Policy

Advocating for Kentucky Students in Frankfort

The Kentucky Student Voice Team tracks and advocates for policies as a part of our larger organizational mission to co-create more just, democratic schools and communities and ensure that the voices of Kentucky students inform education decision making at every level.

As part of this work, we advance broad student representation on school governance bodies and advocate for policies that advance educational equity and excellence.

Our Priorities

During the legislative session, we prioritize 8 key issues facing Kentucky students.

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student representation

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diversity, equity and inclusion

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administrative transparency

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mental health

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school funding

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attendance and truancy

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college preparation and accessibility

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student censorship

what we support

our Values

In order for us to determine whether and how to publicly support a bill or policy, we first ask ourselves a series of questions. We do so to ensure we are consistent with our mission and can leverage both the lived experiences and expert knowledge of Kentucky's students to make the most impact.

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Do the voices of Kentucky students make a difference?

We prioritize education issues for which the voices and perspectives of Kentucky students, and especially those that may be the least heard, bring unique added value to the conversation.

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Does KSVT in particular bring a unique perspective to the issue?

There are many education issues for which it makes sense for youth-centered groups and students beyond our organization to be out front. Before determining how visible we want to be in supporting a policy or bill, we consider that and ask ourselves if the KSVT can add an essential perspective to a public conversation that is otherwise missing.

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Does it fit within our mission statement?

We want to be sure any bill or policy we support aligns with our mission to co-create more just, democratic Kentucky schools and communities.

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Is it bipartisan?

To ensure both credibility and lasting impact and to honor our nonprofit status, any legislation we prioritize should have some bipartisan support.

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Is the legislation meaningful?

The legislation in question should advance a cause and have a measurable impact on Kentucky students.

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Can we build on existing energy to advance this cause?

We are most effective when we can build on existing community energy and work in coalition around an issue. To do that, we look to partner with people who are fueled by  credible research and who are committed, as we are, to advancing education justice.

2024 regular session bills

What's on our radar

House Bill 695: AN ACT establishing the Adaptive Kindergarten Readiness pilot project

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

House bill 695 establishes the Adaptive Kindergarten Readiness Pilot Project, a program that would provide a select cohort of eligible preschool children with access to educational technology programs that use family engagement to improve kindergarten readiness. The bill also outlines which children would be eligible for this pilot program and the Kentucky Department of Education’s responsibility in it.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as research has found quality early childhood education to be crucial to student success throughout life. If the pilot project is found successful, KSVT hopes more students will have access to this program.

Read the Bill

House Bill 828: AN ACT relating to teachers

Status

To Senate Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

This bill extends the validity of a professional teaching certificate to five years after having completed a preparation program and passing the required assessments. It also removes the requirement of completing an internship for teachers with less than two years of experience seeking certification. It clarifies that certification will not be dependent on an offer of future employment. This bill also creates a new teacher induction and mentor program that assigns mentor teachers to new teachers for their first year of employment. The Education Professional Standards Board will submit annual reports to the Legislative Research Commission and collect long-term data on the impact of these mentor programs on new teacher retention.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it works to support newer teachers and ensure that they will have the support system and ability to keep teaching for the long-term.

Read the Bill

House Bill 535: AN ACT relating to civic education

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

This bill's goal is that starting with the freshman class of the 2025-2026 school year, it will become a graduation requirement for students to have completed either a ½ course credit course in civic literacy or a civics test composed of questions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization test. Local school boards can decide on which option to implement. The bill also increases the score required to pass the civics test from 60% to 70%, and students can take it as many times as needed. It also defines which areas will be taught in the civics course, including the Constitution, the roles of state and local governments, America’s founding history, and more.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as an adequate education in civics is integral to producing students who are prepared to engage in state politics and become involved citizens after high school. While this bill is a good first step, it does not go far enough as schools can still opt for the civics test requirement.

Read the Bill

House Bill 446: AN ACT relating to public school transportation

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

HB 446 would carry out amendments to require local school boards to adopt a transportation services policy, require the Kentucky Department of Education to create a model transportation services policy, and detail required provision of local board transportation services policies. It would create a process for operators of transportation to report, be heard during proceedings, and receive a response about misconduct by students aboard transportation and by parents or guardians. It would permit revocation of transportation privileges based on failure to acknowledge the transportation services policy and require inclusion of the transportation services policy in district safety plans.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill due to its intent to establish appropriate public school transportation policies. Most notably, in Kentucky's largest school district, transportation issues that have occurred could be lessened if the bill's purpose proves beneficial and effective.

