Stabilize Education Budgets Now
Kentucky needs to get education funding back on track by stabilizing school district budgets this year to avert a catastrophic funding cliff. As we continue to deal with the residual effects of the pandemic, Kentucky lawmakers need to:
- Take education budget stabilization actions for FY 2024.
- Provide districts that have seen significant growth over the past several years access to needed funds , while creating a soft landing for districts facing a stark funding cliff because of pandemic – related absences.
- Disburse any excess SEEK funds to districts for FY 23 and FY 24.
RECRUIT AND RETAIN HIGH-QUALITY PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS & STAFF
Kentucky public schools are facing a teaching and staffing crisis. Across the Commonwealth, people are exiting the teaching profession or choosing to forgo a career in public education all together. That’s why Kentucky lawmakers need to:
- Provide incentives to entering the education profession, including paid apprenticeships, scholarships, loan forgiveness programs, and “Learn and Earn” paths to certification.
- Identify the education career pathway as a high demand work sector.
- Encourage young people to pursue education as a career through Educator Rising chapters integrated at every level of the Kentucky public school system.
Focus on Student and Staff Safety and Wellness
We need to make sure Kentucky students, teachers and staff can be at their best every day in safe classrooms with access to the mental health services and support they need in and outside the classroom. It’s imperative that Kentucky lawmakers:
- Improve student discipline and staff working conditions by reforming juvenile justice laws.
- Fully fund the School Safety and Resiliency Act of 2019, to provide for SROs and mental health professionals on each campus.
- Increase access to mental health services for every student and ensure Kentucky families can obtain help when and where they need it
2022 KASS Key Legislation
The Kentucky House of Representatives approved the 2022 state budget, but the Kentucky Senate needs to add three key Kids First Kentucky education provisions to the bill. Click to read more.
House Bill 1 (HB1) is a comprehensive bill outlining the state budget for 2022. HB1 highlights include:
- Increases the SEEK per pupil guarantee base amount, from $4,000 to $4,100, and then $4,200. (This is progress but falls significantly short of the $4,768 inflationary equivalent of 1990 SEEK Base.)
- Funds full-day kindergarten to help empower students from all backgrounds.
- Fully funds all required/requested contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement System for pension and retiree health.
- Increases funding for Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs) to reduce educational barriers facing at-risk students.
- Invests in Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding to grow the Commonwealth’s workforce and economy.
- Dedicates $100 million in SFCC assistance to remodel, remedy and refurbish our aging school facilities.
While KASS applauds state lawmakers for prioritizing education funding, our 171 superintendents representing every school district in the Commonwealth, calls on the Kentucky Senate to add three common sense, common ground reforms to HB1:
- Fully fund transportation so that students and parents can safely get to school and focus on learning rather than worrying if and when they’ll get picked up or dropped off by their school bus.
- Increase SEEK funding because we are investing less per student (indexed for inflation) currently than we did more than three decades ago.
- Give school districts more freedom by providing the much-needed resources to help superintendents ensure student success at school, work and in the community.
Go to the “How We Can Help” page to access social media posts, talking points, email and call scripts and much more to make sure your voice is heard.
This bipartisan bill helps Kentucky students, public schools and families affected by the devastating December 2021 storms. House Bill 5 was signed into law by Governor Beshear on January 13, 2022. Click for more details on House Bill 5.
We appreciate the hard work of the Kentucky General Assembly and the Beshear Administration for their collective support for the countless students, families and schools affected by the devastating December 2021 storms. Signed into law by Governor Beshear on January 13, 2022, House Bill 5 (HB5):
- Directs $200 million to the newly created West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies Fund.
- Includes $45 million to support local schools and procure temporary housing for those affected by the deadly and destructive December storms.
House Bill 9 was recently introduced in the House and has since been referred to the Appropriations and Revenue Committee. KASS strongly opposes this bill as it would harm our schools and communities. Click here for more.
If signed into law, HB9 would:
- Allow for-profit companies outside of Kentucky to dictate their own educational philosophy on our schools without any accountability or transparency.
- Allow these same for-profit companies to profit from our tax dollars – owning buildings, technology and additional assets paid for by Kentucky taxpayers.
- Unravel Kentucky’s unique athletic landscape, creating winners and losers and leading to ‘superpowers’ that would completely destroy the much beloved Kentucky Basketball Sweet 16 tournament – not to mention the spirit of competition in every sport.
The Kentucky Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill 1 (SB1) on January 8, 2022. The measure will provide greater flexibility to local school districts and superintendents to ensure student, principal and staff success. The bill is waiting further consideration by the Kentucky House of Representatives. Click for more information.
If signed into law, SB1 would:
- Allow superintendents and education leaders to collaborate with principals, school councils, and other stakeholders to ensure a coherent and aligned curriculum district-wide.
- Ensure successful, innovative learning programs are properly funded, sustainable and scalable.
- Provide superintendents the authority, in consultation with the school council, to hire principals, and determine how to deploy the BOE allocations to the school.
- Give a significant voice to teachers and parents through school councils, along with greater community buy-in.
On January 14, 2022, Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 25 (SB25), a major piece of legislation to provide pandemic relief to Kentucky public schools. Click to read more.
During the first week of the legislative session, KASS scored an important bipartisan victory with Senate Bill 25 (SB25). Signed into law on January 14, 2022, SB25 will:
- Extend the temporarily revised retirement reemployment provisions until June 30, 2022; and provides up to 10 days of remote instruction per school for the remainder of the school year for pandemic-related issues.
- Help superintendents, school boards and their teams continue to navigate the pandemic. School districts have prioritized in-person learning, but superintendents need the tools to respond to an unpredictable environment when conditions change that compromise the health and safety of students and staff.
You Can Make a Difference
Help us ensure students, teachers, and schools are equipped with the resources they need to be at their best every day.