There are lots of bills to keep an eye on in Frankfort that have the potential to impact Shelby County students that I'd like to be sure you're aware of and take action on. I'll be doing my part on Thursday, February 1st as I travel to Frankfort to meet with Representative Rob Rothenburger and Senator Paul Hornback to advocate for our students. Here are a few of the bills I will be discussing with them and how I intend to ask them to vote.
HB200 - Vote No
HB200 Proposes cuts to state transportation funding for districts, elimination of funds for textbooks, elimination for funds for teacher professional development and some 65 other programs focused around K-12 and secondary education. These cuts would affect per-pupil funding from the the state to Shelby County Public Schools to the tune of $2.2 million dollars. That is a cut of of $325 per student in Shelby county. Cuts are not the answer.
One of our Shelby County representatives in Frankfort said that "The Commonwealth, unfortunately, currently faces a bleak financial outlook that can only be solved by reducing our spending.". (Link to Source*) By saying there is no alternative to reducing our spending is to say that continuing to give tax breaks and handouts to corporations is a better alternative than taking $325 away from every child in Shelby County Public Schools.
Where can we find funding? See HB29 below.
HB29 - Vote Yes
HB29 is a tax reform bill that is directed at increasing revenues for the state to the tune of $450 - $550 million by cleaning up tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals. The Kentucky legislature gives more away in tax breaks, nearly $12 billion, than it takes in in revenues of about $10 billion. HB29 could raise revenues by raising tax rates on top wage earners without raising the tax burden on our poorest and middle income residents. We can raise revenues, don't let them tell you cuts are the only option.
HB242 & HB243 - Vote No
HB242 would abolish all current Boards of Education and merge the existing 173 local and independent school districts into just 55 districts across the state. New boards of education would be appointed effective July 1, 2020 and elections for board members would not be held until 2022.
HB243 would merge the existing 120 counties into just 34. The school district boundaries and new county boundaries would not align. These bills would decimate communities and eliminate local school districts and the strength of your vote in local government and school government.
HB147 - Vote Yes
HB147 would require schools to create a seizure response action plan in schools to ensure individuals know how to assist those with these disorders, and requires that teachers, counselors and principals have at least one hour of self-study review of seizure disorder materials each year. It also calls on all public schools to have age-appropriate seizure education programs. An “action plan” means a written plan that addresses the needs of a student with a seizure disorder, including epilepsy.
SB103 - Vote No
SB103 was introduced this week following the school shooting in Marshal County Kentucky and would allow the creation of "School Marshals" that would be authorized to carry guns on school property. These marshals would only need to hold a valid concealed carry license in Kentucky but not necessarily any further training. Shelby County Public School utilizes Safety Resource Officers who are trained law enforcement officials and are provided by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office or Shelbyville Police department. I do not support any guns in schools that are not carried by trained law enforcement officers.
Keep up with Legislation
The Legislative Research Commission maintains information on all things Kentucky Legislature. You can read proposed bills on their website at this link.
- Take some time to contact your representatives at the LRC Message Line at 1-502-564-8100.
Thank you for your support and your action to protect our students,