January 18, 2019
This week in the Kentucky General Assembly
As the “session break” continues, with the General Assembly not reconvening until February, there are a few updates and a few requests.
LEAD Day at the Capitol is Feb. 21!
Make plans to come to Frankfort.
As usual in the odd-year sessions, our LEAD advocacy day at the Capitol is a smaller event this year with no reception or formal program/class. We will focus on getting as many local board members and superintendents to meet with their legislators at the Capitol as we can. Having so many people there on one day has an added impact. 

Please reach out to your legislator now to make an appointment to meet with them in their Frankfort office on Feb. 21 before we all meet up in Louisville for Annual Conference on Feb. 22. Legislators’ staff may be reached at 502-564-8100.
Bills to discuss with your legislators
SB 3 – SBDM reform (KSBA supports)
As you know, SB 3, our bill to make some reasonable reforms to SBDMs, passed out of the Senate and will be considered by the House in February. You may read the bill here. This bill makes two major changes, equalizing the number of parents and teachers on councils and allowing the final selection of principals to rest with the superintendent after consultation with the council. We at KSBA continue to meet with House members to discuss what the bill does and does not do, and with groups that are opposed to all or some of its provisions. This issue has been a priority for KSBA for many years.
Please review the bill and discuss it with your House member. Some amendments to the bill are possible, if not likely, in the House. For example, equalizing the number of parents and teachers is important to us and many other groups, but there is disagreement whether to achieve this by removing a teacher or adding a parent. Many people have said that adding a parent will be difficult in some schools, but this issue may change. Please discuss it with your representative, remembering that this bill would only change the minimum number, the make-up of any council could increase so long as the equal teacher and parent voice remains.

Another amendment being discussed by some legislators is to define the “consultation” for principal selections to ensure the meaningful collaboration that we all want.

HB 22 (KSBA supports)
This bill will allow local school boards to fill their own vacancies. If for any reason a board does not or cannot do so within 60 days, then the Commissioner of Education would do so. Certain publication requirements would be put in place, similar to how KDE has done this. This bill, filed by Rep. Mark Hart (R-Falmouth) is a KSBA priority that would enhance your local decision-making and to alleviate this work from KDE which is experiencing its own budget and staff reduction woes. Please call your House member and ask them to support HB 22.
HB 95  (KSBA supports)
Increase the allowed per diem for board members from $75 to $150; similarly increase the total annual maximum of per diem and reimbursed expenses from $3,000 to $6,000. Any individual board member or board could still chose to not accept the per diem in this bill filed by Rep. Daniel Elliot (R-Danville). Many believe the current per diem hurts recruitment of strong board candidates, especially those with young children or grandchildren needing childcare during evening meetings. Based on the history of increases, we are overdue for an adjustment even for inflation. Please call your House member and them to support HB 95.

SB 15  (KSBA supports)
This bill, filed by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville), seeks to address the background check requirements to reduce the number of checks required and alleviate the backlog of checks. We need to ensure that checks are only required for persons with significant, direct ongoing contact with students, which is entirely appropriate, while not requiring checks for folks without such contact such as contractors. Please call your Senator and ask for their support of SB 15.
SB 1  (KSBA supports)
This is the school safety bill (HB 1 is an identical bill). These bills are the highest priority bills for both the House and the Senate, and the sponsors have engaged KSBA and others. We continue to review the legislation to ensure there are no unintended consequences or other concerns, or issues that need to be more specifically explained in the bill. As some issues are being raised by folks in districts, we are working closely with the sponsors on possible tweaks and more specificity. We support the bill at this time, knowing that good changes are and will continue to be made. For example, the definition of school resource officer is going to be changed to reflect that local districts may hire their own officers (just as they can now) who will be called “SROs” just like those contracted from law enforcement agencies. We greatly appreciate that the sponsors, Sen. Max Wise and Rep. Bam Carney, continue to engage with KSBA on making sure the final bill is meaningful, but achievable. 

There are some mandates in the bill, including training and facilities upgrades, which we believe are reasonable given the importance of safety. While the bill does not contain an appropriation, which is always a major concern for you and KSBA, the deadlines for the facilities components are several years out. Legislators have publicly committed to funding this work in the next two state budgets. This is a delicate balance on an important issue that we will continue to work with legislators to address.
Let your voice be heard
Read Proposed Bills

Read all bills introduced this session at the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) website .
Find Your Legislators

To find the legislators representing your districts, and their contact information, search by county at this link .
Contact Your Legislators
Let legislators know how bills will impact your students by calling the free LRC Message Line , which is staffed by actual human operators and is open Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Call to convey your thoughts to your legislators or any group of legislators (such as to "all members of the education committees"). Always be sure to let them know you are a locally elected school board member, or superintendent, who depends on their support to educate all our kids!

Call the LRC message line, or reach your legislator’s individual office in Frankfort by calling 1-502-564-8100 and asking for them by name.
Have you reviewed KSBA’s legislative priorities for improving education and strengthening districts in 2019? Check them out. 
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 | www.ksba.org