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.

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.

During the 2022-23 legislative session, we are prioritizing 8 key issues facing Kentucky students, including: student representation; diversity, equity and inclusion; administrative transparency; mental health; school funding; attendance and truancy; college preparation and accessibility; and student censorship.

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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.

Upcoming bills

What's on our radar

Stay Tuned Here As Legislative Season Begins

Status

Bill Summary

KSVT Take

Read the Bill

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.