Legislative Alerts

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February 6, 2020

Speak up for Kentucky’s SBDM Councils
Call your Senator and ask them to vote NO on SB 7 Active SBDM Bill
Senate Bill 7 reduces the councils’ authority by taking some of the decision-making responsibility away from those closest to the students and giving it to the superintendent and school board.
* A committee substitute was filed on February 5 that creates an additional parent member, so that each council has 3 parents and 3 teacher members. This also deletes the proposed amendment that would allow a teacher member to be transferred during their SBDM tenure.
* SB 7 amends the SBDM law to:
- Require council policy to be consistent with local board policy and district goals
- Have the superintendent select the principal after consultation with the school council

SB 7 was approved by the Senate State & Local Government Committee on Wednesday, February 5th and is moving quickly. This bill will be brought for a vote before the full Senate - as early as February 6th.

Call or email Senators today and tell them
Vote against SB 7

Possible messages:
Decisions made on behalf of students should be made by the people closest to them: parents, teachers, and principals. Say NO to SB 7 which diminishes the authority of SBDM councils.

School councils help 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.

Contact Senators and Representatives

Phone - Message Line: 1-800-372-7181
You can leave a message for All legislators or just yours.
Find your legislator

Other Bills of Interest

Senate Bill 110 - Scholarship Tax Credits
Creates a new income tax credit for tuition assistance based on contributions to a qualified scholarship granting organization, including private and religious schools.
Assigned to Appropriations & Revenue Committee on January 27.
Call your Senator and ask them to vote NO on SB 110

House Bill 350 - Scholarships Tax Credits
This bill would establish tax credits for individuals and businesses donating funds to a qualified scholarship granting organization that would provide financial support to families to send students to private or religious schools.
Assigned to the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee on January 29.
Call your Senator and ask them to vote NO on HB 350 We oppose these bills because tax credits would divert scarce resources away from the public education system that serves 90% of American children. Now is not the time to consider more tax breaks when Kentucky’s investment in education is not adequate to achieve statewide goals.

House Bill 22 - Corporal Punishment
Deals with removing corporal punishment as a form of discipline in the schools.
We support this bill. We support eliminating corporal punishment in schools and encourage finding alternative discipline measures in order to create a more safe and nurturing learning environment for students.
On February 4 passed the House Education Committee and heads to the entire House for a vote.
Call your Senator and ask them to vote YES on HB 22

Call the LRC Message Line about any of these bills.
You can leave a message for ALL legislators or just yours.
Be prepared to share your name and address.
The Legislative Message Line is 1-800-372-7181.
You can also email or visit your legislator.

January 24, 2018

Health Insurance Update from KRTA
A statement from Tim Abrams of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association (KRTA) on Governor Bevin’s Budget Proposal:
“While the budget funds the pension system, as required by law, the Bevin Administration is proposing stripping $54 million from retired teacher’s health care. This is beyond devastating for a retired teacher on a fixed income, putting the financial livelihood of thousands of retired teachers in real jeopardy if this budget is enacted. These cuts would affect teachers who retired on or after July 1, 2010 and are under the age of 65. A single retired teacher drawing a pension of $3,000 a month could pay up to an additional $500 a month for health insurance, which adds up $6,000 a year. For someone who is on a “parent plus” plan it would equate to more than $800 a per month, which adds up to $9,600 a year. Frankfort created this mess by refusing to fund pensions for more than a decade. We simply can’t believe how quickly the Bevin Administration is willing to turn its back on retired teachers without pursuing tax reform, new sources of revenues or cutting the budget elsewhere.” Call your legislator at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them to leave health insurance benefits alone! Don’t forget to tweet!

January 18, 2018

Say No to Senate Bill 55: School Councils
The 2018 Kentucky Legislature will make important decisions about the future of school councils. SB 55 contains four areas of concern:

  • Grants the superintendent authority to fill principal vacancies.The current system is successful and principal selection is a joint decision with the superintendent and SBDM members.
  • Provides that SBDM policies shall be consistent with district policies thus school boards could dictate what policies govern individual schools. SBDMs have been successful because they recognize that all schools and students are not the same and the one size fits all bureaucratic processes do not lead to students reaching higher levels.
  • Allows the local board to arbitrarily overturn any school council decision or action if the board thinks the action is a “hindrance” to the operation of the district. This allows the local school board to second guess school based decisions using a non-measurable system.
  • Creates a new process where the local board can request to have the SBDM council made advisory and authority given solely to the principal or superintendent. There already is a measurable system to remove a non-effective school council when a school is low achieving.
School councils are an important contributor to school success. Teachers, principals, and parents deserve a strong voice in schools and it makes sense to allow decisions to be made by educators and families who know the challenges that schools face.

January 12, 2018

Two bills have been filed – Senate Bill (SB) 36 and the equivalent bill in the House, HB 134. These bills represent the privatization of public schools in Kentucky and will be devastating to public education funding. These measures will further drain revenue from public schools. Please call your legislators and tell them to Vote NO on SB36. Call the KY Legislative comment line 800-372-7181 or your legislators offices by calling 502-564-8100 and ask for them by name.

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