Read the Bill

House Bill 225: AN ACT relating to education.

Status

Recommitted to Appropriations & Revenue (H)

Bill Summary

This act increases the educational goals of schools in Kentucky broadly toward more critical thinking and achievement. It also removes the reporting mechanism for school breakfast programs and changes the way that school budgets are published instead of filed, changing them from being filed with the county clerk to being published publicly without official filing.

KSVT Take

This bill generally raises the bar for instruction in Kentucky via legislative expectations but could worryingly de-emphasize school breakfast programs by reducing reporting for them. KSVT is neutral on the bill as a whole and supports the expanding expectations for student education.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 191: AN ACT relating to postsecondary education funding and declaring an emergency.

Status

Floor amendment 4 filed, posted in Regular Orders of the Day for March 27th

Bill Summary

SB 191 changes the funding model for universities to prioritize student success criteria (bachelor's degree completion, specific STEM degrees, etc) over student credit hour accumulation. It would also align KCTCS success criterion to state needs and make it easier for non-traditional age college students to get degrees by including them in achievement gap calculations for funding. Some amendments would modify the student success criterion related to underrepresented students completing bachelor's degrees.

KSVT Take

Since this bill changes the state funding model to reward measurable progression in degrees rather than simple credit accumulation, KSVT supports this change in funding. Additionally, this bill makes it easier for older, non-traditional college age students to get degrees and aligns some KCTCS standards to better fit the state. However, KSVT would not support a bill that removes the success criteria of bachelor's completion for underrepresented students.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 2: AN ACT relating to student safety

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 2 is an act relating to student safety. The bill introduces the role of armed "guardians" in school buildings. Guardians may be honorably discharged veterans, retired Kentucky state troopers, retired special and sworn law enforcement officers, and former federal law enforcement officers. Their role is not to replace student resource officers but to fill in gaps at schools or districts that may need them. Guardians must pass multiple screenings and tests. They must be trained in active shooter response, enhanced handgun performance, and patrol rifles. The bill notes that the local board of education shall not be liable for any actions of the guardian acting within the scope of the duties. Guardians shall possess all the immunities and defenses available under "state law to sheriffs, constables granted peace officer powers, and police officers in any suit brought against them in consequence of acts done in the course of their employment." Participation of local boards in employing guardians is voluntary, and any board wanting to participate must do it at their own expense.

KSVT Take

KSVT recognizes the effort to increase student and school safety proposed by this bill. However, we believe that increasing weaponry in schools via guardians is problematic. The team also has concerns regarding guardian immunities and the bill's liability clause.

Read the Bill

House Bill 605: AN ACT relating to professional development

Status

Received in Senate to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

House Bill 605 encourages the Kentucky Department of Education to partner with a trade organization to create and promote a training program for school counselors on building and construction trades. The training course aims to promote trade and training opportunities for students by exposing the field and options via counselors. This agreement also includes professional development credits for teachers and counselors, and if possible, the department must add the training program on the electric consumer bulletin board.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it offers opportunities for students grades 7-12 in the building and construction trade industry. The bill also aids teachers and counselors willing to participate with professional development credits.

Read the Bill

House Bill 611: AN ACT relating to truancy

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

House Bill 611 concerns the legal action schools can take regarding truant students. It would require schools to report students who have missed 15 or more days without an excuse to the county attorney. It also sets parameters around the procedure for after the complaint has been filed including a diversion period.

KSVT Take

Since returning to in-person school after the height of the pandemic, Kentucky, and the US as a whole, has seen an uptick in “chronic absenteeism.” Measures like HB 611 aim to help combat the trend. However, opponents of the bill argue that HB 611 does not adequately address the root cause of why students are not getting to school. Instead it further punishes them and their families.

