Five things the Kentucky General Assembly can do to create a Big Bold Future | Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

Five things the Kentucky General Assembly can do to create a Big Bold Future

Kentucky has made impressive progress in education over the last generation. Unfortunately, as shown in our 2020 Big Bold Future Annual Rankings Report, we have hit a plateau and are moving backwards in some key areas – from preschool to postsecondary – with persistent gaps for those historically underserved. These plateaus were seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, nearly one year since many students have seen the inside of a classroom, we now face learning loss like never seen before.

The Kentucky General Assembly must recommit to the hard work, investment, collaboration, and belief that we can move into the top tier of all states in education achievement as we move out of the pandemic.

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has five requests for the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly that we believe will present a vision of a Big, Bold Future where every Kentuckian can thrive, contribute to, and benefit from our shared progress as a state.

  • Allocate adequate and equitable funding for education: We ask that the Kentucky General Assembly continue to support the principles of our 2020 Big Bold Ask of $1 billion in additional investment in education by 2026. The 2021-22 biennial budget was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the state is in dire need of a strategic investment plan for education at all levels, phased in over multiple years.
  • Close the digital divide: Support the development of a statewide broadband deployment plan that addresses last-mile access and affordability. This could include funding for HB 362 of 2020 which created the broadband deployment fund as well as recommendations derived from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s broadband initiative working group.
  • Fund early learning initiatives: The Kentucky General Assembly must increase per-child funding and reimbursement rates to support high-quality opportunities for eligible children, as well as dedicated funding to encourage partnerships between public preschool and private childcare. Additionally, funding is needed for increasing eligibility for child care assistance and public preschool to 200% of federal poverty level. Funding for HANDS, Kentucky’s evidence-based home visiting program to support families with more than one child until the age of 3, must also be continued.
  • Support teacher preparation and professional learning: A Prichard Committee’s task force report, “Teaching Matters Most,” reflects the need for systemic change and support for good teaching practice and professional learning that is practical, evidence-based and successful in improving student outcomes. These recommendations will require financial support at the state level to ensure their success.

Legislation We Are Tracking

HOUSE BILLS & RESOLUTIONS

Provide relief to businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 state of emergency;, including:- guidelines for opening of businesses and schools- suspend interest on unpaid unemployment insurance contributions- provide guidelines for parental visitation- provide guidelines for visitation at long-term care facilities

B. Rowland

01/09/21: delivered to Governor

Expand eligibility for preschool education programs to children who reside in households with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

J. Raymond

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Require all certified public school employees to complete high quality behavioral and mood disorder training annually.

J. Raymond

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Require inclusion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test as a measurement of postsecondary readiness for the state accountability system.

M. Koch

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Establish income eligibility requirements for the Child Care Assistance Program at 200% of FPL

J. Raymond

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Prohibit a person employed by a school district from using corporal physical discipline

S. Riley

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Establish the Education Opportunity Account Program and accompanying tax credit.

C. McCoy

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Add two career and technical education courses per year to the Dual Credit Scholarship and delete the dual credit provisions from the Work Ready Scholarship.

J. Tipton

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Require school councils or principals to adopt child abuse awareness and prevention instruction that is taught by a trained, certified teacher

N. Tate

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Require the EPSB to reissue certification for a lapsed certificate to an applicant who holds a master's degree and is not subject to denial of a certificate under KRS 161.120.

R. Huff

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Makes changes to structure of the KY Board of Education

S. Sheldon

01/06/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Expand eligibility for KEES award

C. Freeland

01/06/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Require public middle and high school curriculum to include instruction on the history of racism.

A. Scott

01/06/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Executive Branch budget

J. Petrie

01/13/21: Conference Committee appointed in House and Senate

Create a tax credit for educator expenses

T. Bojanowski

01/07/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

COVID relief bill for schools dealing with attendance days, meal programs, leave days, etc.

R. Huff

01/07/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Establish the Kentucky Community and Technical College endowment matching fund

D. Fister

01/09/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Provide KEES eligibility for enrollment in a Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps program at an out-of-state institution located in a state within the SREB

M. Lockett

01/09/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Prohibit postsecondary institutions from inquiring about a student's criminal history on an admissions application.

L. Willner

01/11/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Require completion of the FAFSA form as a high school graduation requirement

R. Huff

01/11/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Allow a student to retake the college admissions exam in the fall of grade 12 and require KDE to pay for the cost of the optional exam

S. Riley

01/11/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Reforms to the Teachers' Retirement System that includes a foundational benefit component.

C. Massey

01/13/21: to State Government (H)

The Read to Succeed Act

J. Tipton

01/13/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Kentucky Early Entry Initiative pilot program

J. Tipton

01/13/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

Direct the commissioner of education to convene a strategic assessment and accountability committee; establish minimum requirements for the composition of the committee; establish the duties of the committee; require the commissioner to report the findings of the committee to the Interim Joint Committee on Education by December 1, 2021, and December 1, 2022, EMERGENCY.

T. Bojanowski

01/05/21: introduced in House

Direct the Legislative Research Commission to establish the Kentucky Preschool Program Task Force to study preschool programs; require findings and recommendations to be reported by November 30, 2021.

J. Raymond

01/11/21: to Committee on Committees (H)

SENATE BILLS & RESOLUTIONS

Establish the Education Opportunity Account Program and accompanying tax credit

R. Alvarado

01/05/21: to Committee on Committees (S)

Require greater minority representation on a superintendent screening committee in a school district with a minority student population of 50% or greater.

J. Adams

01/11/21: to Education (S)

Funding of locally operated state vocational technology education center

J. Higdon

01/11/21: to Committee on Committees (S)

Increases per pupil SEEK amounts for districts receiving less than they received in 1991-1992

R. Mills

01/12/21: to Committee on Committees (S)

Kentucky Early Entry Initiative pilot program

S. West

01/13/21: to Committee on Committees (S)

The Read to Succeed Act

S. West

01/13/21: to Committee on Committees (S)

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