Friday, August 3, 2012
State education board set to create ‘Fund
for Transforming Education in Kentucky’
The Kentucky Board of Education appears ready to create a “foundation for innovation” that officials hope will put the state in line for private funds to support creative local K-12 programs.
At its Aug. 9 meeting, the state board will consider a recommendation by Department of Education staff to approve incorporation of “The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky,” according to a report included in the board’s advance agenda.
“It is widely held that to increase student achievement for all Kentucky students requires effective leaders in every school, effective educators in every classroom, and healthy and engaged students who come to school ready to learn. This requires providing adequate support and resources so these requirements can be met. With local, state and federal funding streams all being affected by budget cuts and lower tax revenues, it is imperative that we ensure we are taking advantage of all possible funding sources in order to provide the best learning environment in our schools,” the report reads.
“The implementation of KRS 156.108 (The Districts of Innovation statute) will have a significant impact on improving proficiency and college and career readiness for all students in Kentucky if the effort is properly resourced. The Fund is the vehicle for that resourcing to occur,” the report continued.
In April, the Kentucky Board of Education authorized agency staff to research the steps necessary to create “an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. State board members would form the foundation’s board of trustees and education department staff would provide support. Since then, department staff have consulted with Dr. Helayne Jones, CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF).
A similarly created institution, the Colorado foundation had a budget of $6.3 million, made nearly $1.2 million in direct grants to schools and spent millions more in support of education issues, according to its 2011 annual report.
“The CLF has a strategic plan and goals that mirror the concept we are working to establish,” the report said. David Cook, the agency’s director of innovation and partnership management, is to visit the foundation and the Colorado Department of Education this month.
The Kentucky board must adopt incorporation paperwork, identify its leadership and determine initial operating finances to get the ball rolling on the foundation.
Other items on the board’s agenda for its two-day meeting includes the annual evaluation of Commissioner Terry Holliday and updates on implementation of elements of the state’s new school assessment and accountability system. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast live both days.
From Kentucky School Boards Association