What are the new Kentucky laws affecting K-12 schools?

The <a class=Kentucky General Assembly meets on the last day of its 2021 legislative session on March 30, 2021 in Frankfort, Ky.” title=”The Kentucky General Assembly meets on the last day of its 2021 legislative session on March 30, 2021 in Frankfort, Ky.” loading=”lazy”/>

The Kentucky General Assembly meets on the last day of its 2021 legislative session on March 30, 2021 in Frankfort, Ky.

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Kentucky schools will operate under several new laws that were passed at the 2022 General Assembly.

The biggest battles in the legislature have been over ultimately successful Republican-led bills that: could make it easier for charter schools to open in the state, targeted critical race theory, and banned Kentucky transgender girls and women to compete in women’s and women’s sports. .

Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Toni Konz Tatman expressed concern about at least two of the new laws and insufficient funding for education.

Senate Bill 1

One element transfers authority over principal hiring and curriculum decisions from school decision-making councils to superintendents and school boards. A second component requires the teaching of key concepts and historical documents related to American history.

Commissioner Jason Glass believes that while this bill is an improvement over other anti-critical race theory bills proposed in the legislation, it is unnecessary and overly politicizes the program, Tatman said.

House Bill 9

This new law attempts to create a stable funding mechanism for charter schools and creates prospective charter pilots in Jefferson County and Northern Kentucky.

Tatman said this bill raises important constitutional issues that will need to be resolved by the courts. There are also critical weaknesses in how the law provides for the governance and operation of quality charter schools in Kentucky, he said.

Funding

Education funding increases were made to full-day kindergarten, vocational and technical education, school construction and transportation services

The amount provided in the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding program will not be enough to allow school districts to increase staff compensation levels that keep pace with inflation or allow them to address major shortages, said Tatman.

This increase is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to stem the outgoing tide of educators leaving the field and the difficulties recruiting new teachers and support staff, she said. Remuneration levels for school employees are closely linked to decisions made by the legislator.

Senate Bill 83

Prohibits transgender girls and women in Kentucky from participating in women’s and women’s sports from sixth grade through college. The bill states that female-only school sports will not be open to students born biologically male.

Senate Bill 9

The Reading for Success bill provides students, families, and teachers with support systems to inspire all students to learn to read to a proficient level by the end of third grade.

House Bill 33

Allows local governments to review and approve school building plans instead of just the Kentucky Department of Education. Also, following another new law, House Bill 678, all school facility projects pending Kentucky Department of Education approval and all through 2024 can proceed. and be launched – other than those subject to federal requirements.

House Bill 44

Allows a local school district’s attendance policy to include provisions relating to a student’s mental or behavioral health status.

House Bill 63

A 2019 state law requires one school resource officer per campus. House Bill 63 requires districts to either comply with the law by August 1 of this year or submit a waiver request to the State School Security Marshal if they are unable to do so due to financial or labor problems.

House Bill 121

Requires a public comment period at each regular meeting of the local school board.

Senate Bill 25

Provides up to 10 days of distance learning per school for school districts to use at the school, class, school year, or group level for the 2021-22 school year.

Senate Bill 102

Requires local superintendents to report information about school mental health service providers in the district to the Kentucky Department of Education.

Writer Valarie Honeycutt Spears covers K-12 education, social issues, and other topics. She is originally from Lexington with roots in southeastern Kentucky.

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