A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

State board looks at applications from three school systems to be Districts of Innovation

Special to KyForward
The Kentucky Board of Education will consider adding three more school systems to the Districts of Innovation designation which allows approved districts to be exempt from certain regulations and/or laws.
A staff note for the Feb. 5 state board meeting, posted last week on the Department of Education’s website, states that the agency is recommending Districts of Innovation approval for proposals from Owensboro Independent, Owsley County and Trigg County.
No information on the specifics of the three proposals was included in the public document. However, a notation in the document states, “Under separate cover, board members will be provided a summary of each application and legal staff’s recommendations on waiver requests contained in each application.”
Last year, a total of 16 districts applied for the Districts of Innovation approval. Four – Danville Independent, Eminence Independent, Jefferson County and Taylor County – won state board approval. This year, only four requests were submitted. All three districts which have earned KDE staff endorsements this year were among the 2013 requests.
The 2012 General Assembly created the opportunity for Districts of Innovation through passage of House Bill 37. The legislation authorizes the state board to approve proposals that target improving students’ academic achievement. Districts submit proposals which are then vetted by teams of staff from KDE, the Education Professional Standards Board and the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Following an initial review, site visits were conducted before development of a final set of recommendations to the state board.
The Districts of Innovation item on the state board agenda first goes to its Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee, which is estimated to begin its session around 3:30 p.m. When the committee finishes its work, the full KBE resumes, at which time final action could be taken.
Meetings of the Kentucky Board of Education are webstreamed live via the KDE website.
From Kentucky School Board Association’s ENews service

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