Take Note

Take Note

Take Note

Kentucky School Advocate
April 2017
 
Sick days set straight
Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky recently sought to stem confusion that apparently arose due to some wording in a TRS “housekeeping” bill that was before the state legislature. That gave rise to rumors that lawmakers were considering changing the way sick leave is calculated into a retiree’s benefits.
 
“TRS is not proposing any change to sick leave payments for retiring teachers, nor is any bill to that effect pending in the current session of the General Assembly,” the agency wrote in a statement on its website.
 
The bill in question, HB 446, did not change the way sick or annual leave is used for retirement calculation purposes, the statement said; “… the confusion appears to stem from a definition that deals only with the return-to-work salary limitations and that has nothing to do with sick days being used to calculate retirement benefits.”
 
The word “Kentucky” is deleted from the definition for “last annual compensation” in the section that caused confusion, TRS’ statement said. However, that was done to reflect the change in the agency’s name to Teachers’ Retirement System.
Further, the statement said, “The definition of ‘last annual compensation’ is for TRS’s return-to-work rules only and is used to set a daily wage limit (aka daily wage threshold or DWT) for a retiree returning to work. That definition has nothing to do with the definition of ‘annual compensation,’ which is what is used to calculate retirement allowances and includes the sick leave payment – as set forth by local school district policy.”
Gov. Matt Bevin has said that he plans to call the General Assembly into a special legislative session later this year to address long-term funding for all public employee pension systems. No further details have been made public, however.

Coming next month
As this issue of the Kentucky School Advocate went to press, significant legislation affecting public education was still hanging in the balance during the veto period in the 2017 session of the General Assembly, including a charter school bill and Senate Bill 1, a wide-ranging education reform measure.
 
Look for a complete wrap-up and analysis of the education laws passed during the session in the May issue of the magazine.

“Gifted” board member
Pulaski County school board Chairwoman Brandy C. Daniels is taking on an additional duty in the realm of education. Daniels was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to represent school board members on the Kentucky Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education. Her term expires in December 2019. The Advisory Council makes recommendations regarding the provisions and services for gifted and talented students in public education.

More town halls
Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt is hosting another series of regional town hall meetings to get feedback on a new accountability system that has been under development for the past year.
 
All meetings are 6:30–8 p.m. local time; for details, go to education.ky.gov. Here are the remaining dates:
 
April 10, Paducah, McCracken County High School; April 13, London, Laurel County Schools Center for Innovation; April 17, Morehead, Rowan County Senior High School; April 18, Elizabethtown, John Hardin High School; April 20, Glasgow, Glasgow High School; April 25, Lexington, Bryan Station High School; April 27, Prestonsburg, Mountain Arts Center; May 1, Henderson, Henderson County Schools Professional Development Center.
HR chief retires
One of KSBA’s longest-serving employees retired April 1. Human Resources Manager/Executive Assistant Kathy Amburgey had been with the association for 34 years, starting out as a legal secretary and then becoming a paralegal in the Legal Services unit.
For the last 16 years, she has held the HR title, adding to that the duties of executive assistant to the executive director in 2010. Besides her paralegal associate degree, Amburgey holds human resources certification.
 
She said she’s looking forward to spending more time with her family, especially her toddler granddaughter, and doing some volunteer work. “After 34 years, it’s time for the next chapter,” Amburgey said.
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