Read the Bill

House Bill 9: AN ACT relating to postsecondary education and declaring an emergency

Status

Floor Amendments (1), (2) and (3) Filed

Bill Summary

HB 9 aims to prevent the promotion of “discriminatory” diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) concepts on college campuses. It prohibits institutions from providing differential treatment to applicants, creating any scholarship criteria, or changing the composition of the student body based on religion, race, sex, or national origin. This bill would also defund all DEI offices, training, initiatives, and promotional materials. Additionally, institutions can’t require students to take courses dedicated to promoting DEI initiatives as a graduation or degree requirement. Credits earned after January 1, 2024, dedicated to the promotion of DEI won’t count toward the total number of credits required for a degree, certificate, or diploma. All of these restrictions relating to the promotion of DEI initiatives will also apply to the Council for Postsecondary Education. The Council will publish an annual assessment to evaluate the extent to which students, faculty, and staff are exposed to a variety of political and ideological perspectives and have the freedom to express their viewpoints.

KSVT Take

KSVT does not support this bill as the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses is not discriminatory, but instead can help students broaden their perspectives and develop critical thinking skills. Defunding DEI offices on campuses would remove important tools in supporting marginalized student populations and promoting inclusivity, multicultural awareness, and celebration of diversity.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 20: AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 20 would modify the trial procedure for minors who commit a felony with a firearm to try them as an adult. This bill would reduce the individual choice of judges in these cases and would give the discretion to the Commonwealth or county attorney to move the offender back to the District Court where they would have been tried before this bill.

KSVT Take

In general, KSVT is neutral regarding this bill because it is not wholly relevant to education. However, trying minors as adults has been proven to harm them more than effectively improve the justice system.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 80: AN ACT relating to elections.

Status

To House Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 80 would ban the use of student/employee ID’s and credit/debit cards as valid forms of voter identification.

KSVT Take

KSVT does not support this bill. Voter turnout is already incredibly low in our state, especially among college aged voters, the primary age group this bill would affect. Banning the use of student IDs at the polls only creates more hoops voters have to jump through in order to exercise their constitutional right.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 6: AN ACT relating to postsecondary institutions.

Status

To Senate Rules Committee

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 6 concerns Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs in higher education. The bill states that students can not be penalized or discriminated against due to their refusal to support a “divisive concept” which the bill defines as “the idea that one race or sex is superior to another, or that a person should feel guilt or discomfort due to their race or sex.” The bill also allows employees and students to sue public colleges and universities if they believe the institution violates this law. Also noted in the bill are that students or employees can not be forced to endorse any “ideological viewpoint” and an institution cannot inquire about any person's “social or political viewpoint” for tenure, hire or admittance.

KSVT Take

KSVT opposes Senate Bill 6. Under the guise of protecting students against discrimination, the bill really aims to take away funding for programs that help minority students succeed in college life. DEI programs ensure equitable access to education for all students, not discrimination.

Read the Bill

House Bill 798: AN ACT relating to weapons on school property

Status

Introduced to House Education Committee

Bill Summary

House Bill 798 deals with weapons on school property, amending KRS 527.010 to include knives longer than three inches as prohibited weapons.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as it supports student and faculty safety in schools.

Read the Bill

House Bill 799: AN ACT relating to home and hospital instruction.

Status

Received in Senate to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

House Bill 799 allows for students admitted in an inpatient facility to receive home and hospital services effective the day they are admitted into such facility,

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as it supports access to education and resources needed for students to succeed outside of the school setting.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 11: AN ACT relating to juvenile justice

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 11 amends KRS 610.345 to give schools notice of possible charges against students, prior to filing of a public offense petition against the student. Schools should know of charges as case opens, and if petition is dismissed, all records of the incident in the school/district shall be destroyed and not be included in the students records.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it does not cause harm to students of faculty, but allows for overall transparency between student records and schools.

Read the Bill

House Bill 377: ACT relating to teacher recruitment and retention, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring an emergency.

Status

Passed

Bill Summary

HB 377 establishes the Teacher Recruitment Student Loan Forgiveness Pilot Program to help Kentuckians become teachers. The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority will administer the program and can give teacher recruitment awards of up to $5,000 per semester to students with financial need enrolled in study programs to receive teacher certification. If a student doesn't complete their teaching service or fails to finish their teaching studies, they will have to repay the promissory note along with any interest. If someone does not meet repayment obligations, it can cause their teaching certificate to be revoked. This bill also creates the Student Teacher Stipend Program to reduce financial barriers for students in educator preparation programs or entering the education workforce. This would award eligible student teachers up to $5,000 during the academic term in which they are student teachers.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it is bipartisan and would support students aiming to become teachers. It would be important step towards encouraging more Kentuckians to become educators, who are integral to the future of students and are deserving of more support.

