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School site-based decision-making councils work, so leave them alone



School councils have served the schools and students in Kentucky well since being formed after the 1990 enactment of the Kentucky Education Reform Act, and we don’t see any reason to change that now.

State Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, thinks differently.

Schickel has introduced legislation that would shift some decisionmaking powers from school councils to superintendents.

Currently, site-based decision making councils are school councils made up of parents and teachers and a school administrator. When KERA was passed, the councils were a key part of the education reform law. The Kentucky Department of Education describes the councils as a way to “promote shared leadership among those who are close to the students.”

Schickel argues that his bill would give accountability back to the superintendents and the school board.

He makes the argument that superintendents aren’t given the tools they need and as a result we have a dysfunctional system that’s not accountable to the public.

Under the proposed law, superintendents could set school policy, determine the parameters of a school’s funding, decide which textbooks and materials are available, decide on student service programs provided at the school and fill principal vacancies. It also would require superintendents to consult with principals and school councils and requires principals to develop wellness policies in their schools.

While we applaud Schickel for taking an interest in how schools are run, we simply disagree with what he is proposing. We believe superintendents are given the proper tools that they need and are already accountable to the taxpayers.

Quite honestly, this legislation comes across as somewhat of a power grab that isn’t necessary at all. …

— Bowling Green Daily News



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