March 8 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 4:42 PM

In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:

  • My Blog this Week
  • Sequestration Information from USDOE (Attachment)
  • Next Superintendents’ Webcast
  • Encourage Educators to Complete the TELL Kentucky Survey
  • Letter from USDOE on Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Other Forms of Gender-Based Violence (Attachment)
  • Legislative Update
Fast Five on Friday
(Six this Week)
 
My Blog this Week - As superintendents and boards begin final work on 2013-14 budgets, the news is very troubling. From KSBIT to sequestration, local districts are more challenged than ever to maintain levels of support and resources for classrooms. In this week’s blog, I provide a brief review of Rick Hess’ new book titled “Cage-Busting Leadership” that may offer some innovative ideas for balancing the budget and education reform challenges. The blog can be found at the following link:  http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2013/03/thinking-outside-cage.html.
 
Sequestration Information from USDOE – This week, I received a copy of a letter that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent to Governor Beshear about the impact of sequestration. The letter appears below and a table referred to in the letter that gives the impact on Kentucky as a state is attached to this e-mail. District level data will also be coming from USDOE but the attached table can help us with planning. KDE will be discussing sequestration in-depth as part of the next superintendents’ webcast on March 26.
 
Honorable Steve Beshear
Governor of Kentucky
State Capitol
700 Capitol Ave., Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky  40601
 
Dear Governor Beshear:
 
As you know, on March 1, the President was required by law to issue a sequestration order canceling approximately $85 billion in budgetary resources across the Federal Government for the remainder of the 2013 Federal fiscal year.  We want to provide you with timely and clear information about how these unfortunate budget cuts will affect Federal education programs, and in turn what they mean for fiscal year 2013 program allocations to Kentucky.
 
These cuts couldn’t come at a worse time.  Thanks to your leadership, and to the hard work of the teachers, principals, and many other public servants in your State and across the nation, we are finally beginning to see the gains in student achievement across the country that our families and communities deserve.  The President has challenged us to regain America’s place as the world leader in college completion, and our international standing is now improving.  Graduation rates stand at their highest level in decades.  These changes have not happened by chance; they are victories hard-won by countless unsung heroes in our schools, guided and led by dedicated State and local leaders.  The President, my colleagues, and I pledge to continue the fight to make Washington a better partner in your work; you and Kentucky’s students deserve that.  Further, we want to assure you that you will see a continued strong commitment to improving our education systems in the 2014 budget request that President Obama will release later this spring.
 
As it stands, we want to share with you the most current information we have on the budgetary impact of sequestration.  Sequestration will reduce the Department’s overall budget authority for fiscal year 2013 by an estimated $2.5 billion when compared to the fiscal year 2012 level.  Examples of significant impacts on overall program funding levels include the following:
 
• $725 million would be eliminated in Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, which serves 23 million students in high poverty schools. 
• Formula grants to States under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) would be reduced by $598 million, including $579 million for Part B Grants to States and $19 million for Preschool Grants.
• $60 million would be eliminated from school year 2012-2013 Impact Aid Basic Support Payments for schools serving large concentrations of military families and children living on Indian lands.
• Federal Work-Study would be cut by $49 million that supports on-campus employment opportunities for postsecondary students.
• Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants would be cut by $37 million.
More specifically, in your State, sequestration is expected to result in the loss of $12,432,834 in Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, or roughly the equivalent of the funds that your State currently uses to pay 171 staff to serve 21,662 students in 46 Title I schools.  Another hard-hit program is the IDEA Part B Grants to States program, which will see reductions in funding of roughly $7,688,909, potentially requiring your State to find other resources to provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities.
 
These and other reductions in funding for Kentucky required by sequestration are shown in the attached table, which highlights the impact of sequestration on the Department’s 12 largest formula grant programs.  While these reductions are unfortunate and damaging, we plan to work closely with you, including by providing timely information on their effect on Federal education programs.  Please note, for example, that current estimates of the impact of sequestration may be adjusted once Congress completes final action on the fiscal year 2013 appropriation for Department of Education programs.
 
In addition to Work-Study and SEOG program allocation data, we also have posted at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/030113ImpactofSequestrationonTitleIVFSAProg.html information for borrowers and postsecondary institutions regarding three changes in mandatory programs:  origination fees in Direct Loans, reductions to Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, and reductions in TEACH Grants.
 
It is important to note that sequestration cancels funding that would be provided through fiscal year 2013 appropriations only.  Sequestration does not affect funds from grants received from the Department of Education that used fiscal year 2012 or prior year appropriations.  The full amount of the fiscal year 2013 reductions required by sequestration for programs with advance appropriations—ESEA Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, IDEA Part B Grants to States, ESEA Title II Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, and Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education State Grants—will be taken from the July 1, 2013, portion of total program allocations.  Please also note that while sequestration reduces funding levels for each program, it does not change the underlying statutory requirements that govern program operations, including within-State allocation requirements.  For example, there is no change in maintenance of effort requirements, supplement not supplant rules, hold-harmless requirements, or State or local reservations of funding for required activities.
 
