June 8, 2021
A fundamental objective of KSBA’s advocacy on behalf of the Commonwealth’s elected school boards and district leaders is to strengthen local decision making in each community as a key component of fostering student success, as outlined by the legislature in KRS 158.645.
Two proposed bills have now been prefiled for the 2022 Regular Session, with more likely to follow, that would prohibit certain curricula, instruction and classroom discussions involving race, sex and religion. We have discussed these issues with legislators and we are aware of the considerable feedback many of them have recently received from constituents on these topics. KSBA is still reviewing the bills to understand how they may potentially be implemented if passed. These proposals are similar to legislation filed in other states in relation to a national discussion of critical race theory (CRT), an academic concept that originated during the 1970s and 80s.
Broad curricular mandates enacted in statute to include or exclude particular courses and topics or to require those courses and topics to be taught in specific ways potentially undermine a local community’s ability to respond to the needs and interests of its students - regardless of the subject matter, deemed controversial or not. Parents and educators must work together to support instruction if we are to achieve the learning outcomes for which we all strive. That is why KSBA continues to advocate that curriculum decisions are best made by leaders at the school district level working transparently with parents, students and members of the local community.