Top Priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session
KASA commits to a partnership with the General Assembly, and with all those who would continue to make the education of Kentucky's citizens their highest priority, in order to assure them a place in the world economy and the marketplace of ideas. To that end, we propose the following as our Legislative Priorities for the 2023 session of the Kentucky General Assembly:

Civility and Respect
KASA is committed to and supports fostering environments of civility and respect with lawmakers around public education. Acknowledging the great personal and professional sacrifices that elected leaders make to serve, KASA appreciates their service, and advocates within the education community and with lawmakers to continue to work toward common ground in respectful, productive environments.

School Safety
KASA supports full funding for the mandates required in the School Safety and Resiliency Act outside of the SEEK formula. This includes specific allocations for funding for continuous facility upgrades, mental health programs and practitioners, and school resource officers. KASA also supports legislation increasing awareness of the need for mental health services for school staff, including incentives for schools to provide mental health clinics, either on-site or online, for school staff to access.

KASA supports legislation to address school culture specifically as it relates to student behavior. Building on the work of SB200 (2014 RS), KASA supports regional interventions outside of school districts for justice-involved students, where extreme cases can be addressed without disrupting classroom learning. KASA further supports expansion of beds in in-patient facilities for students who are leaving the justice system or state agency schools that need further services before they can successfully attend public schools. This includes investment in mental health intervention capacity for students in mental health crises.

Early Education and Early Literacy
KASA supports full funding for all-day Kindergarten and universal Pre-school. Kindergarten funding should be codified so that it is no longer a bargaining chip to be used against public schools.

KASA supports full implementation of the Read to Succeed Act, SB9 (2022 RS) to harness the proven science on the pedagogy of reading instruction for early literacy.

Workforce Issues
KASA supports legislative efforts to increase the volume of students in Kentucky’s teacher pipeline. Specifically, KASA supports incentives like full or partial student loan forgiveness, marketing the profession, or otherwise supporting research that would drive decision-making to address this looming crisis. KASA would also support ‘Grow-Your-Own’ teacher programs.

KASA supports investment in teacher retention, specifically among new teachers in their first five years of the profession. This could include stipends for teacher mentors assisting new teachers, additional working days for new teachers to receive additional professional development time during their first five years, and other innovative ideas.

KASA also supports legislation that would support the recruitment and retention of classified staff, including but not limited to custodians, bus drivers, and food service professionals.

While KASA supports full transparency regarding how students are performing, the current model provides snapshot data for schools that are too late to be used by teachers and for many students who are no longer at the school. 
KASA supports a competency-based system of accountability that provides real-time data for immediate use in developing instructional interventions.

KASA supports full funding for public schools, including consistent increases in SEEK funding to account for inflation and chronic underfunding from previous decades, and full funding of the SEEK Transportation fund.
While KASA supports local control, KASA opposes policies that imply SEEK funding should be used for funding unfunded mandates, including school safety mandates. 
KASA supports full funding of the actuarially required contributions for public pensions for KTRS and CERS employees. 
KASA supports expanded local control to raise additional revenue at the local level, including a claw back of recent restrictions on recall petitions that make it more difficult for local boards to raise funds locally for facilities. 
KASA supports a review of the SEEK formula to ensure that the formula developed over 30 years ago is reflective of today’s realities. 


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