Thursday July 25, 2024
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Photo: Kentucky Department of Education

Gov. Matt Bevin has designated four non-voting, non-member advisors to the Kentucky Board of Education per his executive order signed on Friday. The non-voting, non-member advisors are:

  • Tracey Cusick, a parent of 10 children, engaged in community and education organizations, from Union, Ky. Cusick has an associate’s of applied science degree from the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse.
  • Kathy Gornik, co-founder and president of THIEL Audio, and chairman of Newton’s Attic, a non-profit educational organization focused on inspiring young people to pursue engineering, robotics and physics. Gornik holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton.
  • Wayne Lewis, an associate professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky, and the executive director of education policy and programs for the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Lewis holds a bachelor’s from Loyola University New Orleans, master’s degree from the University of Akron, teaching certificate from the University of New Orleans, and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.
  • Joe Papalia, an entrepreneur and executive with broad engineering, manufacturing and sales experience, from Louisville, Ky. Papalia holds a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Governor Matt Bevin signed an executive order Friday that establishes the Kentucky Charter Schools Advisory Council to ensure successful implementation of House Bill 520 (HB 520). The order also realigns key education boards, councils and committees to provide an efficient, modern structure for implementing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and provides for greater coordination of efforts across the education system.

“The historic charter school legislation passed during this year’s General Assembly session represents a truly momentous step forward in providing quality choices for Kentucky’s most vulnerable students,” said Gov. Bevin. “This advisory council will play a vital role in ensuring the success of this exciting new educational option. Public charter schools will create the promise of real opportunity for young people and their families where hope does not currently exist.”

The Charter Schools Advisory Council will serve as a resource to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE).

Senate Bill 1, passed during the 2017 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, set up a framework for the state’s new school accountability system and future academic standards. KBE now has the responsibility of disseminating regulations for that new system and the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Kentucky’s state plan, which includes its redesigned accountability system, is due to the U.S. Department of Education in September 2018. Further, the Standards and Assessment Review and Development Committee will soon begin the process of reviewing current academic standards and proposing changes to the Kentucky Board of Education sometime next year.

“Increased expertise on Kentucky’s boards and councils will help ensure that Kentucky’s new accountability system results in improved education outcomes for students,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. “Through this realignment, we are appointing members and advisors who will serve in dual capacities on various boards. These dual members and advisors will enhance the flow of communication between boards.”

Gov. Bevin’s executive order will improve collaboration among key stakeholders of the following boards and councils:

  • Kentucky Board of Education
  • Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE)
  • Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB)
  • School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council (SCAAC)
  • Standards and Assessment Review and Development Committee
  • State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education
  • State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children
  • Reading Diagnostic and Intervention Grant Steering Committee

The changes to the Kentucky Board of Education include providing four non-voting, non-member advisers in an effort to enhance alignment of education decision making on all levels. The new advisers will include a member of CPE; a member of EPSB; a member of the SCAAC; and a member of the Charter Schools Advisory Council.

Changes to the EPSB with this executive order include increasing the diversity of board members’ experience and expertise, and ensuring greater coordination among EPSB and other education boards and commissions, including SCAAC and the Kentucky Board of Education. EPSB establishes standards and requirements for professional educator licensure, and establishes standards for and approves Kentucky’s educator preparation programs.

“These new structures will bring a greater diversity of expertise outside of education to address workforce needs, and the needs of Kentucky’s 21st century economy,” said Heiner.