Read the Bill

House Bill 231: AN ACT relating to public postsecondary education institutions

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

This bill would amend KRS 164.020 to prohibit the Council on Post-Sec Edu from raising tuition for a college/uni/post-sec more than 5% a year for resident students and 7% a year for nonresident students, provide a 4 year tuition freeze for an enrolled resident student require an institution to notify a student before expiration of a tuition freeze; require any increase in tuition or fees to be approved before March 1;  amend KRS 164.131 to add two additional full-time student members to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, including one graduate student; remove language regarding initial appointments; amend KRS 164.821 to add two additional full-time student members to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, including one graduate student; remove language regarding initial appointments; amend KRS 164.321 to add two additional full-time student members to the boards of regents, including one full-time graduate student; remove language regarding initial appointments; amend KRS 164.7874 to require a private postsecondary institution to have a voting student member on its governing board in order to be a participating institution for purposes of KEES eligibility; provide that the Act may be cited as the Kentucky Student Tuition Protection and Accountability Act; EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2028

KSVT Take

This bill does not make post-secondary education more affordable in Kentucky but would keep it from becoming more expensive. That is positive and commendable that the legislature is moving in this direction. Additionally, the inclusion of student members to the Board of Trustees at both UK and UofL is something that KSVT can stand behind.

Read the Bill

House Bill 376: AN ACT relating to children and declaring an emergency

Status

Introduced to House Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

Among its multiple implications, HB 376 will remove provisions related to parental rights and human sexuality in curriculums. It offers a process for parents to opt out of their child being taught about human sexuality. Removes parental consent required prior to students receiving health and mental health services. Removes language restricting policies regarding student confidentiality and student pronouns. Requires school districts to use pronouns requested by students. Amends KRS 158.189 to remove requirements of local boards of education adopting a policy on privacy and use of student facilities. Requires schools to accommodate students whose gender is different from their biological sex.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill due to its expanding of student access to health services at schools. Additionally, the bill advocates for the protection of trans students who should be allowed to express themselves freely and be supported by Kentucky schools.

Read the Bill

House Bill 257: AN ACT relating to higher education

Status

Introduced in House to Committees on Committees

Bill Summary

House Bill 257 aims to dissolve the Council for Postsecondary Education and reassign its authority and roles to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. The bill also amends KRS. 164.756 to add three student members to the KHEAA board.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it favors student representation while not dismissing the value and roles of the Council for Postsecondary Education, only transferring power to a previously established education authority.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 232: AN ACT relating to education and declaring an emergency.

Status

Floor Amendment (1) Filed

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 232 reenacts KRS 162.060, specifying that local school boards must submit all property plans to the chief state school officer, disallowing KDE from requiring prior approval. The bill also notes changes in leasing, purchasing, and disposing of buildings. Most significantly, SB 232 removes the requirement for a certified school media librarian.

KSVT Take

KSVT does not support this bill as the organization recognizes the importance of librarians in schools. School librarians are the center of high-quality literacy and digital citizenship programs. Without librarians, students and teachers lose fundamental resources.

Read the Bill

House Bill 450: AN ACT relating to the protection of minors.

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

HB 450 aims to protect minors on social media by requiring parental consent for any account holding minors. The bill would also require companies to offer forms of parental supervision including the ability to view all posts and messages, control settings, and monitor the time their kids spend on the platform.

KSVT Take

KSVT believes all students should be taught to use technology effectively and supports any initiative to reduce cyber bullying and harassment. However, for minors who can safely manage their own account, or who may not have parental figures in their lives who could grant them permission to have an account, this bill might be more of a hassle than a help.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 4: AN ACT relating to sick leave for members of the Teachers' Retirement System and declaring an emergency.

Status

To House Rules Committee

Bill Summary

Currently in Kentucky, 30% of the value of a teacher’s unused sick leave days are added on to their retirement pension. Senate Bill 4 however, would limit the payment for unused sick days to just 10 per school year.

KSVT Take

There are many contrasting opinions on this bill. The bill was proposed with the intention of ensuring that the pension system could continue to pay teachers in their retirement. Reducing the number of unused sick days teachers could accumulate money for would save funds. On the other hand, those who oppose the bill argue that it could incentivize teachers to use up their sick days during the school year even if they don’t need them, worsening Kentucky’s substitute teacher shortage. KSVT believes the action that best supports our teachers is the most responsible action to take.

