Legislative changes highlight KSBA’s 2016 Summer Leadership Institute
ESSA, bullying bill and a look back at the 2016 General Assembly among topics for the conference
Kentucky School Advocate
By Matt McCarty
School board members play an important role in local governance, and next month’s KSBA Summer Leadership Institute will offer information on several state and federal legislative changes, including a briefing from a top official with the National School Boards Association.
“It’s very significant content because of the timing,” KSBA Board Team Development Director Kerri Schelling said. “Big things came out of this legislative session, both in Kentucky and nationally, and board teams need to know about it.”
The SLI, which is July 8-9 at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington, will feature keynote sessions on the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a look back at the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly. Workshops will include an additional opportunity to learn about ESSA; what board members need to know about the new bullying law; and information about changes to the state’s assessment system.
“The collection of presenters and topics that we have on this year’s agenda provide so much material that a district really should think about having enough people there to hear as many of them as possible.” Schelling said. “It will be a tremendous advantage for every district to send at least one board member because all boards need to know this information.”
Schelling said SLI provides board members with a more relaxed setting to complete their training hours.
Every Student Succeeds Act
Lucy Gettman (right), the deputy associate executive director for NSBA, will be the keynote speaker for Saturday’s general session. She will be on hand to discuss the new Every Student Succeeds Act, which Congress passed last December.
“There are a lot of pieces in this legislation that will influence what Kentucky districts need to do,” Schelling said.
Gettman will give attendees an overview of the law, an update on the status of its implementation at the federal level and insight into issues of interest to local school board members. Schelling noted ESSA is an overarching law that affects all nine titles of federal law relating to education.
“It is going to impact many decisions boards make in the coming years,” Schelling said. “The reauthorization was a long time coming so this truly is a watershed moment. I’m hoping we can generate some interest in it from board members and superintendents because they absolutely need to know this.”
Following the keynote address, Gettman will hold a 75-minute workshop that will enable board members to have more questions answered about ESSA.
2016 General Assembly rewind
Friday night’s opening presenter will be KSBA Director of Governmental Relations Hope McLaughlin (right), who will take a look back at the bills that were passed in the 2016 General Assembly and how they will affect districts moving forward.
“Part of the reason we are going to open the conference with this look back is to follow up on the closing session that Hope did at the Winter Symposium last December,” Schelling said. “She provided excellent insight into what KSBA was going to do, what we were going to advocate for in the session, and now this is the opportunity to reflect on the session. What went the way we wanted it to? What issues still need to be championed going forward into 2017?
“We wanted our members to hear the great things that were accomplished in large part because of the support they provided during the session,” Schelling added.
Members of KSBA’s policy staff and the Kentucky Center for School Safety will co-present the workshop on Senate Bill 228, also known as the bullying bill.
“The definition of bullying has changed in Kentucky,” Schelling said. “And while it’s going to be up to administrators to implement this legislation, school board members need to understand what’s different about it. They need to understand how it will affect their policies. They’re going to need to understand how it will likely affect their school safety data. Ultimately they’re going to have to be able to explain things to their constituents and we want to help them be prepared.”
Changes in assessment system
Kentucky Department of Education staff members will hold a workshop about changes to the assessment system prompted by a re-examination of the system by KDE and by ESSA.
“We don’t know what it’s going to look like yet but we want school board members to get in on the ground floor of learning about it while it’s being built,” Schelling said. “We’re very excited about offering our board members an opportunity to hear from the KDE staff who are going to be modifying the current assessment system so that it fits with the new requirements.”
Other SLI opportunities
• In addition to the conference, KSBA will offer a bonus session, included in the registration fee, for members to get training in one hour of each mandated topic – ethics, finance and superintendent evaluation. All three topics will also be offered as individual workshops on Saturday.
• There will be a three-hour workshop during the conference on understanding effective governance. Schelling said it will be an ideal opportunity for members interested in earning credit for Level IV or Level V in the Academy of Studies.
• McLaughlin will present the CAPE (Celebrate Advocacy for Public Education) Award to a board member and superintendent.
• KSBA will again have its mobile app available to help attendees maximize their conference experience such as managing their schedule, locating conference event rooms and learning more about the vendors in the trade show.