Delivering for Public Schools: Lawmakers Pass Bills to Give Educators, Students Tools They Need to Succeed

Share This Update

Education continued to be a key topic throughout this year’s legislative session, as educators, families
and community members raised issues with legislators that are crucial to student achievement. By the
session’s end, lawmakers had passed bills, several of which align with the priorities of KASS, that will
give public schools and those who work closest with our students the tools and options they need to
better support school communities throughout Kentucky.

  • Legislators approved a provision that will give crucial financial help to districts that had grown in
    size over the past three years while the average daily attendance on which funding is based has
    been frozen.
  • These districts have continued to educate, support, feed and transport students the additional
    students, but have not received the funding they would have been entitled to, amounting to
    more than $10 million. 
  • In their final form, two bills, HB3 and HB538, offer some common-sense juvenile justice and
    school discipline reforms to help ensure Kentucky students, teachers and staff can work and
    learn in safe classrooms every day, with access to the mental health supports they need.
    • In addition to addressing the juvenile justice system in dealing with serious felonies,
      changes to truancy timelines, and some parent accountability measures, HB3 amends
      some provisions for student diversions, which are individualized interventions that can
      help steer a child in the right direction. The bill also improves communications with
      Family Accountability, Intervention and Response (FAIR) teams, which help provide
      greater, earlier access to treatment services to keep juveniles out of the formal court
    • HB538 allows students who have made threats or displayed acts of violence to be
      educated through alternative placement services. The changes also allow for students in
      certain egregious cases to be expelled for longer than one year, and expand the options
      available to educate them. These reforms help balance the scales so the rights of
      offenders do not supersede the rights of other students and professionals leading our
      classrooms and schools.
  • Finally, lawmakers gave approval for strategies to help curb the staffing crisis in our public
    schools. Initiatives include implementing an Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact; amending the
    Teacher Scholarship Program; and reviewing Alternative Pathway Teacher Certification options.

Fostering a high-quality public education system is one of the key factors in moving our state forward, and strong public schools play an important role in the workforce and economic development health of communities across the Commonwealth. We are grateful for the partnership with lawmakers in helping improve education for students and the professionals who serve them.

We look forward to working with the General Assembly in 2024 to build on this foundation to enact a strong education budget that gets to the equivalency of 2008 funding; prioritize statutory provisions to recruit, retain and develop educators and staff; and continue to identify ways to personalize and provide
deep learning experiences for all students in a safe, conducive learning environment.

Continue Reading