January 11, 2019 10:27am
State Senate passes GLI-backed legislation to improve local school governance
Though we are only four days into the 2019 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, GLI priority legislation is already on the move. Earlier today, the Senate voted 23-13 in favor of Senate Bill 3 (SB3). This legislation makes several important changes to school based decision making councils that members of the business community and education experts believe would help improve educational outcomes in the Commonwealth. A key GLI initiative for 2019 is to improve school governance and streamline organizational structures as a way to ensure that local districts are in the best possible position to help students reach their full potential. SB3 is a step in the right direction.
- Principal Selection: SB3 transfers the authority to select and hire principals from local school councils to district superintendents. This would effectively establish a chain of accountability running from the elected school board—which appoints the superintendent—directly to individual school leaders. Equally as important, this cohesion between central offices and school leadership would allow district superintendents to execute a truly unified strategy for achieving educational excellence. State law would still require the superintendent to consult with the council before making a final hire.
- Parent Representation: SB3 would equalize the number of parents and teachers serving on a council, at two each. Since 1990, teachers have had majorities on councils, which ultimately diminishes the role of parents. A two-parents-to-two-teachers ratio is a more fair system that will give parents equal representation on a council.
- School Board/School Council Collaboration: SB3 would allow for more collaboration between school councils and elected school board members, which would further help to establish more accountability from the community. For example, SB3 would clarify the ability of board members to attend council meetings and to review council decisions.
It is critical to note that SB3 would neither abolish nor weaken the role of school councils in Kentucky. Instead, it would increase community involvement, improve accountability, and serve to streamline district operations.
As SB3 heads to the House, members of the Greater Louisville business community are strongly encouraged to reach out to their representative in the House to voice support for this important legislation. Click here to send a message through GLI’s new and easy-to-use legislator-contact tool.
Senate Bill 3 is sponsored by Sen. John Schickel (R-Union). Read the full bill here.