Graphic reading: KDE News, Kentucky Department of EducationThe Local Superintendents Advisory Council (LSAC) on Aug. 3 approved an emergency regulation related to paid leave for district employees who are quarantined due to COVID-19.

“Our goal remains, as it always has, to mitigate with safety measures where we can,” said Robin Kinney, associate commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Office of Finance and Operations, during an emergency meeting.

The regulation provides for paid leave for all full- and part-time school district staff who are ordered to quarantine by a treating medical professional, a local health department, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) or the employing school district. Employees must have taken the COVID-19 vaccine or be exempt due to disability or sincerely held religious belief to be eligible for this paid leave. This additional leave prevents employees from having to use their limited personal or sick leave days during quarantine.

In August 2020, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) adopted an emergency regulation to allow districts to provide unlimited COVID-19 emergency leave to employees. Following the expiration of this regulation, HB 208 was signed into law to continue to allow the unlimited emergency leave for district employees. Both the previous regulation and HB 208 only applied to the 2020-2021 school year. In order to be effective for the 2021-2022 school year, the current regulation was filed on an emergency basis.

The LSAC also approved a non-emergency regulation that will take effect in 7 to 9 months allowing paid leave for similar quarantining circumstances. Both regulations will need to be approved by KBE at their meeting on August 5 before it can be enacted.