Bill’s passage means Jefferson County superintendent has final say on school principal selection
Despite much heated protesting from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) teachers, who sicked out of their classrooms repeatedly in the past few weeks, it looks like Senate Bill 250 passed the Kentucky house by a 54 to 42 vote and is headed to the governor for signature.
Passage of this bill, assuming the governor signs it (highly likely) means a new era in the saga of Kentucky’s School Based Decision Making (SBDM) is now beginning.
Before each school council got to elect its school’s principal and the superintendent had no override power over the process. Now, but only in JCPS, if the superintendent does not approve a school council’s selection for principal, the superintendent gets the last word. JCPS is an enormous district, however, so about 15 percent of all the students in Kentucky will now benefit from a more rational principal selection process for their schools.
The bill also does some other things that improve the ability of the superintendent in JCPS to manage his school system more rationally, including providing more authority to manage the bloated staffing in the district’s central office.
It remains to be seen if this action, which so far only impacts JCPS, will be expanded in the future so all superintendents can select the person who nominally serves directly below them in each school.
But, the passage of SB-250 marks an important start towards a better school system management model that we at BIPPS have been supporting for some time, including multiple appearances before legislative committees (latest example discussed here) and creating multiple blogs and reports (latest report example here) on issues with the SBDM approach.