Read the Bill

House Bill 346: AN ACT relating to human growth and development instruction.

Status

Recommitted to House Appropriations & Revenue Committee

Bill Summary

House Bill 346, amends KRS 158.1415 to require school districts who adopt a curriculum for growth, development, and sexual education to meet new criteria. Criteria include adding instruction for human growth and development, like ultrasound videos of organ development and animations of cell growth and fertilization. The bill also specifies that if parents were to opt their child out of classes about human sexuality or human growth and development, the student shall not be penalized, and an alternative course shall be provided for the student. Lastly, the bill concludes by authorizing the attorney general to bring a civil action to compel school districts to comply with subsections of this bill, and if school districts fail to comply with the sections of this bill, a parent or student over the age of eighteen may file a civil action against the school district.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as it offers more oppurtunuties for students learning about human growth and development, and does not penalize students unable to take those classes.

Read the Bill

House Bill 383: AN ACT relating to technology in public schools.

Status

Recommitted to House Appropriations & Revenue Committee

Bill Summary

House Bill 383 would require school districts to include a ban on personal device usage by students during instructional time unless there is an emergency or they are instructed to use their personal device by a teacher with the exception of devices allowed for disabilities. Districts must include violations of this policy in their disciplinary plan for unauthorized personal device usage.

KSVT Take

While KSVT acknowledges the disruptions that personal device usage can have in the classroom, a complete ban is likely to reduce the educational opportunities that cell phone usage can create and would be difficult to implement and enforce.

Read the Bill

House Bill 2: AN ACT proposing to create a new section of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to education funding

Status

Delivered to Secretary of State

Bill Summary

This bill proposes an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that would enable the General Assembly to give funding to K-12 students outside of public schools. Voters in the Commonwealth could then vote to ratify or reject the amendment. The Secretary of State will also ensure that the entirety of the amendment is published in a newspaper prior to the amendment's appearance on the ballot.

KSVT Take

KSVT is not in support of this bill because Kentucky should be focused on improving the already inadequate funding for public schools and disparities across school districts, rather than diverting money to private schools. This could lead to decreased quality in public education, therefore hurting low-income students who don’t have the means to attend private schools.

Read the Bill

House Bill 275: AN ACT relating to misconduct in schools and school-sponsored activities.

Status

Posted for passage for concurrence in Senate Committee Substitute and Committee Amendment

Bill Summary

House Bill 275 relates to misconduct in schools and school-sponsored activities. The bill creates a new section of KRS Chapter 160, prohibiting public schools from entering into a nondisclosure agreement "relating to misconduct involving a minor or student." The bill also amends KRS 160.380 to define Abusive Conduct. Other amendments include requiring school district applicants to disclose being the subject of any allegations or investigations in the previous 12 months and consent to a reference check conducted by the school district. The bill requires nonpublic and public school districts to disclose any allegations or investigations related to the abusive conduct of applicants, outlines requirements for obtaining related records, and creates new application requirements. House Bill 275 requires that school districts internally report and thoroughly investigate all allegations of abusive conduct, keeping records of the investigation in an employee's personnel file unless proven false. In relation to private schools, the bill amends KRS 156.160 to encourage the board of education to include employment standards in the voluntary certification standards for private schools, and defines "certified nonpublic school." Employees of nonpublic schools must meet certain requirements including, having background checks and reference checks, while prohibiting the hiring of a violent or felony sex crime offender. These schools are also prohibited from entering a non-disclosure agreement mentioned previously.  Lastly, the bill requires that the Kentucky Department of Education develop training related to sexual misconduct for employees to undergo every five years.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it reinforces administrative transparency and a includes measures meant to produce safe school settings.

Read the Bill

House Bill 96: AN ACT relating to moments of silence and reflection.

Status

Received in Senate Education Committee

Bill Summary

HB 96 would require schools to set aside one to two minutes at the start of each school day for "a moment of silence or reflection." The bill states that each student may choose how to spend this minute, whether it be meditating, praying or some other silent activity.

KSVT Take

KSVT recognizes that allowing students to choose whether or not they'd like to participate in a religious activity during this time is good. However, of all issues today's students are facing, we do not feel the lack of a silent minute is the most pertinent.

