Thesixth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Carl Rollins II, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Representative Carl Rollins II, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., David Givens, Alice Forgy Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald A. Neal, R.J. Palmer II, Tim Shaughnessy, Elizabeth Tori, Johnny Ray Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Linda Belcher, John "Bam" Carney, Hubert Collins, Leslie Combs, Jim DeCesare, Ted Edmonds, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Kelly Flood, Jim Glenn, Derrick Graham, Jeff Greer, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly Jr., Marie Rader, Jody Richards, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Dottie Sims, Kent Stevens, Wilson Stone, Alecia Webb-Edgington, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Randy Poe, Superintendent; Karen Cheser, Assistant Superintendent, Boone County Schools; Cindy Baumert, Dyslexia Solutions; Tamela Biggs, Kentucky Teacher Retirement System; Bill Weinberg, former legislator; Sheri McNew, University of Kentucky; Brenda Embry, Doris Cubley, Shari Coleman, Dyslexia; April Roberts Traywick, Prichard Committee; Katie Bentley, PIIKE; Brigid DeVries, Commissioner, Julian Tackett, Assistant Commissioner, Kentucky High School Athletic Association; Peter Bowles, M.D., Kentucky Medical Association; Michael Daley, Director, Division of Educator Quality & Equity, Kentucky Department of Education; Lois Weinberg, Board Member, Hindman Settlement School; Misty Lay, School Psychologist, Bullitt County Schools; Phyllis Sparks, Kentucky International Dyslexia Association; Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Clyde Caudill, Kentucky Association of School Administrators and Jefferson County Public Schools; and Kevin Noland, University of Louisville.
Legislative Guest: John Will Stacy, House Majority Whip
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Sandy Deaton, Janet Stevens, Ken Warlick, and Lisa Moore.
Representative Rollins asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the October 12, 2009, meeting. Representative Stone made the motion to approve the minutes and Representative Carney seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rollins acknowledged Representative Graham to introduce his guests. Representative Graham introduced Ms. Jocelyne Waddle, advanced placement (AP) teacher in French, English, Spanish, and a group of her students from Frankfort High School. He said that each student had participated in state and national competitions in French and Spanish and that Frankfort High School was the only Kentucky school to reach proficiency in reading, writing, understanding, and speaking a foreign language. Ms. Waddle made some brief introductions and comments about the students and her classes.
Representative Rollins asked Senator McGaha to give a brief report from the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education. Senator McGaha said the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education met and heard a discussion related to the AdvanceKY program. Ms. Joanne Lang, the program’s Executive Director, provided a brief overview, explaining that the program is a math-science initiative that operates in partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. He said the 2009 national Advanced Placement (AP) test results confirm that the scores of the students involved in the AdvanceKY program increased. The initial 12 Kentucky high schools involved in the program resulted in 768 students earning passing scores on the math, science and English exams, which is an increase of 76.6 percent above the previous year and well above the state rate of 17.5 percent and the national rate of 5.7 percent. He said this means that the schools participating in the AdvanceKY program performed at 13 times the national rate. The AP classes within these 12 schools accounted for nearly one-half of the new passing scores earned by Kentucky low-income students and more than one-half of Kentucky’s new passing scores in AP math and science earned by females. The program has expanded to include 16 new high schools for the current school year, bringing the total number of high schools involved to 28. He concluded that several AP classroom teachers explained how the AdvanceKY program has impacted their teaching and the effect that it has had on their students. The program operates with an “open enrollment” policy, which requires extra time and effort on the part of the teachers. The teachers indicated that the scores being made by their students far outweigh the extra work they are doing.
Representative Rollins asked Senator Kerr to give a brief report on the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education. She said the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education heard updates on the Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) and the Kentucky Adult Learner Initiative by representatives from the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and Morehead State University. She said services provided by the KYAE include the following; basic literacy skills; GED preparation; English as a Second Language (ESL); family literacy; workforce education; transition to postsecondary education; and corrections education. She noted 25.78 percent of Kentucky’s population 18 and older have less than a high school diploma or GED credential compared to 20.33 percent nationally. The 2008 academic enrollment in adult education in Kentucky was 40,235 with 9,382 earning GED’s. She said of the 2005-2006 Kentucky GED graduates, 1,919 enrolled in college by 2007-2008. Members were provided reports on GED performance by county and contact information for adult education program directors. Members received information on barriers that adult learners perceive relative to returning to college. They were managing time between family and classes, managing time between work and classes, and financing their college education. Adult learners are interested in college services that offer credit for prior learning, programs on an accelerated schedule, and financial aid. She said the presenters offered extensive recommendations on how these issues might be addressed. Lastly, Morehead State University presented its adult learner plan designed to increase faculty and staff understanding of adult learners, awareness of adult student support services including online and regional campus information, and life and career planning activities.
