Priority education bill unanimously passes full Senate

02/17/2017 01:55 PM

FRANKFORTSenate Bill 1, which would mirror the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was signed into law in December 2015, was passed 35-0 by the Senate on Friday.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, told members of the Senate that SB1 would gradually alter the state’s education standards, giving the state Department of Education authority to review those standards every 6 years. It would also allow local school districts to develop teacher evaluation methods and criteria.

“It gives us the ability to take control of our own standards, which, laid out with the bill, we’ll be utilizing Kentucky teachers who are in grade, in subject area, also our higher-ed in that subject area, to go through our standards and revise, replace, give us what our standards need to be to make sure they are rigorous and are in line for global competitiveness,” Wilson said.

Wilson likes to call his legislation the “let the teachers teach bill” and feels that the biggest input in how students of Kentucky are taught should be from teachers.

“It removes all of this onerous reporting that teachers have to do by removing program review, and it allows them to do what they feel called to do, what they love to do which is to teach our children,” Wilson said.

Senate President Robert Stivers credited Wilson with his work on the bill over the past 3 years and noted the rarity of a high priority bill receiving unanimous support from the body.

“I believe it is a good piece of work under the circumstances and Senator Wilson has devoted a lot of time both discussing and drafting, working, along with traveling and listening to bring something together that had a unanimous vote,” Stivers said.

The bill moves on to the House for their consideration.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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