Read the Bill

House Bill 301: AN ACT relating to school lunches.

Status

Introduced to House Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

This bill would require a school council to adopt a policy for students to be assigned a lunch period of at least 30 minutes in length.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill due to requiring an appropriate lunch time for Kentucky students, some of whom may be at school for extended hours.

Read the Bill

House Bill 119: AN ACT relating to interscholastic extracurricular activities.

Status

Introduced to House Education Committee

Bill Summary

This bill would authorize an at home private school student's  participation in a public school interscholastic activity. Guidelines for participation would be established, and the parent, guardian, or teacher of the at home private school student involved in extracurricular would be required to verify the student's academic progress. If a public school student does not meet the public school's academic standards, withdraws, and enters an at-home private school program, they would be inelegible for participation.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill due to extracurriculars being an integral part of many students' lifestyle that should be available for public and private students alike.

Read the Bill

House Bill 224: AN ACT relating to constitutional freedoms at public postsecondary education institutions.

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

HB 224 would amend KRS 164.348, which protects freedom of speech and expression for students and faculty in public post-secondary education institutions. This new bill would extend these protections to the public and protect off-campus speech as well. Additionally, institutions cannot retaliate against campus community members complaining about a violation of these rights, and faculty and administrators who restrict speech may be disciplined. Students and their organizations will not be discriminated against for their religious or political viewpoints in their classes, access to facilities, or organization of internal affairs. This bill also clarifies that institutions do not have to grant groups unaffiliated with the institution the same free speech privileges as student organizations. Students may not disrupt the expression of others in a previously reserved space. There also must be a viewpoint-neutral distribution of funds to student organizations and published funding reports. The Council on Postsecondary Education will develop instructional materials and model trainings for institutions and faculty.

KSVT Take

This bill is admirable in its attempts to protect the right to freedom of speech, however it is unclear why these protections should be extended to the public if they are unaffiliated with the institution. This bill could also be interpreted to prevent speech by any counter-protesters on campus.

Read the Bill

House Bill 208: AN ACT proposing an amendment to Section 183 of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to education funding

Status

Floor Amendment (1) Filed

Bill Summary

HB 208 would amend section 183 of the Kentucky Constitution so that the General Assembly would oversee and provide for a portion of a students' educational costs outside of the public school system. As long as funds don't come from the school fund then sections 184 to 189 of the Kentucky Constitution should not prevent from providing educational costs for students outside of the public school system. In addition, a general vote on the amount of educational costs provided will be neither prevented nor rejected.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as the purpose of it is to provide equal opportunity to students of parents with limited financial means. Since a major obstacle for students when pursuing educational opportunities outside of school can be a lack of financial means, this bill aids in leveling the playing field for students across the state.

Read the Bill

House Bill 139: AN ACT relating to the KentuckyCYBER Program and making an appropriation therefor

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

This bill will create a new section of KRS Chapter 164 that establishes the KentuckyCYBER Program within the Council on Postsecondary Education. This program will work to create a secure cyberinfrastructure by educating and developing training programs to create a workforce ready to meet cybersecurity challenges. Public and private post-secondary institutions or institutions licensed by the council may choose to participate, but will not be required to carry out the following provisions. Participating institutions will provide cybersecurity resources and advice to assist the state and local government, policymakers, major economic sectors, and infrastructure systems operators. They should facilitate cyber-innovation, which is meant to strengthen Kentucky’s cybersecurity defenses. These institutions will also create cybersecurity research centers to support research on projects funded by the federal government and private industry participants. Participating institutions can apply for funds, which are subject to approval by the KentuckyCYBER Governing Board that is to be created. The KentuckyCYBER fund will consist of money appropriated by the General Assembly and any other contributions or grants. Money given to a specific university or community college will not be included in the fund. Allocations made to participating institutions will be excluded from the funding model established by KRS 164.092.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill as it works to create stronger cybersecurity in Kentucky and provides the framework for participating post-secondary institutions to receive funding for implementation.

Read the Bill

House Bill 381: AN ACT relating to local school board student representatives.

