Voice Recognition

KSBA News Article

Local board member advisory council meets


Kentucky School Advocate
November 2021

By Brenna R. Kelly
Staff writer

After more than a year hiatus, the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Local School Board Member Advisory Council met on Oct. 14, giving local board members a chance to discuss the state of public education with department officials.

Prior to the meeting, Education Commissioner Jason Glass appointed four new representatives to the 13-member council. The new members include Brenda Rose of Whitley Co., Johar Rajiv of Muhlenberg Co., Ruschelle Hamilton of Breathitt Co. and Brandon Rutherford of Madison Co.

The new members joined David Webster of Simpson Co., Christina Dressler of Bowling Green Ind., Diane Berry of Nelson Co., Linda Duncan of Jefferson County, Julia Fischer of Bellevue Ind., Larry Dodson of Oldham Co., Joanna Freels of Shelby Co., Carl Wicklund of Kenton Co. and Charlie Wise of Hardin Co.

The council, which meets twice a year, is designed for locally elected board members to give the department feedback on how initiatives and decisions made at the state level affect school boards and districts.

During the meeting, board members heard an update from Glass on the state of education as Kentucky continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to extend my thanks to all of you for the service that you provide to your communities, serving as representatives and the voices of your communities in the decisions that happen within your schools,” he said. “I know this has continued to be an extraordinary time to be an education leadership position and an extraordinary time to be serving on the board of education.”

Glass said that districts must work to help students recover academically and emotionally from the pandemic.

Board members also heard a presentation from Misty Higgins, professional learning coordinator for KDE, on how districts can accelerate student learning by adjusting the curriculum, using formative assessment and providing research-based Tier 1 supports.

KDE Director of Innovation David Cook also explained the Advancing Education Project, which will rethink education accountability in the state.

“It’s really important that we start to talk at the local level instead of the state level and take from the local communities what they are saying and bring it up to the state level, rather than the other way around,” he said.

Duncan said that she believes transition readiness at all levels, going from elementary to middle school, middle to high school and college and career, should be used in the accountability system.

“I would like for us to think about that, how can we use transition readiness not just at the end,” she said.

During the question-and-answer portion, Dodson asked Glass when the state legislature would fully fund transportation costs for districts. Glass said he didn’t know, but that the state has a record surplus heading into the budget session in January.

“So if there’s ever a time to ask, it’s now,” he said. “So I think something that you can do and that school board members and your associations can do is advocate for increases to SEEK, advocate for increases to the transportation funds, advocate for the continuation and permanency of that kindergarten funding.”

Cook noted that now that the new members have been appointed, the council should be back on its twice-yearly schedule. The next meeting will be held in April.

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