on contributions to a qualified scholarship granting organization including private and religious schools.  January 27 introduced in House. January 29 assigned to the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee. Call now to ask that legislators vote no on this bill!

HOUSE RESOLUTIONS

House Resolution 13
A resolution urging the Kentucky Department of Education to create a task force to consider ways to improve diversity in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics STEAM areas of education.  January 7 introduced in House.

House Concurrent Resolution 52
Creates the Kentucky Preschool Program Task Force to student preschool programs and report to the Interim Joint Committee on Education. January 22 introduced in House.   January 24 a


KASC is asking you to contact legislators to express your support of SBDM and other bills that affect your school. Kentucky citizens have proven in the last year that our voices make a difference!