Aug. 14, 2018
KSBA Aware , the Kentucky School Boards Associations semi-monthly publication, features education news, legislative developments, research, member polling, advocacy efforts and the latest in KSBA programming. We welcome your feedback on its content, including the topics you would like to see covered in future issues.

In this issue:

  • Time to set tax rates
  • Executive director's message
  • KSBA Regional Meetings: Bonus sessions and more
  • Sounding Board with Chris Cook, Crittenden County Schools
  • KSBA poll question, results
  • Quotable
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Time to set tax rates

It’s the annual hot-button issue: as August and September roll around, school boards across the state are setting their property tax rates. This is always a high-profile topic, but in the last decade or so, dating from the Great Recession, “it just seems like it's much more of a hot topic locally,” said Michael Moreland, Breckinridge County Schools’ chief financial officer and treasurer of the Kentucky Association of School Business Officials.

The options most often chosen by school boards when setting the property tax rate annually are the compensating rate, which is the rate that generates the amount of revenue the district received last year; or the “4 percent” rate, which is the maximum revenue increase the district can generate without fear of triggering a recall of the tax by voters. An analysis of the property tax levies set over the past decade by Kentucky school districts shows:
  • Overall, school boards opted for the 4 percent rate just short of 50 percent of the time (translating to 85 districts); the compensating rate 31.4 percent of the time, and other rates – generally falling between the two other types – 16.8 percent. A fraction of districts chose other little-used options.

  • Fifteen boards took the 4 percent rate in each of the past 10 years; 15 other boards did not use that option at all during that time.

  • The high point for levying the maximum option over the past decade came in 2008-09, when 107 boards voted for it. View graph.

  • The pattern of options shows ups and downs: for example, an average of 88 districts chose the 4 percent course from 2008-09 through 2013-14, but over the last four years, that average has dipped to just over 80 districts.

Dig deeper into the factors that could influence a school board's decision in setting tax rates in a story that will appear in the September issue of the Kentucky School Advocate.

KSBA Governmental Relations Director Eric Kennedy talked about what is involved in setting tax rates for school districts in the June Kentucky School Advocate.

Participate in our poll question below about the No. 1 factor that influences a school board's decision when setting tax rates.
Executive Note

Happy school board election filing day! For those KSBA members who have thoughtfully opted to pursue another term, we thank you for your renewed commitment to public education. For those who will not be seeking re-election, we offer our profound gratitude for your blood, sweat and tears as champions of your district’s schools. The advent of election season brings with it a certain bittersweetness. KSBA will soon welcome its “freshmen” and the prospect of new ideas and energy. We will also bid farewell to some of our “seniors” whose passion and wisdom have taken their districts to new heights. 

-- Kerri Schelling, KSBA executive director
Show Me the Money

Save the date to attend the Fall Regional Meeting in your region or another region. This year's dinner program is entitled “Show Me the Money,” and will earn KSBA members both finance and charter authorizer credits.

Meeting sites will also provide one-hour bonus session opportunities on a variety of topics prior to the start of the dinner program. Visit our website to view regional meeting details, including bonus session registration instructions. Find out more in the video below.
Crittenden County school board Chairman Chris Cook is in his 14th year as a school board member. In this month's Sounding Board, Cook discusses lessons his board learned through its failed nickel tax last fall, what he thinks is the biggest issue facing K-12 education and more.

"Public education is the foundation of economic development and I think that is something that many folks have forgotten," Cook said. "Public education prepares and provides an overwhelming majority of this country’s workforce and so as a state and as a country, we need to focus our efforts, our energy and our resources on making public education the best that it can be."

You can read the entire Q&A with Cook, or you can watch the video below.
KSBA Polling Question
What is the No. 1 factor when your board is setting tax rates?
Local economy
State funding
District needs
Community support
KSBA Polling Results
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Jump on board
KSBA is seeking nominations for a new president-elect and four new directors-at-large to serve on the association board.

Any board member who will be serving in 2019 is eligible to serve a three-year term as a director-at-large, with certain exceptions. The president-elect, who serves a two-year term, must be a member of the current board of directors. The president-elect will become the association’s president for two years, then will serve as the immediate past president for two years.

Nominations are due by Nov. 12. The form for directors-at-large can be found on KSBA’s website and the form for president elect will be provided to all current KSBA board members.

The KSBA Board of Directors, which meets at least quarterly, sets association policy, legislative positions and annual budgets, and works closely with the association's professional staff on issues important to Kentucky's public elementary and secondary education system.
PEAK Award nominations deadline
KSBA is accepting nominations for its Fall 2018 PEAK (Public Education Achieves in Kentucky) Award. The award has been shining a spotlight on outstanding programs in the state since its inception in 1997.
The deadline for the Fall 2018 PEAK Award is six weeks away. Please submit your entry by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, to Matt McCarty.
The prestigious award recognizes outstanding public school efforts aimed at enhancing student learning skills and, in doing so, promotes the positive impact of public elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth. 

More information on the PEAK Award, including the entry guidelines and links to stories on some of the recent winners, is on our website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call Matt McCarty at 800-372-2962 ext. 1209.
Save the date so you can attend the meeting in your region or another nearby region. This year's dinner program is entitled “Show Me the Money,” and will gain KSBA members both finance and charter authorizer credits. Regional meeting sites will also provide one-hour bonus session opportunities on a variety of topics prior to the start of the dinner program. More details will be available in the coming weeks.
This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |