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Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Kentucky School Advocate
April 2020
Commissioner search update
The Kentucky Board of Education on March 18 voted unanimously to hire executive search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates to aid in the search for new commissioner of education.
The Florida-based firm also handled the searches that resulted in the hiring of former education commissioners Terry Holliday and Stephen Pruitt.
The KBE hopes to have a new commissioner in place by July 1, however Interim Commissioner Kevin Brown said at the meeting that he will stay on until a new commissioner is hired. Brown is not a candidate for the position. 
Also at the meeting, former Commissioner Gene Wilhoit facilitated a discussion with the board about the characteristics they want to see in a new education commissioner. 
The most common characteristics mentioned by board members included a deep background in education, the ability to work with a diverse group of stakeholders and to help Kentucky close persistent achievement gaps.
The next KBE meeting is scheduled for April 9.
Photo: Former Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, right, works with members of the Kentucky Board of Education to compile a list of characteristics they would like to see in a new commissioner while board member Lu Young, left, listens. (Provided by KDE)

KBE denies charter school appeal
The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) voted unanimously on Feb. 25 to uphold the Newport Independent Board of Education’s decision to deny the state’s first charter school application. 
River Cities Academy had applied to Newport to open a K-8 charter school that would draw students from Covington, Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow, Fort Thomas and Newport independent school districts.
The Newport school board voted to deny the application based on the recommendation of a panel of more than 30 educators and River Cities then appealed the decision to the KBE.
In upholding the denial, the KBE said the charter school did not have an adequate financial plan because it projected a $529,000 deficit in its first year. The school also based its viability on public funding that is not available under state law and on grants with no proof that the funding would come. 
The school “has not demonstrated the ability to operate in a fiscally sound manner,” the order stated. 
River Cities Academy has 30 days from the order to appeal the KBE ruling in Circuit Court.

KSBA’s law update to be held as June 2 webinar
KSBA’s 14th annual Federal & State Law Update will be held Tuesday, June 2.
This year’s law update will be held as a webinar and more details on registration will be available on our website, ksba.org, later this month.
“The three-hour webinar will be convenient for those wanting to receive the updates without having to travel, but will still be just as informative as in year’s past,” said KSBA’s Board Team Development Director Laura Cole. ”But even with the law update being held virtually, space will be limited to 100 registrants so be sure to sign up quickly once registration opens."
The event will feature an overview of the 2020 legislative session from KSBA’s Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy and KSBA Staff Attorney John Fogle, policy updates from KSBA’s policy department, led by KSBA’s Policy Director Katrina Kinman, and a review of school board election prohibitions on candidates soliciting school employees.

Census is now underway
Did you know that the 2020 Census has begun? Most U.S. households should have received an invitation by mail by March 20 to participate in the constitutionally required population count.
The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers and many others use to provide daily services, products and support for you and your community. In each year following the census, federal government uses the data to disperse $675 billion to states and local governments. In Kentucky, that’s about $2,021 per person based on the top 16 federal programs. 
For schools and districts, the census data is used to calculate two big pots of federal money – Title I funding for disadvantaged students and special education grants to states. Overall, there are at least 10 federal programs that affect Kentucky’s children, including school breakfast, school lunch, Head Start and the state’s Children’s Health Insurance programs. 

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