Thank you for your continued partnership with the Department of Education in working to achieve the education goals of your State and our nation.
 
Sincerely,
 
Arne Duncan
 
Next Superintendents’ Webcast – Please place on your calendars March 26 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET for the next superintendents’ webcast. As referred to above, sequestration will be one of the main topics for this broadcast.
 
We will send the link and materials for the webcast closer to the date and as always, it will be recorded for those who cannot watch it live.
 
Encourage Educators to Complete the TELL Kentucky Survey – Please encourage your teachers and principals to participate in the TELL Kentucky Survey by going to this website:  http://tellkentucky.org/.  As of today, the current completion results are at 26.11 percent. Remember that our goal for this year is a 90% completion rate.
 
Letter from USDOE on Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Other Forms of Gender-Based Violence Attached to this e-mail is a letter that I received from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the U.S. Department of Education’s recent efforts to support you and your school communities in preventing teen dating violence and other forms of gender-based violence. Included within the letter are resources and recommendations that could be helpful to your school communities in initiating action (e.g., a new training module designed to help school counselors and psychologists to prevent and respond to teen dating violence).
 
Legislative Update – Below is a summary of the legislative activities for the week of March 4-8:
The legislative calendar was amended and the General Assembly did not meet today.  However, they will resume on Monday and Tuesday and then break for the veto period.
 
House Education Committee
The House Education Committee met this week and the following bills were heard and passed out of committee:
 
SB 8 (Sen. Mike Wilson) requires adoption of a school emergency plan and requires emergency drills within the first month of school.
 
SB 18 (Sen. Jimmy Higdon) clarifies the preschool funding formula based on the average number of eligible children served on December 1 and March 1 of the prior academic year.
 
SB 56 (Sen. Carroll Gibson) requires schools to retain all recordings of school activities for one week without editing, altering, or destroying recorded material, and to retain without alteration any recording of school activities that include or allegedly include an injury to a student or school employee for a minimum period of three months.
 
SB 59 (Sen. Mike Wilson) transfers the Council on Postsecondary Education from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to the Office of the Governor.
 
SB 60 (Sen. Stan Humphries) reorganizes the Department of Education.
 
SB 61 (Sen. Mike Wilson) establishes the option for early high school graduation beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.  The bill establishes the Early Graduation Scholarship Certificate and the processes for awarding it and using it and administration by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
 
SB 64 (Sen. Stan Humphries) provides a Kentucky educational excellence scholarship award amount for the fourth year of high school to students who graduate in three years.
 
SB 75 (Sen. Mike Wilson) permits the commissioner of education to grant the equivalent of ten instructional days for school districts that have missed an average of 20 or more days in the previous 3 years and use alternative methods of instruction on days when the school district is closed for specific reasons.
 
SB 83 (Sen. Stan Humphries) creates the Office for Education and Workforce Statistics and the Board of the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics.
 
SB 97 (Sen. David Givens) requires school attendance until age 18 in all districts once 55% of districts require children to attend school until age 18.  A statewide requirement becomes effective four years after the 55% threshold is met.
 
Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee met this week and the following bills were heard and passed out of committee:
 
HB 172 (Rep. Addia Wuchner) requires schools to have epinephrine injectors for the 2013-2014 school year and subsequent years, to the extent the injectors are donated or funding is available.
 
HB 180 (Rep. Carl Rollins) requires the Kentucky Board of Education to establish a statewide system of evaluation for all certified personnel.
 
HB 181 (Rep. Carl Rollins) limits the coal-producing county pharmacy scholarship amount to 40 percent of the average of pharmacy school tuition in the United States.
 
HB 184 (Rep. Carl Rollins) attaches the Early Childhood Advisory Council to the Office of the Governor.
 
HB 220 (Rep. Rita Smart) clarifies the preschool funding formula based on the average number of eligible children served on December 1 and March 1 of the prior academic year.
 
HB 240 (Rep. Carl Rollins) creates the Office for Education and Workforce Statistics and the Board of the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics.
 
HB 269 (Rep. Rollins) clarifies that the Kentucky Environmental Education Council will include the central office of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in the coordination of postsecondary education environmental activities.
 
HB 354 (Rep. Richard Henderson) requires adoption of a school emergency plan and requires emergency drills within the first month of school.
 
SR 156 (Sen. Dan Seum) confirms the appointment of Thomas Kennedy Helm, III, to the Council on Postsecondary Education for a term expiring December 31, 2017.
 
House Appropriations and Revenue Committee 
SB 202 (Sen. Jared Carpenter) addresses the KSBIT situation. The bill authorizes a workers' compensation heterogeneous self-insured group to contract and to sue and be sued in the name adopted by the group. The bill allows certain governmental entities flexibility in financing any assessment by the self-insured group to cover an accrued deficit and to require the intercept of payments due to that governmental entity if it fails to make a scheduled payment.
 
Next Week
 
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.
 
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
E-mail Terry.Holliday@education.ky.gov
Twitter @kycommissioner
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kydeptofed