Education Professional Standards Board discusses impact of 2024 legislation on Kentucky educators

Meeting notice graphic featuring the Kentucky Department of Education and United We Learn logos

News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Ginn

Director of Communications

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4601

Advisory 24-149


June 5, 2024

The Education Professional Standards Board sits around a collection of tables and listens to Robin Fields Kinney

The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) listens to a presentation by Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney during the board meeting on June 4. Photo by Joe Ragusa, Kentucky Department of Education, June 4, 2024

Education Professional Standards Board discusses impact of 2024 legislation on Kentucky educators

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) discussed a new teacher induction and mentor program along with the impacts of recent legislation regarding teacher certification during the board’s meeting on June 4.

Senate Bill (SB) 265 removes references to the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) and directs that teacher certification shall be awarded upon successful completion of an educator preparation program or alternative certification pathway and passing of the required assessment. An offer of employment will no longer be required.

Part of SB 265 tasks the EPSB with developing standards and guidance for local districts to implement new teacher induction and mentoring programs. All school districts shall provide an induction program for teachers in their first year of teaching. The programs should include several elements, including an orientation program, mentor assignment within the first two weeks, a support team and workshops.

EPSB will develop evaluations and rubrics for the induction and mentoring programs that are aligned with state academic standards that are based on curriculum, content mastery, planning, assessment, teaching all students and family engagement.

Todd Davis, division director in the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness, explained EPSB will have to provide a report to the legislature by Oct. 1 of each year on the programs.

“There is some challenging information that we will have to reach out to districts to get information on,” said Davis.

Corinne Murphy, an EPSB member representing public postsecondary education, said she wanted to make sure educator preparation programs (EPP) were involved in the process.

“There’s not a lot in the guidance on the EPP involvement in the induction period, and I think we have to make sure the EPP is involved in the induction period,” she said, noting educator preparation programs also have other reporting requirements to their accrediting bodies.

Amanda Ellis, an EPSB member representing the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, said KDE and EPSB also should consider existing resources in the field with districts that are already involved in teacher mentorship programs.

Following the EPSB meeting, KDE staff plans to meet with other education stakeholder groups to get more input on the new teacher induction and mentoring programs to put together a proposal for EPSB to consider at a future meeting.

BreAnna Listermann, deputy general counsel for KDE, updated EPSB on House Bill (HB) 300, legislation that creates stricter timelines on the review and processing of complaints of educator misconduct.

The legislation requires KDE and EPSB to conduct an initial review of a completed complaint within 30 days of receipt to determine whether there is sufficient evidence that a violation has occurred.

Listermann explained another aspect of the law creates pre-resolution conferences, which means prior to EPSB seeing the complaint, staff will extend an offer to resolve the case.

“I think we’re going to have to flesh that out,” she said. “That means no investigation has taken place; it is an offer based on what we have received and what we can review at that time.”

Everything will be reported electronically through the Kentucky Educator Credentialing System (KECS) portal. Listermann said KDE is working with KECS to accommodate the new reporting requirements, but she said it will come at a “significant” cost.

Justin Mitchell, chair of EPSB and a representative of middle school teachers on the board, said he has concerns about the new reporting requirements included in HB 300 that includes publishing the names of teachers and districts involved in complaints and the expedited resolution process for complaints.

“I am hopeful that maybe once this is really in the process and we’ve got these down, that maybe the General Assembly can come back to this to re-evaluate because I’m just fearful that, through the time restraints, that things still could slip through,” he said.

Amber Snell, a representative for middle school teachers, echoed Mitchell’s concerns about the reporting requirements.

“There are some bad actors that definitely need to be out, but there’s also people who have been maybe wrongly accused every so often or dismissed that now there’s a kind of taint against that (individual),” she said.

Listermann emphasized that all reports and complaints submitted to EPSB should contain the full facts and circumstances of the situation along with all relevant documents and records to assist EPSB with the new timeline for review.

More information about the impact of recent legislation can be found on the KDE Legislative Guidance webpage.

EPSB also amended or repealed multiple regulations to fall in line with new legislation.