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KY School Boards Association members will be keeping an eye on Frankfort during legislative session

Stu Johnson

The Kentucky School Boards Association has more than a few items of interest as the General Assembly enters into session this week. Those include requests for more state dollars for instruction. It’s also seeking support for all-day kindergarten, facility improvements, and wrap-around social services. Josh Shoulta is KSBA communications director. Shoulta said monitoring juvenile justice reform legislation can help in better enforcement of existing truancy laws.

“And that’s a big issue, chronic absenteeism. That’s something that districts across the state are dealing with, districts across the country are dealing with. So, there’s definitely things I think we can be doing to improve those processes particularly as schools are working with other agencies on the judicial and child welfare side,” said Shoulta.

Shoulta said school districts in Kentucky are facing challenges in fully implementing school safety measures. The School Boards Association rep said particularly as it relates to resources to recruit, hire, and retain counselors and resource officers.

One of the policy issues of interest by the KSBA is tied to teacher professional development. Shoulta said, over time, the professional development requirements have become, quote, “a little overwhelming.”

“To the extent that maybe it’s a hinderance to them in zeroing in on key areas for instructional skills and those special competencies that they need to development as educators,” said Shoulta.

Shoulta noted the Legislature will be asked to create some professional development flexibility to allow educators to pursue training that is core to their instructional skills. As for the funding formula for school districts, Shoulta’s not sure lawmakers will have the appetite to consider any major reforms in the SEEK program.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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