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

House Bill 381 will require all local school boards to include a student representative. The student member will attend and participate in school board meetings to provide a student perspective and learn about school governance. A student delegate shall be a junior or senior public school student who has passed the  KRS 158.141 civics test and serves a one-year term. Each school board must adopt a policy to implement the student member, highlighting the selection process, eligibility requirements, and terms of service. Provisions must include a selection process that implements the vote of high school students. An attendance policy that excuses the student from missing a maximum of two meetings, allowance of teleconferencing. The member shall be non-voting and not participate in executive or closed board meetings sessions, however, shall be granted full participation in meetings the same as their fellow members.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in strong support of this bill as it amplifies student voices state wide.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 98: AN ACT relating to the Kentucky Board of Education

Status

Introduced to Senate Education Committee

Bill Summary

SB 98 amends KRS 156.029. The bill would allow the Kentucky Board Of Education's Student Member to have a vote. The bill also requires that the board adds an at-large member and that two existing members must have children enrolled in public school. SB 98 also amends KRS 156.040 by removing any age and college degree requirements for the student board member.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports SB 98, as it amplifies student voices in the state by allowing the board's student members to have a vote.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 8: AN ACT relating to the Kentucky Board of Education

Status

Introduced to House Education Committee

Bill Summary

SB 8 would amend KRS 156.029 so all 14 members of the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) are elected. A  new section of KRS Chapter 156 would detail the process for members to be elected, including a partisan and nonpartisan regular election. An additional section would set forth the process for the removal of a member of KBE. KRS 156.040 would be amended to require that members of the (KBE) not have served on a local school board for a minimum of 4 years before the year of their election. It would establish a schedule for transitioning from appointed to elected members. Appointees would continue to serve by their appointments until December 31, 2026; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2026.

KSVT Take

KSVT does not support this bill due its partisan intent.

Read the Bill

Senate Bill 93: AN ACT relating to education

Status

Introduced to Education Committee

Bill Summary

This bill aims to prohibit local school districts and public charter schools from indirectly or directly requiring, promoting, or using any programs that aim to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This bill has the intention of preventing the creation or continuance of exclusion on the basis of discrimination within school environments. This bill also proposes the removal of diversity and race bias teachings from school resource officers required curriculum.

KSVT Take

KSVT is not in support of this bill. We believe that keeping diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging teachings in schools is vital to keeping Kenutcky’s K-12 education inclusive to all students. This bill will pose a great danger to Kentucky’s minority students and will further the divisive culture within our school systems.

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House Bill 148: AN ACT relating to menstrual discharge collection devices and making an appropriation therefor

Status

Introduced in House to to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

HB 148 asks that all public schools or public charter schools with grades 6-12 have an age-appropriate menstrual discharge collection device in each school building and at least 50% of all female, handicapped, unisex, or family bathrooms. The bill also states that each local board of education or public charter school board of directors must establish procedures to distribute menstrual products for student use while prohibiting resale, redistribution, and misuse of products.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as it aims to provide needed menstural products and supports to student. However, SB 38, a similar bill, seeks to provide menstrual products for students grade 4-12, a wider variety.

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House Bill 162: AN ACT relating to mathematics education

Status

Posted for passage for concurrence in Senate Floor Amendment (2) and Floor Amendment (1-title)

Bill Summary

HB 162 would amend sections of KRS Chapter 158 to include math instruction in addition to reading and writing instruction as areas essential for schools to provide comprehensive instruction. The bill mandates schools provide robust support for students to engage with math at a proficient level at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and adds "mathematical skills" to the list of skills the Department of Education must work with schools to ensure students receive robust education in. The bill also mandates that students receive additional or accelerated help in math if needed through a "multi-tiered system of support" at the school, district, and state levels.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of this bill as it advocates for a better student learning experience and individualized instruction. This bill would be a step in the right direction for ensuring each Kentucky student receives the quality education they are entitled to.

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House Bill 36: AN ACT relating to student resiliency and well-being

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

This bill will establish the Center for Student Resiliency and Well-Being within the Kentucky Department of Education. The Center will collect data and trend changes, coordinate school staff training, and monitor the numbers and types of mental health professionals in schools. It will  amend KRS 158.4416 to include the definition of "student resiliency and well-being approach." Amend KRS 158.191 to require a school district to allow a parent to decline their student's participation in well-being questionnaires rather than requiring parental consent for the student to participate. Amend KRS 156.095 to require schools to provide an opportunity for any student who missed the suicide prevention awareness lesson to receive the lesson at a later time.

