February 8 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 4:22 PM
In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:
  • Response from KSBA to Questions on KSBIT (Two Attachments)
  • Districts of Innovation Notice of Intent to Apply and Update
  • AP/IB Exam Fee Update
  • Arts Survey Participation Requested from K-12 Principals
  • Next Superintendents’ Webcast on Feb. 26
  • Link to Commissioner’s Blog on Testimony Before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee
  • Links to recording of Feb. 6 KBE meeting and its materials
  • Legislative Update
 
Fast Five on Friday
(Eight this Week)
 
Response from KSBA to Questions on KSBIT – Yesterday, I received the attached letter and Attachment A (KSBIT Deficit Summary) from KSBA Executive Director Bill Scott to the questions that I submitted to him on KSBIT in my Feb. 1 letter that you saw in last week’s Fast Five.  I appreciate Bill’s swift response and wanted to make sure you saw the information relative to the questions and concerns that have been expressed to me.
 
Districts of Innovation Notice of Intent to Apply and Update - Any district that intends to apply for District of Innovation status is asked to submit an e-mail to KDE by 4:30 EST on Friday, February 15th.  This e-mail is not binding on the district and is being used only to get an estimate of the number of applications in order to prepare KDE staff resources for the effort needed to review the applications.  The e-mail should simply state that “XXX school district intends to apply for District of Innovation status.  We understand this notice of intent is not binding.”  Please send the e-mail from the superintendent’s e-mail address to jocelyn.mills@education.ky.gov.
First round applications for District of Innovation status are currently being accepted using the proposed application process contained in the regulation, but are conditional upon the regulation becoming effective within the next few months.  The deadline for first-round applications (for implementation at the beginning of the SY 2013-2014) is 4:30 PM Eastern Time on Friday, March 15, 2013.  The application and scoring rubric are available on the KDE website at http://education.ky.gov/school/innov/Pages/default.aspx.  Application deadlines for the second, third and future rounds of approval for implementation in school year 2014-2015 and beyond will be forthcoming in future communication from KDE.
 
Please note that approval of applications is dependent on the administrative regulation that governs Districts of Innovation successfully completing the legislative review process that is currently underway.  We anticipate submitting any first-round initial applications for conditional approval to the Kentucky Board of Education at the April 10th meeting.  If you need technical assistance with the application process, please contact the Division of Innovation and Partner Engagement at 502-564-4201 or contact Jocelyn Mills jocelyn.mills@education.ky.gov or Natasha Murray natasha.murray@education.ky.gov.
 
AP/IB Exam Fee Update - In the past, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has been able to provide funding to pay for AP and IB exam fees for low-income students, allowing these students to take exams free of charge. This was made possible through a generous grant from the United States Department of Education (USDOE). This year, however, USDOE has informed all state agencies that there will most likely NOT be sufficient funding for these exam fees. This is still in discussion at the federal level and we will probably not know how much funding, if any, will be awarded for the grant until March or April. Local schools and districts should be prepared to assist low-income students, as much as possible, in paying for AP/IB exams.
 
We will keep you informed and provide more definitive guidance when it becomes available.
 
Arts Survey Participation Requested from K-12 Principals - The Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Arts Council and South Arts, a regional arts organization, are conducting a research project to quantify access to and quality of arts education offered at K-12 public schools throughout Kentucky and the region. This research is essential to identify the strengths and gaps in arts education and will provide useful data that will help us improve arts education delivery in Kentucky.
 
K-12 public schools principals are asked to participate in an electronic survey comprised of approximately 30 questions in the areas of access to arts education, quality of arts education, resources and partners, decision-maker perspectives, and demographics, as well as general information. Here is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ArtsEdKentucky. It will take from 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
 
If you are a K-12 principal, please complete this survey, regardless of whether you have a robust arts education program or no arts education at all. The results will help us develop policies and programs that acknowledge our strengths and address our gaps in arts education. Responses from individual schools will remain confidential and all data will be shared only in aggregate on a state and multi-state basis.
 
Next Superintendents’ Webcast on Feb. 26 – The next superintendents’ webcast will occur on Feb. 26 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET.  Please put the date on your calendar.  The topics will be forthcoming.
 