Representative Rollins asked Representative Wuchner to introduce the presenters from Boone County. She introduced Mr. Randy Poe, Superintendent, and Ms. Karen Cheser, Assistant Superintendent for Learning Support Services, Boone County Schools, to give their presentation on Response to Intervention (RTI). After Mr. Poe made some introductory comments, Ms. Cheser showed the members a Power Point presentation and gave some background information on why Boone County implemented RTI. She said goals of the initiative included by May 2010, every child will complete grade two reading at a level of 2.8 or higher. She said beginning in June 2007, the district provided classroom teachers with the training, tools, and support needed to make every child a successful reader. She said early, focused intervention with continuous progress monitoring will occur for the identified at-risk students to assure that deficits are being appropriately addressed.
Ms. Cheser said that RTI is a sequenced program of instruction and tiered interventions aimed at keeping students in the regular instructional program while addressing their skill deficits and needs. RTI is not a part of special education or something new thought up by the district office to keep tabs on teachers. She said RTI does include high quality, scientifically-based instruction, and intervention matched to student need. It provides frequent monitoring of student progress, using data to make instructional decisions. She also said RTI is a continuous decision making process that uses data to screen, determine needs, and apply interventions. The benefits of RTI include: students show improvement at all levels; students receive interventions before they fail; teachers find optimal instructional interventions for effective results; services and support are needs-based, it is a coherent, flexible system; and decisions are made based on data.
Ms. Cheser said Boone County began RTI on a limited basis in 2007-2008 in three elementary schools (K-2). In 2008-2009, the program was piloted in 12 elementary schools (K-3). She said fourth and fifth grade were added in all 12 elementary schools in 2009-2010, as well as second and third grade RTI math, and RTI math in two middle schools. She said Boone County wanted to ensure the program was working before implementing it district wide.
Ms. Cheser described the steps in the RTI process. The first step is to select a data collection system. She said Boone County used the system AIMSweb. The important thing is there is a systematic way to collect the data. The second step is to conduct a universal screening, which Boone County assessed all students in grades K-2. She said some assessments are conducted in whole group and some are one-on-one. The total time for the assessment is 5 to 7 minutes per child. The third step is to enter and analyze data. She said Boone County teachers enter the data in the AIMSweb program. She said the bottom 20 percent of the students are targeted who were not already identified as students with disabilities. The fourth step is to determine needs and identify the students to be included in RTI, or the students scoring in the bottom 20 percent. She said they determine each student’s specific reading gaps and needs based on the universal screening and set goals for being on grade level by the end of the year. The software will set the goals automatically. The fifth step is to provide interventions and Boone County begins specific, targeted interventions at the Tier I level. She said the interventions are provided within the classroom and students are not pulled out. All interventions must be scientifically research-based. She showed a pyramid of sample interventions at the three Tier levels. The list is available in the meeting folder located in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library. The sixth step is to monitor and document progress. The teachers use one minute probes, enter data, and share the data with students. The seventh step is to review progress. She said Boone County holds an advisory team meeting (ATM) every six to eight weeks to review data and student progress. The advisory team consists of the principal, grade level teachers, consultant, and any staff member who is involved with interventions and/or has input concerning the children who are placed into the program. She noted the purpose of the ATM is to provide team-based professional assistance to assure that children are reading on grade level by the time they complete the school year; to find areas of weakness and create a team-based, research-based decision on how to proceed; and to continue monitoring this progress and making changes that best meet the needs of the children involved. Ms. Cheser said the final step is to make decisions on next steps for each targeted student. She said it is determined if students are to continue current interventions, tweak current interventions, add an intervention, move the student to Tier 2 with appropriate interventions, and continue the process as appropriate.