KSVT Take

KSVT supports this bill due to its efforts of promoting student well-being through establishing a facility within the Kentucky Department of Education. Mental health impacts many students and the bill can help address and highlight its importance.

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Senate Bill 52: AN ACT relating to technology in education and declaring an emergency

Status

To Senate Education Committee

Bill Summary

This bill will upgrade technology by using Artificial Intelligence as part of curriculum and instruction in Kentucky classrooms. By July 1, 2024, the Kentucky Department of Education, with input from The Council of Technology, will make guidelines on incorporating AI in school administration, instruction, classroom management, and curriculum. Guidelines will also specify how school and local boards should create policies around the use of AI. These will be updated and revised as needed every six months. There will be four different 1-hour trainings, the 4th training for local board and school council members. This meeting will specifically speak on the usage of AI and also the dangers of it. Each certified school employee must complete one of the three annual trainings starting for the 2024-25 school year. Training will receive funds through local/state budgets for public schools. Each year on June 30th, districts will be required to give a report on how much effort was put into AI utilization, any purchases for AI, and efforts relating to AI in teaching. This report will come from public and nonpublic schools.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of adopting AI and providing the best curriculum for students. However, SB 52 is experimental in nature, and districts must decide what is best for them.

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Senate Bill 38: AN ACT relating to providing free feminine hygiene products for elementary and secondary students

Status

Introduced to Appropriations and Revenue

Bill Summary

This bill will make a new section of KRS Chapter 128. It will require each public school with grades 4+ to provide free female hygiene products. These products include, but are not limited to tampons, sanitary napkins, and menstrual sponges/cups for students. Local boards of Education will be in charge of making policies and distributing free feminine hygiene products.

KSVT Take

KSVT stands with this bill as it will help out a tremendous amount of students by providing basic essential products.

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House Bill 158: AN ACT relating to dyslexia.

Status

Introduced in House to Committee on Committees

Bill Summary

HB 158 is an act amending KRS 158.307 and KRS 164.304. Amendments made to KRS 158.307 include requiring rather than allowing local boards of education to develop policy on dyslexia and the approach to include the definition and traits of dyslexia. The bill requires the implementation of processes that identify students presenting characteristics of dyslexia, for utilizing tools to identify such students, and methods evaluating such tools. The approach must also include an outreach plan to aid parents and an identification process to locate evidence-based intervention methods with progress monitoring involved. Amendments to KRS 164.304 include requiring postsecondary institutions that offer teacher preparation programs to include dyslexia instruction by the 2025-26 school year without exception to funding availability.

KSVT Take

KSVT is in support of HB 158 as it provides support for students who demonstrate characteristics of dyslexia.

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a few things we're proud of

Some of our legislative wins

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Powerball promise

Made Kentucky colleges more affordable for 8,000 low-income students by keeping money from the Kentucky Lottery allocated toward education equity.

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Save our seats campaign

Passed legislation (HB 178) that secured permanent student representation on the Kentucky Board of Education with bipartisan support.

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mental health campaign

Passed legislation (HB 44) that established excused absences for mental health days for students. 

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teach truth rally

Successfully blocked legislation (HB 14 and HB 18) that would have prohibited teaching accurate American history through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens.

Get Involved

How you can advocate for education equity

  • Testify to Your Local School Board

    Education policy gets made at many levels, even at your local school! If you have an idea for a new policy at your school, get in touch with your principal or a member of the school’s Site-Based Decision Making Council (SBDM).

    If you want to take it one step further, you can testify in front of your local school board about changes you want to see in your school district. Luckily, Student Voice has compiled a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know to research, write and present a testimony.

    Read more about the roles and responsibilities of local School Boards and Site-Based Decisions Making Councils or check out this guide about the different governing bodies in our school system.

  • Connect to Advocacy in Frankfort

    If you want to address an issue at the state level, you can call or email your state representative or senator, or contact a member of the Kentucky Board of Education about statewide policies and new legislation ideas. Find your Legislator here.

    Since 2019, there has been a student representative serving on the Kentucky Board of Education. Get in touch with them here, or reach out to the Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council.

  • Follow New Legislative Proposals

    One of the most important parts of getting involved is keeping track of what’s happening! The Louisville Courier Journal and the Lexington Herald Leader are both great reading resources that cover local and statewide educational policy.