What's Happening in Frankfort - Legislative Update
As the current legislative session continues, the KEA Lobby Team continues to review and update information on all bills. You can see the most current information about all the bills KEA is watching by clicking KEA Regular Session 2022 Bill Status Report, which is updated each day.
Legislation in Action
Unemployment Insurance – HB4
Unemployment Benefit Cuts – The House had a long debate on the floor after HB4 passed out of committee and voted on in the chamber on the same day. In a relatively close vote, the bill that will cut unemployment insurance benefits will now go to the Senate. In the current version, the duration of benefits for an eligible individual eligible could be cut to 12 weeks. Expanded work search criteria and not taking a job that one may be overqualified for or that pays significantly less than previous employment would also cause a loss of benefits.
Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) SB6
UK Coach Calipari and UK AD Barnhardt testified in favor of SB6 in front of a crowded room at the Senate Education Committee. This legislation is needed to codify language allowing student athletes in Kentucky to receive fair compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Governor Beshear signed an executive order last June when an NCAA policy changed allowing NIL. Coach Calipari said this bill offers a “model” approach, providing flexibility to respond to the still-evolving issue. The bill passed unanimously and is now in the possession of the House for action.
Education Bills in Action
HB226 passed the full House chambers. The bill relates to early literacy in education. The provisions impact “Read to Achieve” and create a companion program “Read to Succeed.” KEA opposes this legislation because it increases testing demands and adds additional professional development requirements for our already overburdened educators. HB226 was amended to give schools flexibility to use RTA money for salaries, reading interventionists, and other supports without the department limiting their use. Also, funding was included in this version.
Education Committee Meetings
The House Education Committee met on February 8 and approved three bills.
HB63 would ensure a certified resource officer is working on site in every school building. If a district could not fulfill this requirement due to funding or lack of qualified persons, the district would be required to notify the state school security marshal and present a plan for coverage until the positions could be filled.
HB270 relates to prevention-oriented child abuse awareness instruction. The original version heard in committee would require even more certified teacher professional development to implement. The sponsor said she would make changes based on those concerns and filed a floor amendment to delete that provision. The amended version would require the superintendent to implement instruction or for instruction to be integrated into relevant existing required curricula. Another option would be to allow the instruction to be provided by a school counselor, school safety specialist, or other individual with special knowledge or expertise on the topic.
HB397 would allow for disaster relief days for schools affected by the tornadoes in Western Kentucky this past December. The Commissioner could waive up to 15 instructional days for students and those days would count as fulfilled contract days for educators.
The Senate Education Committee met on February 10 and approved two bills.
SB102 relates to mental health service providers in school districts. Superintendents would be required to report to the Kentucky Department of Education on how they are providing mental health services. That would encompass the position held, placement, and certificates or licenses held, along with the source of funding for those positions. The department would be required to report to the Interim Joint Education Committee each year.
SB83 deals with girls’ sports in Kentucky and transgender females. There are already KHSAA regulations on this topic and not a single instance of this has occurred to date. Regardless, SB83 would prohibit transgender females from competing in any girls’ sports.
No movement on Executive Budget
The executive branch budget bill that was passed by the house, HB1, is still in the possession of the Senate. Although HB1 includes small increases in some education funding categories, please continue to contact your state senators. Ask them to include mandatory raises for all school employees and the additional funding included in the Governor’s budget for K-12 education system, HB285.
Governor Beshear’s budget included many of KEA’s budget priorities, including a 5% across-the-board salary increase for every school employee.
SB1 – SBDM Councils & Local Control
SB1 currently is in possession of the House. KEA opposes SB1 which would:
Remove authority of SBDM councils to select principals and give superintendents ultimate authority to hire principals after “consultation” with councils.
Remove authority of SBDM councils to set curriculum, select textbooks, instructional materials, and address student support services. SB1 places the authority for each of these items with the council
Eliminate SBDM council’s local control to make hiring decisions that reflect the best interests of the individual school.
Require the alignment of council policy with local board policy.
Please encourage your colleagues, family, and friends to call the legislative hotline at 1-800-372-7181 and email your Representative and ask them to vote NO on SB1.
Resources to Use:
Key Legislative Committees