Lee County school board Chairman William Owens has been appointed to the state School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council. His term runs through April 30, 2016. The 17-member council studies, reviews and makes recommendations about the state’s system of setting academic standards, assessing learning, identifying academic competencies and deficiencies of individual students, holding schools accountable for learning, and assisting schools to improve their performance. It also advises the Kentucky Board of Education and Legislative Research Commission. Owens also serves as a director-at-large on KSBA’s board.
Utility case pays off for schools
Once again, public school participation in a utility case before the state Public Service Commission has provided more funding for school energy efficiency work. The Public Service Commission recently signed off on a plan by Kentucky Power and its parent company, American Electric Power, to close part of its Big Sandy power plant and purchase a portion of another plant in West Virginia. The case raised the issue of the effect of scaling back the Big Sandy operation on local communities’ employment and tax revenue.
“And that, of course, impacts the schools,” explained Ron Willhite, director of KSBA’s School Energy Managers Project.
Then-Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Mike Armstrong (who now is KSBA’s new executive director) addressed the PSC in the case on behalf of the school district. The settlement that resulted provides $125,000 over the next two school years to pay 50 percent of the salary of two energy managers in school districts in Lawrence and surrounding counties served by Kentucky Power.
Willhite said the arrangement “mirrors” a 2012 rate-case agreement in which Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities set up a program providing $1.45 million to support school energy managers.
The Kentucky Power funding will offset what school districts in Lawrence and Martin counties and Paintsville Independent pay their jointly shared energy manager, Willhite said. The other districts affected – Carter and Boyd counties and Ashland and Fairview independents – have not yet decided on using the funding. Willhite said it’s possible the program will be expanded with resolution of an appeal filed in the case.
Teaming to protect kids
KSBA is again joining with the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services for a workshop designed to guide educators in helping children suspected of being abused or neglected. The session on Child Abuse Reporting and Intervention Resources will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington.
Among the topics: educators’ obligations in suspected child abuse and neglect, the criteria for a child protective services report to be investigated, confidentiality issues, the sharing of information among agencies, and indicators of abuse and neglect.
Presenters are Teresa T. Combs, director of Legal and Administrative Training Services for KSBA; and Teresa James, commissioner of the state Department of Community Based Services. For more information or to register for this event, go to www.ksba.org and look for the session under “KSBA Events.”