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KSBA News Article

Boards need support, KSBA reps tell Prichard committee

Eric Kennedy and Jason Reeves

Kentucky School Advocate
November 2019

Staff report

KSBA Board of Directors member Jason Reeves and KSBA’s Director of Advocacy Eric Kennedy spoke at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence’s annual meeting on Sept. 27 about the importance of community engagement in supporting the work of local school boards.

Reeves, a Barbourville Independent board member and dean of education at Union College, explained how he became interested in board service after reading a 2014 newspaper article detailing the inequities in facilities and opportunities in Barbourville versus wealthier districts. 

After a lot of work by students, administrators, board members and the community, Barbourville was recently named one of 12 bright spots in education in a report from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research and the Prichard Committee. 

“We’ve spent a lot of my time on the board building partnerships looking for opportunities for growth,” he said. “In the last three years, we’ve become a bright spot, does that mean we don’t have work to do? No. Does that me we still struggle for funding? Absolutely.” 

Kennedy briefed members on the upcoming budget session of the General Assembly. Over the years, the share of funding from the state has declined and local communities are now contributing a larger percentage of the cost of education, he said. 

“That’s why it’s so critical for the community to be engaged with their school board and to run for school board,” Kennedy said, “because in more and more districts, the ability to effect change is going to be with the school board.”

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