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KSBA News Article

Take Note

Take Note

Kentucky School Advocate
December 2021

Election season approaching  
County clerks are now accepting election filing for next year’s school board races. Each election year KSBA assembles information regarding the election process and related issues for both board members and district leaders.The “2022 School Board Election Resources Guide” conveniently summarizes key aspects of school board service, election filing, campaigning, documentation and more. The guide includes (but is not limited to) topics such as the roles/responsibilities of school boards, election finance law, transcript requirements, sample nominating petitions, the 2022 election calendar and more.

The guide is available on the “Running for School Board” page of KSBA’s website. Whether you are running for your first term or your fifth, these helpful resources can ensure compliance and best practices. The filing deadline for the 2022 election is June 4.

Proudfoot winner, former KSBA board of director member dies    
Longtime Eminence Independent Schools board member and KSBA Proudfoot Award winner Ben Coomes passed away on Nov. 16. He was 77.Coomes served on the Eminence board for 36 years, including 16 years as chair. Coomes also served on the KSBA Board of Directors.

In 2007, Coomes was given the Warren H. Proudfoot Award, which recognized board members for distinguished leadership and community service. When he accepted the award, Coomes said he was sometimes asked why he continued to serve on the board even though his children had graduated.

“I say, they’re all my children – all 600 of them – they’re all your children, they’re all our children; they’re our future,” he said.

Services were held Nov. 22. Contributions may be made to the Ben P. Coomes Scholarship Fund, c/o Eminence Independent Schools, Hosparus or Eminence Baptist Church.

Kentcky Court of Appeals rules on teacher tenure transfer
The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in October that a teacher who has tenure in one district may maintain that status through multiple moves to subsequent districts.

The decision in Smith v. Bennett, 2020-CA-0625-MR involved a Laurel County teacher whose contract was not renewed in 2019-20. The district said that Smith had lost his tenure because he had only worked 139 days in another school district and had stated upon his hiring that he had tenure.

Smith’s attorney argued he had worked in Lincoln County for 12 years and gained tenure before moving on to other districts, including the 139 days at Mercer County. The appeals court ruled that in denying Smith tenure, the circuit court had wrongly relied on the statute that establishes tenure instead of the statute governing tenure transfer. Under that statute, KRS 161.740, tenure transfers to another district unless there is a gap in service of more than seven months.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) had historically understood KRS 161.740 to not permit perpetual moving and attainment of tenure in successive school districts after the first transfer, Education Commissioner Glass said in a communication to districts.

The case could be appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court. For now, KSBA attorneys advise superintendents to consult board counsel on the decision’s implications on personnel actions.

New early learning KET website
Let’s Learn Kentucky, a new website from KET, is a resource hub for parents and caregivers navigating those first years in a child’s development.

Developed by KET, the Governor’s Office for Early Childhood, KDE and other partners, the initiative provides a one-stop center with an overview of what it means to be kindergarten-ready, activities to incorporate into a child’s daily routines, and helpful links.

“Families can turn to the site to find information about development milestones and other resources to ensure that their child has a strong foundation before entering kindergarten,” said Tonya Crum, KET’s senior director of education.

In Kentucky, only about half the children are kindergarten ready.

The Let’s Learn Kentucky website offers an assortment of free activities and resource links from KET and PBS for parents and caregivers to add to their daily routines – tips on reading together, speaking and listening, exploring shapes and numbers, and even playing and moving together. For more information, visit LetsLearnKY.org.

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