Kentucky School Advocate
KSBA regional meetings are back
KSBA’s regional chairs (elected members of the association’s board of directors) will host 12 regional meetings throughout the state this fall for association members and administrators. Regional meetings allow members to gather near their local communities, providing a more intimate evening of networking and training. The meetings will address education issues in a manner tailored to particular areas of the state. Dinner is provided to attendees.
The 2021 program will focus on three pressing issues facing local school boards. Following brief video segments, small groups will take part in roundtable discussions facilitated by KSBA staff. Members will be encouraged to share their thoughts on the issues, allowing KSBA staff to better understand unique regional perceptions. Conversations will inform KSBA’s legislative priorities ahead of the 2022 General Assembly. The discussion topics will include results of KSBA’s legislative issues survey, Critical Race Theory and proposed legislative curriculum mandates and the work of the School Funding Task Force, including its possible recommendations for the next legislative session.
The regional meeting dates can be found on page 11 of this magazine or at ksba.org. Districts will receive emailed invitations from their regional chairs/host districts approximately three to four weeks before their assigned regional meeting.
School funding task force underway
Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, co-chair of the legislature’s School Funding Task Force, chats with KSBA President Davonna Page, of Russellville Ind., before a recent task force meeting. The General Assembly’s School Funding Task Force, created to review how Kentucky funds K-12 education, has met twice this summer. The group, created by House Bill 405, is made up of legislators who are reviewing the state’s current funding mechanism and how it compares with other states.
“I was looking back at 1989, we had the Rose decision, it’s been 32 years and a lot has happened since then. It’s always good to go back and examine and reflect on the product we have,” Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, who co-chairs the group with Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, said at the first meeting. “I’m not saying we are going to throw everything out but we want to keep an open mind … and hopefully there will be good recommendations to come out of this.”
In addition to the legislators, three locally elected school board members and three superintendents were invited to participate. The board members are KSBA president Davonna Page, of Russellville Ind., Tom Haggard, of Covington Ind., and Brenda Jackson, of Shelby County. The superintendents are Paul Mullins, of Logan County, Mike Borchers, of Ludlow Ind., and Robbie Fletcher, of Lawrence County.
The task force heard an overview of SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky), the state’s education funding allocation formula, a presentation about state funding outside of SEEK and a presentation from Southern Regional Education Board President Stephen Pruitt about funding in other states.
The monthly meetings are streamed on the Legislative Research Commission’s YouTube channel. Any recommendations from the group will be submitted by Dec. 1, ahead of the 2022 legislative session.
State Rep. Bam Carney dies after long illness Carney
Rep. John “Bam” Carney passed away July 17 after battling pancreatitis for more than a year and a half. Carney, 51, was a Republican who had represented Taylor and Adair counties since 2009. He had served as House Education Committee chairman, vice-chairman and House majority leader. Carney had also worked as a social studies teacher in Taylor County Schools, a special education teacher at Campbellsville High School and a social studies teacher at Washington High. He also coached basketball for 16 years. Funeral services were held July 22 in the Taylor County High School gymnasium.
“Rep. Carney was a passionate supporter of education and a dedicated public servant. We are forever grateful for his contributions in the House and as Education Committee Chair. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and constituents,” said KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling.