FRANKFORT, Ky. (10/9/13) – At its meeting in Frankfort today, the Kentucky Board of Education discussed its legislative priorities for the upcoming session of the General Assembly and approved its FY15-16 biennial budget request.
The board is making funding for public education its number one priority. The board is requesting that the General Assembly restore Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding to 2009 levels of $3,866 per student which would require an additional $60,000,000 in FY 15 and $90,000,000 in FY 16 over current funding levels. Additional funding priorities include Flexible Focus Funds (professional development, including a focus on the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, textbooks -- digital content, preschool, safe schools and extended school services), Technology, College and Career-Readiness, District Turnaround Support, and Capital Budget projects for the Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf.
“It’s pretty simple, if we don’t get the funding, our progress will be hindered and we may regress,” Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told the board. “Students will pay the price.”
As part of his regular report at the board meeting, the commissioner shared a resolution passed by the Rowan Co. Board of Education challenging members of the General Assembly to take action to “put students of the Commonwealth of Kentucky first, reinvest in their future and fully fund the mandates of Unbridled Learning (Senate Bill 1, 2009) to ensure that Kentucky’s public education system can offer students the path to college- and career-readiness.” The state board echoed the need for adequate and equitable funding and encouraged lawmakers to consider new revenue sources as the way to meet critical budget needs for education.
During the meeting, the board reiterated its support for the Kentucky Core Academic Standards as well as those in science. Commissioner Holliday told the board KDE is moving forward with implementing the science standards but will have to hold off on testing until at least 2016 citing funding, district capacity and the time it takes to develop new tests. He emphasized that in no way is the state backing down from its support of the Next-Generation Science Standards and their incorporation into the KCAS.
In other business, the Kentucky Board of Education approved the commissioner's recommendation that the Robertson Co. school district be designated as "state-assisted." A management audit indicated the existence of a pattern of inefficiency and ineffectiveness in multiple areas. The local board has indicated it is supportive of improvement and wants to adequately address concerns, but feels it needs some outside help to do so effectively. KDE will provide management assistance to the district to develop and implement a plan to correct deficiencies found in the management audit. KDE will monitor the development and implementation of the corrective plan to improve the governance or administration of the school district.
The board took action on a number of items:
• approved changes to 704 KAR 3:305 governing minimum high school graduation requirements to clearly define what’s required for early graduation. Under the regulation, half of the base SEEK funding for the student’s senior year would go to the district; half would be available to the student as a college scholarship providing he or she meets the requirements.
• approved revisions to 704 KAR 7:125 which should result in clearer guidance to local districts in the area of attendance reporting and implementation of the Kentucky Student Information System
• approved the Statement of Consideration for 704 KAR 3:035, the Annual Professional Development Plan
• approved the Statement of Consideration for 702 KAR 1:115, Annual In-service Training of District Board Members
• approved a resolution in support of Safe Schools Week Oct. 20-26 (a text of the resolution can be found at the end of this release)
The board also heard a progress report on AdvanceKentucky (see separate Advance Placement release) and updates on the Career and Technical Education, the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and TELL Kentucky Survey.
Finally, the board discussed Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday’s annual evaluation, noting that he is “doing a fantastic job and should stay the course.” A formal written evaluation and goals for improvement will be presented to the commissioner at the next board meeting on December 4 in Frankfort.
Information provided by Rebecca Blessing
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