Voice Recognition

KSBA News Article

KSBA Answers

KSBA Answers

Who determines curriculum now?

Kentucky School Advocate
January 2023

After Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) took effect in July 2022, KSBA has received questions from members, superintendents and the public regarding “who determines curriculum now?” SB 1, as well as Senate Bill 9, the Read to Succeed Act, made significant changes to this process.

How did SB 1 change the adoption of curriculum?

Prior to passage of SB 1, the school-based decision making council (SBDM) at each school determined the curriculum and instructional materials for that school, which needed to be aligned to state standards but did not necessarily align across all schools of the district, or through the grade levels from elementary to high school.

Under SB 1, the authority and responsibility for determining curriculum and instructional materials has moved from the SBDM of each school to the superintendent. The superintendent must conduct legally required consultation with the school board, school principals and SBDM. The law also requires that the superintendent not make these decisions until after “a reasonable review and response period for stakeholders” in the community. The precise nature of the required consultations and public review period is not dictated by law and may be developed locally to fit needs and circumstances.

This law is not only applicable to materials/programs acquired since the law went into effect July 14th, but to the overall curriculum and materials now being used in the schools. This law may be found at KRS 160.345(2)(g). In addition, SB 9 made similar changes to the law regarding reading instruction, which may be found at KRS 158.305(5)(b).

Do school boards vote to approve curriculum now?

No. The superintendent must consult with the school board on her/his plan for curriculum and instructional materials, which includes receiving input from the board, but the final decision belongs to the superintendent and, under SB 1, the board does not vote to approve, reject or amend these decisions. As stated above, the same consultation must occur with the principals and SBDMs, and public input must be received through the required review and response period. This level of consultation allows more involvement at the board level than was allowed prior to SB 1, while still leaving these educational issues in the hands of superintendents, the education leaders of the districts.

How is this reflected in local board policy?

SB 1 respects the role of school boards to adopt local policies to guide how this process will work in each community. This summer, KSBA noted the legal change from SB 1 in several policy areas, including “08.1 – Curriculum,” but ultimately the specific process for the required consultations, and the public review and response process, will vary in each district to best meet local needs. This is largely an issue for procedures that may be developed by superintendents for board and public review.

More information on the state academic standards (learning expectations), and KDE’s Model Curriculum Framework, may be found at KYstandards.org

Print This Article
© 2024. KSBA. All Rights Reserved.