Ms. Cheser discussed the results of the 12 pilot elementary schools participating in RTI. She said approximately 275 students were identified in the bottom 20 percent from all the schools and only 22 of those students had to move into Tier 3 instruction. She said targeting their skill deficit area and applying research-based interventions was successful. She said the program dramatically decreased the referrals for special education and allowed the students’ needs to be met in the regular instructional program. She said teachers found that the strategy of pinpointing specific student deficits was also successful with the students in the Extended School Services (ESS) program. She said the bottom line is that teachers need to adjust the way they teach to adapt to how children learn.
Mr. Poe discussed what Boone County learned from the pilot of the RTI. He said the principal must take the lead and hold firm; he or she must monitor implementation of interventions and be a key member of the ATM process. He said teachers are very apprehensive at the beginning of the process, but are key to making the process work. He said input is required from multiple sources and must be used in making decisions on a student’s placement. Also, additional factors, such as behavior, attendance, and visual perception issues, must be addressed for many students in order to impact reading achievement.
Mr. Poe concluded that Boone County is planning to expand RTI reading to the fourth and fifth grade levels. He said they also plan to expand the math area of the program.
Senator Westwood asked if Boone County collaborated with the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development to ensure the reading models were scientifically-based and effective. Ms. Cheser said they had not worked with the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development specifically in reading, but have utilized their writing resources and have found them crucial to their work. She said the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development has been instrumental in working with the adolescent literacy program and helping the tiering of interventions at the middle and high school level. Senator Westwood said some students also need assistance with reading to learn. He asked Ms. Cheser if every teacher in the school district is basically a reading teacher under this system and how are they prepared for this. Ms. Cheser said every teacher is a reading teacher and has received training and on-going support. She said Boone County also holds professional development academies, which is paid for through Title I funds, and allows teachers to come after school and learn skills to help students who are struggling. She said this is one way to get the reading and critical thinking skills to the secondary and elementary teachers. Mr. Poe said the culture is changing in Boone County so that every teacher is a literacy teacher. He said many teachers at the secondary level have never taken a course in reading and that is why the professional development academies are focusing on this area. Senator Westwood said Boone County’s efforts are paying off and he is pleased with the results.
Representative Carney said it is essential for parents to receive information pertaining to their children. He asked if the parents are being informed through the classroom teachers. Ms. Cheser said parents are being informed throughout the entire process and are invited to meet with the teachers on a regular basis. She said the teachers help parents with activities they can do at home to help their child.
Senator Neal is very impressed with the program at Boone County, but asked if time and resources are a potential problem with the time allocation of the program. Mr. Poe said part of the process has included Boone County redefining its priorities as a school system during the past three years. He said they worked with councils on readjusting the schedules during the pilot to allow for the ATM’s to meet in the middle of the day. He said there is a negative in the fact that there is some restructuring of time, but the benefits of the children succeeding far outweigh the difficulties. The teachers are investing extra time, but have said the process has made them better teachers. Ms. Cheser said principals have been very creative in allotting time during the school day for the students needing interventions without having to use extra time or resources.
Representative Wuchner said she was so impressed when she and Senator Winters met with teachers in Boone County and the teachers said the RTI program made them better teachers. She said it was a very emotional and encouraging meeting.
Representative Rollins introduced Ms. Lois Weinberg, Board Member, Hindman Settlement School, and Misty Lay, School Psychologist, Bullitt County Schools, to discuss assessment and intervention for students with dyslexia. Representative Belcher shared some information on Ms. Lay’s background. She said Ms. Lay has wonderful credentials, and excellent knowledge of RTI and special education. She said she is a wonderful asset to have working with children, parents, and teachers in the Bullitt County School System.
Ms. Lay said she became interested in RTI when the concept first originated in 2004. She said one of the most frustrating things for a school psychologist is to know that there are students in the school that need additional help, but may not qualify for services. With limited resources, it is hard to serve all the students who need the help. She said RTI provides a structured set of resources for teachers to meet all types of student needs.
