Fayette County School Board Discusses Legislative Priorities

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Proposed Legislation Bill

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Just removed from hiring a lobbying firm for the first time in the school district’s history, the Fayette County Board of Education Tuesday night discussed possible legislative priorities at a work session, according to a release from the school district.

The board is expected to formally adopt legislative priorities at its meeting January 23, 2017.

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Some of the topics covered Tuesday evening included charter schools, vouchers, education funding and school calendars, according to the district.

Given that charter schools appear to be on the horizon for Kentucky, Fayette County Board of Education members would like to ensure that implementation is fair and equitable. Priorities include establishing school districts as authorizers of charter schools, preference to non-profit and non-sectarian charters and assurances that charter schools reflect the demography of the district where they are established.

Board members clearly stated they oppose the use of public dollars to support programs that fund non-public schools, such as vouchers or tuition tax credits.

School board members praised efforts of the general assembly to address tax reform and the unfunded liabilities of the public pension system. They also called for increased funding for education, including universal pre-kindergarten and restoring state funding for education lost in recent years.

“If we’re able to address the educational needs of the students earlier on, just think of the cost benefits later on,” said school board member Daryl Love.

Other priorities for the board include maintaining local school district control over establishing the instructional calendar, working with other agencies to reform the tribunal process, providing districts with more tools to intervene in low achieving schools, and revisiting SBDM regulations to give superintendents greater authority in selecting principals.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.