During the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Superintendents Webcast on March 14, KDE leaders updated school officials about the status of several bills as the legislature winds down this week ahead of the veto period.
Lawmakers have until the end of the day on March 16 to pass legislation and have the ability to override a veto from the governor during the last two days of the session.
One of the bills is House Bill (HB) 448, which has been amended to address additional funding for school districts that experience growth in the current school year.
Robin Kinney, associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Finance and Operations, said the department has offered the legislature guidance when it comes to districts that have either lost or gained average daily attendance.
“We have shared with the General Assembly that it’s really important that our districts know what additional assistance they may have as soon as possible and to do that this session, because we know you’re working on your budgets right now and you need to know if you’re going to have any additional funds as we start the next school year,” she said.
Kinney said superintendents should budget as if they will not be getting any additional money from the legislature. Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass said the best bet for any answers regarding the money is for superintendents to reach out to their local lawmakers and explain the impact of HB 448.
Educators Rising Conference
John Paise, a program consultant in KDE’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness, updated superintendents on the Educators Rising Kentucky State Conference held at Bellarmine University on March 2.
Educators Rising is the career and technical student organization for middle and high school students interested in education-related careers.
“Through this effort, we are recruiting the next generation of Kentucky educators to help remedy the critical teacher shortage that’s currently affecting every state in the country,” said Paise.
A total of 576 students attended this year’s event, which is more than double the attendance of last year’s event, he said.
He also said 343 students competed in events this year, which is more than triple the number of competitors from last year. They competed in events such as lesson planning, public speaking, curating artifacts used in the classroom and mock job interviews. A new competition this year involved students composing a book for K-3 students in Spanish.
“One of my judges remarked that several of the competitors said that for the first time, they felt that their voice was heard and that they were welcomed and encouraged as potential educators,” said Paise.
At this year’s event, Educators Rising Kentucky also recognized its inaugural state officer team, who led the conference:
- President: Audrey Gilbert, Frankfort High School (Frankfort Independent)
- Vice President of Communications: Alicia Konichek, Bullitt Central High School (Bullitt County)
- Vice President of Programs and Service: Janae Allen, Ballard High School (Jefferson County)
- Vice President of Memberships: Lilly Hibbs, Union County High School
“I always tell my teacher leaders that if you’re not developing leadership within your own students and chapters, you’re missing a significant opportunity to allow your students to develop those skills they will need in the classroom,” said Paise.
Glass called Educators Rising Kentucky a “bright spot” in the state’s educator workforce pipeline.
In other business:
- KDE Chief Communications Officer Toni Konz Tatman said seven students and eight teachers will be considered for the Kentucky Board of Education nonvoting positions next school year. For the Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, 103 students from 41 districts applied for open positions.
- KDE Chief Academic Officer Micki Ray informed superintendents about a survey they were given this week from the Legislative Oversight and Investigations Committee for the Kentucky General Assembly regarding how districts select textbooks and other classroom materials.
The next Superintendents Webcast is scheduled for April 18