Ms. Lay said there are students that need additional help that do not have disabilities. She said a severe discrepancy model is used in Kentucky to identify a specific learning disability. She said some students do not meet that very low criterion score, but are three or four grade levels below in their reading, math, or writing skills, and will not receive the special education services. She said this is a “wait to fail” model being utilized in Kentucky because the severe discrepancy is sometimes not met by the students until the third, fourth, or even fifth grades. She indicated that she believes RTI and early intervention is the best way to correct Kentucky’s current model. She gave some background information on Bullitt County’s program, which is similar to the program in Boone County. She said 40 percent of K-5 students in a Bullitt County school were identified as at-risk and 60 percent were meeting benchmarks. She said this school had no literacy plan in place or research-based instructional program to teach reading. One year after implementing a research-based core instructional program, the school increased to 85 percent of the students meeting benchmarks, and 15 percent underachieving. She said RTI addresses the needs of all students, and not just the weaker students.
Ms. Weinberg showed the members a Power Point presentation on dyslexia facts. She said dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity. She said it is a myth that dyslexia does not exist, that students see words backwards, have a visual problem, or that children outgrow dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language-processing disorder that impedes a person’s ability to read, write and spell, it is inherited, and is not rare.
Ms. Weinberg discussed the classic warning signs of dyslexia and said they can be recognized as early as age one. She noted the warning signs for dyslexia are unique to dyslexia. The warning signs of dyslexia in preschoolers include: delayed speech; mixing up sounds or syllables; chronic ear infections; constant confusion of right versus left; difficulty learning to tie shoes; cannot create words that rhyme; have trouble memorizing; and have a close relative with dyslexia. The warning signs in elementary school children include: dysgraphia, or slow handwriting that is difficult to read; letter and number reversals continuing past first grade; slow, choppy, inaccurate reading; terrible spelling; difficulty telling time on a clock with hands; difficulty with sight words; and extremely messy bedrooms, desks, and backpack. She said research has shown that of all students diagnosed with a learning disability, 80 percent have characteristics of dyslexia.
Ms. Weinberg said there is a conceptual framework called the Orton-Gillingham Based Multisensory Method and she believes this is the most effective way to help a student with dyslexia. She said multisensory teaching links the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways in learning to read and spell.
Ms. Weinberg said a child can be identified with dyslexia as early as four to five-a-half years old. She said children may be screened by appropriately trained classroom teachers to identify dyslexic characteristics and begin early interventions. Students enrolling in public schools in Kentucky should be screened for dyslexia and related disorders during kindergarten through the second grade and at appropriate times when students exhibit characteristics of dyslexia. She said at any time during the screening for dyslexia, identification process, or instruction related to dyslexia, students may be referred for evaluation for special education. At times, students will display additional factors and areas complicating their dyslexia and requiring more support than what is available through general classroom instruction and intervention. She said students with severe dyslexia or related disorders unable to make adequate academic progress within any of the programs described may be referred for a special education assessment.
Ms. Weinberg said dyslexic characteristics must be identified or suspected in order to treat the students successfully. She said the students must receive the right kind of intervention or instruction and receive appropriate classroom accommodations.
Ms. Weinberg discussed the emotional impact on students with dyslexia. She said the students may display anxiety, anger, portray a poor self image, show symptoms of depression, or have family problems. She said there are economic impacts resulting from dyslexia. She noted there were over 6,700 Kentucky high school dropouts last year. She said less than two percent of those students will ever attend a four-year college. Many become non-productive members of society, end up in prison, or commit suicide.
Ms. Weinberg concluded that children should be screened for dyslexia as early as kindergarten. She said teachers should be provided professional development and there should trained staff in Orton-Gillingham multisensory teaching methods. She also said multisensory instruction should be implemented in an explicit systematic continuous curriculum. Ms. Weinberg recognized Trey Franklin, Scott County Schools, and Connor Sparks, Boone County Schools, who were in the audience.
Representative Rollins asked Ms. Lay how schools are identifying students with dyslexia. Ms. Lay said there is no consistent screening method across the state. Ms. Cheser said that school systems and teachers cannot diagnose students with dyslexia. There was discussion about the difference between a medical diagnosis and school screenings for characteristics of dyslexia. Ms. Weinberg said that a medical diagnosis may get the child referred into special education, but it is not needed for the students to receive an Orton-Gillingham based set of techniques and curriculum.
