Senate Bill 68 was introduced to the Kentucky Senate Education Committee yesterday and passed out to the Senate floor without controversy or dissent. It now resides in the Senate Rules committee
I’m glad the bill is getting an additional scrub, because I have some questions.
The bill requires the Kentucky Department of Education and the Educational Professional Standards Board to develop a 15-hour training program for school principals so they will be able to spot the attributes, behaviors and disposition of teachers that lead to high quality instruction.
My first question – you mean this obviously necessary training wasn’t already included in our programs to certify principals? What, exactly, was included in those programs if attention to this important principal duty was omitted?
My second question – is the problem so severe that the legislature has to step in and require this training? Why didn’t the education professionals already set such a program up on their own?
My next question – why are local boards of education going to be required to pay the expenses incurred while a principal attends the training? Isn’t this another unfunded mandate?
Finally, the legislation mandates a performance-based assessment at the completion of training with the Kentucky Department of Education to determine the passing score. Those who pass get a nice certificate.
OK, that seems appropriate.
But, then comes the “zinger” that triggers my last question.
If this training is needed, and if it is important enough to principals doing their jobs that we are going to make the local board pay for it – especially at this time of fiscal strain – then why, oh why, does the legislation specifically stipulate, “A passing score shall not be required for continued employment as a principal”?
If this training is necessary and worthwhile, why would we not want to take action regarding those who cannot implement it in their schools?
Can someone please explain why we are going to spend tax dollars on a program with so little credibility that legislators won’t put some teeth in it?