2019 Legislative Session Summary

The statements below summarize the legal changes most connected to school councils. The actual bills and all the laws are available from the Legislative Research Commission, www.lrc.ky.gov. New laws take effect June 27, 2019, except bills with an emergency clause that became effective immediately.

In this announcement we will share...

  1. Laws that impact SBDM Councils
  2. Laws that are FYI for schools
  3. Other Education Related Laws




SB 1
School Safety

This bill adds more school resource officers and mental health professionals in Kentucky public schools; require active shooter training for certain school employees; require that districts appoint a school safety coordinator; mandate that access points to school buildings be secured by July 1, 2022; specifically criminalize making false threats against schools; require middle and high schools to provide suicide prevention materials to all students; and create a new state school security marshal position. An Emergency Bill took effect on March 11, 2019. (Your district will be providing updates as information becomes available.)


SB 250
Jefferson County SBDM Principal Selection and broadens Superintendent Authority

This bill only applies to Jefferson County Public Schools. First, grants the superintendent the ability to override the SBDM council’s selection of a principal. Second, provides that the superintendent does not have to obtain prior approval from the school board for purchases under $20,000. Third, provides that central office administrators will not have written continuing service contracts and alters the demotion procedures for these central office administrators.


SB 175 Targeted support and improvement designation

Revise the standards and assessments process review committee; Amend transition readiness to add additional methods to show transition ready; amend KRS 160.346 to revise the requirements for the targeted support and improvement designation and fewer schools will be designated as TSI. The new law provides that a school will be designated for TSI if at least one subgroup performs in the lowest 5 percent of all schools for three consecutive years and the school is in the lowest 10 percent of all schools. In April the Kentucky Board of Education approved an amendment to 703 KAR 2:570 https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/703/005/270reg.pdf to comply with SB 175. (More info will be coming as this moves through the regulatory process.)




HB 166
Student Led Day of Prayer

This is a global initiative for voluntary student led non-sectarian day of prayer for students in public school.

HB 378 Homeless Students

Amend KRS 156.160 to establish educational coursework completion alternatives for students who are homeless children or youth.

HB 46 National Motto Displayed in Schools

Beginning in 2019-20 all schools shall display the national motto “In God We Trust” in a prominent location in the school (such as a school entryway, cafeteria or common area for students.) The display may be created by students.


HB 11 Tobacco use banned. Prohibits use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, by students, school personnel, and visitors on public school campuses, school vehicles, and at school activities; require policies to be in place by the 2020-2021 school year; School boards may opt out of this ban within three years. Individual districts determine the penalties for violating the tobacco ban.




HB 158 Foster Child bill of rights.

Creates a foster child bill of rights including education rights, which provide that the foster child has a right to stay in the same school prior to removal whenever possible. Foster children have a right to participate in extracurricular, social, cultural and enrichment activities, including sports, field trips and overnight stays.

HB 328 Guns banned

No student may have a gun in their vehicle on school property. Clarifies the gun exception allowing adults to have a gun in their car on school property does not apply to students even if the student is over 18 years old.

SB 98 Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Created

Established the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship; require the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority to administer the scholarship; defines eligibility requirements for the scholarship and the scholarship award amount.


HB 21 Family Resource and Youth Service Centers

Summary: amend KRS 156.496 to allow school districts to accept monetary donations for the operation and maintenance of family resource and youth services centers; require that donations be used exclusively for those purposes.


SB 15 Hiring relatives of school board members, superintendents, and principals and criminal records checks

Clarifies that a district shall not employ the relative of a school board member; relatives of superintendent must have been employed for minimum 36 months in the district before the superintendent is hired; no principal relative shall be employed in same school as principal; clarifies definition of “contractor” for purposes of criminal records check law when a “contractor” will have direct contact with students. There is no change proposed to the current law that requires SBDM parent members to submit to a federal, state criminal records check and child abuse/neglect report from the Cabinet for Health and Family. A parent member shall be removed if there is a record of abuse or neglect, of a sex crime or criminal offense against a victim who is a minor as defined in KRS 17.500, or as a violent offender as defined in KRS 17.165

HB 22 School Board Vacancies

Board of Education vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the school board (formerly school board vacancies were appointed by the Commissioner of Education). Became effective on March 20, 2019.

HB 227 Increase per diem for School Board Members

Board of Education members shall receive no salary but may receive, for each day a regular or special meeting is attended, a per diem of $150 and their actual expenses for each regular or special meeting attended. (Previously the per diem was $75.) The members shall receive the per diem for required training. In no case shall the expenses incurred within the district or per diem of any member exceed $6000 in any calendar year (previously there was a $3000 limit). Became effective March 20, 2019.

SB 164 Energy Efficiency Programs

Repeal KRS 160.325, which requires every board of education to enroll in the Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program (the program is no longer in existence.)


SB 8 Teacher Tribunal

Clarifies the causes for which a contract of a teacher may be terminated; requires an attorney to serve as hearing officer and chair of the tribunal; removes the lay person from the tribunal; establish selection and training requirements for hearing officers; limit decisions to upholding or overturning the decision of the superintendent.

SB 18 Pregnancy Accommodations

Makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to accommodate an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; require employers to provide notice to all employees regarding the right to be free from discrimination for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.