Legislative Update (3-29-2019)
Final Action of 2019 General Assembly

Sine die is Latin for “without day.” When a legislature adjourns sine die, it is adjourning indefinitely or without designating a day for a future meeting. The General Assembly 2019 met for their final legislative day on March 28. The bills they passed will now be delivered to the Governor who can sign, veto, or allow bills to become law without his signature.

The new laws take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourned on March 28 unless there is an Emergency Clause and they take effect immediately. Thus, most of the new laws will take effect on or about June 26, 2019. 

Thank you for all your phone calls and emails to legislators. We know that your actions helped defeat SB 3 this session. KASC is disappointed that SB 250 passed--that is the bill that applies only to Jefferson County Public Schools and allows the superintendent to have the final say on the selection of principals. We must continue to reach out to legislators to educate them on the impact of SBDM. We fully expect bills like SB 3 to be filed in the future.

Today is the tenth in a series of weekly legislative emails to keep you informed about relevant education bills. KASC has tracked numerous bills that have direct impact on teaching and learning for teachers, parents, principals, students, and councils.

In this announcement we will share...

  1. New Laws Passed this Session
  2. Bills Passed by House and Senate; Delivered to the Governer
  3. Bills that did not pass this session but expect similar bills to be filed in 2020

New Laws Passed This Session

SB 1 School Safety
Signed by the Governor on March 11 and as an Emergency Bill takes effect immediately.

Summary: This bill would add 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 school administrators to provide suicide prevention materials to all students; require school boards to adopt trauma-informed approaches in schools to improve their internal climates; and create a new state school security marshal position. Schools need to check with their district central office to see if any changes need to be made now.

SB 8 Teacher Tribunal
Signed by the Governor on March 19

Summary: Amends KRS 161.790 to clarify the causes for which a contract of a teacher may be terminated; require an attorney to serve as hearing officer and chair of the tribunal; remove the lay person from the tribunal; establish selection and training requirements for hearing officers; establish a prehearing conference for motions and mediation; establish the tribunal's decision as a recommended order and allow parties to file exceptions to the recommended order; allow hearing officer to respond to exceptions by entering original recommended order or an amended order as a final order; limit decisions to upholding or overturning the decision of the superintendent.

SB 15 Hiring relatives of school board members, superintendents, and principals and criminal records checks
Signed by the Governor on March 19

Summary: 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

SB 250 Jefferson County SBDM Principal Selection and broadens Superintendent authority

Summary: 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 get prior approval from the school board for purchases under $20,000. Third, provides that central office administrators will not have written continuing contracts and alters the demotion procedures for these central office administrators.

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. Signed by the Governor on March 25.

HB 22 School Board Vacancies
Became law on March 20 without the signature of the Governor

Summary: 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).

HB 46 National Motto Displayed in Schools

Summary: 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. Signed by the Governor on March 25.

HB 166 Student Led Day of Prayer

Summary: This is a global initiative for voluntary student led non-sectarian day of prayer for students in public school. Signed by the Governor on March 26.

HB 227 Increase per diem for School Board Members
Became law on March 20 without the signature of the Governor

Summary: 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).

HB 378 Homeless Students

Summary: Amend KRS 156.160 to establish educational coursework completion alternatives for students who are homeless children or youth. Signed by the Governor on March 26.

Passed by House and Senate; Delivered to the Governor

HB 11 Prohibit tobacco-use and vaping on school premises. (Rep. K. Moser) This bill requires local school boards, by July 2020, to enact a policy to prohibit tobacco-use and vaping on school premises, school vehicles, or while on a school related trip. Within three years of this Act a school district may opt out of this law and allow tobacco use and vaping on school premises. On March 28 this bill passed the Senate and is heading to the Governor to sign, veto or he will allow to become law without his signature.

SB 175 Amend Assessment and Accountability and TSI (Sen. D. Givens) Amend the standards and assessments process review committee; revise requirements for state accountability system; amend the requirements for the targeted support and improvement designation. On March 28 this bill passed the Senate and is heading to the Governor to sign, veto or he will allow to become law without his signature Because a substitution and an amendment were passed on the final day, KASC will need more time to analyze the impact of this legislation.

Bills that did not pass this session but expect similar bills to be filed in 2020

SB 3 Amending School Council Authority

SB 68 Mandatory instruction for all students on child abuse and child sexual abuse

HB 8 Dyslexia

HB 58  Return Pension Income Exclusion to $41,440 

HB 88 Increase physical activity time for elementary schools

HB 185 Human Sexuality Curriculum

HB 202 Corporal Punishment

HB 205  Tuition Tax Credit for Private Schools

HB 272  Fourth Grade Promotion Literacy and Mathematics Remediation

HB 331  Opt Out of State Assessment

HB 377  Arts Education Equity Act 

HB 405  Racial Trauma Professional Development

HB 504  Teacher Pension 

HB 525  Teacher Retirement System Trustees