The Superintendent’s Council of Councils, a group of parents and teachers representing school-based decision-making councils from across the district, met for the final time of the 2017-2018 year on Monday and received updates on legislation and financial decisions that will impact the school year ahead.
The first item of discussion for the group was reviewing a draft copy of the 2018-2019 calendar that will be presented to the Board of Education on Thursday for approval. The calendar would include a total of five teacher equivalent work days as in past years, a full week tentatively for fall and spring break, and Good Friday as an off day for students. The Board of Education will approve and announce the official calendar at their meeting on Thursday, April 26.
The next item of discussion for the group was legislative bills that will impact SBDM councils in the upcoming year. Among those bills discussed were:
- SB 101 is a new law that took effect on April 4 and amends the definition of relative for school council and school board members.
- SB 151, the Pension Plan.
- HB 200 which would set SEEK funding at $4,000 and state funding of 58% of transportation costs. It would cut partial or full funding for PD, textbooks, instructional resources, ESS, and preschool. On a positive note, FRYSC received more funding.
- SB 71 created a new law to require the inclusion of abstinence education in any sexually or sexually transmitted diseases curriculum.
- HB 3 beginning with 2019-2020 each district shall implement essential work place ethics programs.
- HB 30 requires one hour of suicide prevention training every other year for all middle and high school staff.
- HB 128 requires every middle and high school to provide instruction on the Holocaust and other acts of genocide.
- HB 132 requires financial literacy as a high school graduation requirement.
- HB 147 enacts seizure action plans.
- HB 187 requires KDE to make available a dyslexia toolkit that includes assistance to local school districts.
- HB 290 allows homeschool students and teams to play against school-based teams in interscholastic athletics overseen by KHEAA.
The last item of discussion related to the budget bill and cuts that Knox County would experience in the upcoming year.
- KETS (Kentucky Education Technology System) funding would be eliminated.
- Funding for professional development and instructional resources would be eliminated.
- Kentucky Teacher Retirement would be at 2% for all new years that the district would pay.
- Other reductions included the State DJJ program, and adult education.
Schools are currently in the process of organizing and conducting their SBDM elections for the upcoming school year. New members will be selected to represent schools on the Superintendent’s council for 2018-2019. If you are a SBDM member interested in serving, please notify Frank Shelton at firstname.lastname@example.org.