KSBA board adopts 2017 legislative agenda stressing local board of ed role in charter school talks, requiring all schools to meet same academic goals

During its quarterly meeting in Louisville last weekend, the Kentucky School Boards Association Board of Directors decided on the association’s priorities for the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

The unanimous action followed a process undertaken over several months with input from local school board members and superintendents, according to KSBA Governmental Relations Director Eric Kennedy.

Here is the full text of the association’s legislative agenda:

KSBA 2017 Legislative Agenda

Foremost Priorities

KSBA’s first priority is to support all public schools and to help ALL students.

Continued focus on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps is critical to the students of Kentucky and all legislative changes should be focused on creating equity, and should include:

      · Local board engagement in the charter school discussion;

      · maintaining local control and oversight of public education;

      · serving ALL students from all backgrounds, regardless of ability; and

      · requiring all schools to meet the same achievement goals.

Assessment and Accountability

Any legislative changes needed to facilitate the implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and new assessment and accountability models should keep student learning at the forefront, protect local control and foster collaboration over competition.

Adequate Resources

Tax reform efforts producing additional revenue should be adopted to provide adequate resources for educating Kentucky children.

Retirement Concerns

KSBA is concerned about the overall health of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Pension reforms considered by the General Assembly in 2017 should be adopted only if the reforms:

      · Improve the funded status of the County Employees Retirement System (CERS);

      · do not increase contribution rates;

      · provide proportionate representation of employers on pension boards; and

      · relieve employers of costs associated with pension spiking not due to abuse.

Effectiveness of Educators

The General Assembly should adopt changes to the teacher tribunal system to address concerns regarding the process of removing teachers facing disciplinary issues, which currently allows tribunals to uphold or overturn the recommendation of a superintendent.

A Current Look at Our Progress in Public Education

In 2016, the college/career readiness rate jumped to 68.5 percent, up from 62.5 percent in 2014, meaning over 10,000 additional students are ready for college or a career.

The percentage of students scoring at the proficient and distinguished levels has increased in nearly every subject and at every grade level since K-PREP was implemented in 2012.

Schools and districts are improving as whole, with over 800 schools and 138 districts classified as distinguished or proficient.

Any district leaders with questions about this legislative agenda are encouraged to contact Kennedy at eric.kennedy@ksba.org or by calling him at 800-372-2962.

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