Link to Commissioner’s Blog on Testimony Before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee – Yesterday, I had the privilege of testifying about Kentucky’s ESEA waiver and the need to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.  My blog provides the text of my testimony and a link to a video of the hearing.  It can be accessed at:  http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-importance-of-federal-flexibility.html.
 
Links to recording of Feb. 6 KBE meeting and its materials - On Wednesday of this week, the Kentucky Board of Education met and considered several issues including a report on the progress of Priority Schools, approval of recommendations from KHSAA on the policy considerations from the Middle School Athletics Task Force, an update on the implementation of state management in Breathitt County and state assistance in Monticello Independent, an update on the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and a legislative update. To listen to a recording of the meeting click here and to see the materials for the meeting click here.
 
Legislative Update – This is the first of the legislative updates that KDE will be providing to keep you apprised on the status of bills being considered by the 2013 General Assembly.  The update is found below.
 
The legislature resumed its activities this week with new leadership.  A list of the leadership for each caucus by chamber is found below.
 
Senate President
President Pro Tempore
Majority Floor Leader
Majority Caucus Chairman
Majority Whip
 
Minority Floor Leader
Minority Caucus Chairman
Minority Whip 
 
House Speaker
Speaker Pro Tempore
Rep. Rocky Adkins (D)
Majority Floor Leader
Majority Caucus Chairman
Majority Whip
 
Minority Floor Leader
Minority Caucus Chairman
Minority Whip
 
State of the Commonwealth
The Governor delivered his State of the Commonwealth address to the General Assembly Wednesday night.   His big education initiative is supporting the raising of the compulsory school age attendance from 16 to 18.  Rep. Jeff Greer has filed HB 224 to support the change.  This is an issue the Governor and First Lady have supported during his time as Governor, including holding statewide meetings to raise awareness and highlight the multiple dropout prevention programs initiated by local school districts and private groups.  A copy of the Governor’s speech is attached.
 
House Education Committee
The House Education Committee will meet on Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m. in the Capitol Annex, Room 129.  As the legislature reconvened on Tuesday, the House Education Committee did not meet this week.
 
2013 House Special Subcommittee on School Safety Issues
The House of Representatives created a Special Subcommittee on School Safety Issues, which met three times during the session break.  The subcommittee heard presentations from members of law enforcement, the military, local schools, the Kentucky Center for School Safety, and KDE’s Office of Administration and Support.  The meetings were for informational purposes only, as no actions on bills can be taken during the odd-year session break.   The subcommittee will continue its work during the session.
 
Budget Review Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
The House Budget Review Subcommittee will meet on Wednesdays at Noon in the Capitol Annex, Room 111.  As the legislature reconvened on Tuesday, the House Education Committee did not meet this week.
 
Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee will meet on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. in the Capitol Annex, Room 171. 
 
The committee met and passed two bills:
 
SB 8   (Senator Wilson) requires the adoption of a school emergency plan, requires emergency drills, and requires an annual report to the department of education.  The legislation will require safety drills within the first month of school and require a lockdown practice within the first month of school.  Local boards will be required to review crime prevention designs when constructing or renovating a school building.
 
SB 18 (Senator Higdon) updates the preschool funding formula.  The bill was amended to substitute the provisions of SB 36, which also does away with the negative funding adjustment; and instead of using just a December 1 count, averages a December 1 and March 1 count. 
Joint Meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees
A special meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee heard testimony from Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson and Secretary of the Cabinet Mary Lassiter providing an update on the recommendations of the Tax Reform Commission.  A copy of the presentation can be found at the following link:
 
Next Week
The Education Committees have not released their agendas for next week.  It is expected that the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education will also meet.
Please check the LRC website for updated daily calendars: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislative_calendar/index.aspx
 
Also, for the most up-to-date information on committee membership, please go to the LRC’s main page: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/home.htm
 
If you have any questions, please contact legislative liaison, Tracy Goff Herman at tracy.herman@education.ky.gov  or (502) 564-4474, ext. 4815.  Thanks.
 
If you have questions on any of the articles included in this edition of Fast Five, please contact me at the e-mail address or phone number found below.
 
Terry Holliday, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education
Kentucky Department of Education
Office 502-564-3141
Fax 502-564-5680
Twitter @kycommissioner