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KSBA statement on KBE's 2.4.2020 discussion and action on charter authorizer training

The following is a response to discussions and actions taken by the Kentucky Board of Education and Kentucky Department of Education on charter authorizer training during the 2/4/2020 meeting.

Kerri Schelling, Executive Director
Kentucky School Boards Association

Today’s actions by the Kentucky Board of Education maintain local school boards’ authority as charter school authorizers, while taking a more realistic approach to the required charter authorizer training.

Kentucky is unique in that state law requires our 862 locally elected school board members to complete hours of training on an annual basis. That is not the case in all states, but it equips these elected officials with the necessary skills to effectively govern theirs districts, collectively representing 650,000 students.

In 2017, when charter school legislation passed, school board members were additionally empowered to serve as charter school authorizers, a responsibility they took very seriously. As part of administrative regulations adopted that year, members were required to earn a dozen training hours each year relating to charter school issues. This additional requirement placed limitations on our members’ ability to acquire training needed to fulfill the everyday responsibilities of board service. Since 2017, only one charter school application has been submitted to any of Kentucky’s 172 public school districts, compared to the 10,344 hours of charter authorizer training school board members completed. This disparity is telling.

We are grateful to the Kentucky Board of Education and to the department of education for today’s actions to help alleviate this undue burden. On behalf of our members, thank you for listening to the concerns of our locally elected school board members and for making a decision that restores their ability to choose the most appropriate professional development for their districts’ needs.  Today’s vote has significant positive impacts for every school board member in the Commonwealth; economically, professionally and logistically.

We look forward to our continued work with the Kentucky Department of Education and KBE on behalf of our students. 

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