Today, the House Education Committee rejected HB 476 (Jenkins). The Chamber-opposed bill, sought to weaken the Kentucky Department of Education’s ability to intervene when schools are identified as being consistently low-performing – a priority that was created last session by HB 176. HB 476 was an attempt to reverse the efforts of HB 176 and thereby put teachers’ unions ahead of student needs, something the Chamber has consistently fought against.
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday spoke in opposition to the bill asking the committee to allow the recently established method from HB 176 time to show results before changes are made. Commissioner Holliday offered to work with proponents of the bill in the future if the current method is found to be inadequate in improving schools. Questions on how the bill would affect federal funding to turn around schools were also discussed. Proponents of the bill, including representatives from the Jefferson County Teachers Association, the Kentucky Education Association and Jefferson County Public Schools all spoke in favor of the bill.