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.