Representative Rollins asked Ms. Lay if there are weekly meetings in the Bullitt County school system similar to the ATM meetings being held in Boone County. Ms. Lay said there were similar meetings being held in Bullitt County called problem solving team meetings. Representative Rollins believes these meetings, led by the principals, is essential to the program being successful.
Representative Stevens said the important thing is for teachers to find strategies to helps students overcome their problems. He said so many of the learning disabilities can overlap. He asked to hear from the students on how they overcame their struggles with dyslexia. The students declined any comments.
Senator Turner thanked the presenters for their excellent presentations. He recognized Ms. Weinberg for her volunteer education advocate work in dyslexia at the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County.
Representative Glenn said the report indicated that 6,700 students are dropping out of school each year. He said the CPE had reported a $9,000 difference between those who drop out of school and those who actually receive a high school diploma, which equates to $60.3 million dollars in income. He asked the cost of treating students with dyslexia. Ms. Weinberg said she is a volunteer and the Hindman Settlement School program is geared for low-income people, so they do not spend a lot. She said money is raised to offer programs at the Hindman Settlement School in the summer. Ms. Cheser said Boone County spent $100,000 getting its teachers trained in Orton-Gillingham. Ms. Lay indicated that Bullitt County schools have spent $0 on training relating to dyslexia.
Representative Rollins introduced Ms. Brigid DeVries, Commissioner, Mr. Julian Tackett, Assistant Commissioner, Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA); Peter Bowles, M.D., Ben Kibler, M.D., Kentucky Medical Association (KMA); and Michael Daley, Director, Division of Educator Quality and Equity, KDE, to give the committee a report of the sports safety study pursuant to House Bill 383 (2009 Regular Session). Ms. DeVries said the HB 383 required that a Sports Safety Work Group (SSWG) be established, including individuals from the athletic, educational, and medical professions. The purpose of the committee was to coordinate a study of sports safety for interscholastic sports in Kentucky. The committee met five times this past year and KHSAA was the host site for the meetings. The study was coordinated by Ms. DeVries and Mr. Daley. She said the second charge or component from HB 383 was that the Kentucky Board of Education or organization or agency designated by the board to manage interscholastic athletics should require each high school coach to complete a sports safety course consisting of training on how to prevent common injuries. The course was to be focused on safety education.
Mr. Tackett said the SSWG concluded its work on October 1, 2009, and made several recommendations and reached consensus on a variety of subjects. The report includes a review of each component outlined in HB 383, and includes consensus statements from the SSWG. The complete report is located in the meeting folder in the LRC library. The following are the central points of the consensus statements and summarize the key recommendations: 1) Air Quality Index information needs to be available to coaches and administrators in predetermined areas of the state; 2) The 2009 Sports Safety Course should continue to be used to fulfill the mandatory sports safety requirement in KHSAA regulations, specifically Bylaw 27 and outlined in 2009 HB 383; 3) The KHSAA, KDE, KMA, and the Kentucky Athletic Trainers Society (KATS) should work collaboratively with the Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS) to develop guidelines for emergency preparedness plans for athletic contests, practices, contests and facilities; 4) The General Assembly should appropriate funds to collect interscholastic sports injury information to provide injury data specific to Kentucky; 5) The KHSAA and KDE should continue to distribute and refer health and sports safety information to coaches, student-athletes, parents and volunteers through the use of the internet and other means; 6) The Kentucky Board of Education should review current sports safety regulations and requirements for coaches at the middle school level; 7) Existing sports safety guidelines should be made available for use by school programs at any grade level as well as other activity groups such as band, drill team, or dance; 8) The Kentucky General Assembly should consider changes to KRS 311.900-311.928 to remove current restrictions limiting the work settings for athletic trainers (as defined in the report) promoting a funding alternative for better coverage and availability of trainers.
Dr. Kibler said Kentucky is leading the nation in the field of sports safety and is the only state offering a sports safety on-line course. He wants Kentucky to further its work and complete other modules in the future. Dr. Bowles, Chairman, KMA Board of Sports Medicine, said they formed the committee in about eight weeks. He said the members of the committee are committed to continuing their work and improving all sports safety programs in Kentucky.
Representative Graham said defibrillators were included initially in HB 383 sponsored by himself and Representative Jenkins. He would like to see the committee implement a policy to encourage the use of defibrillators, particularly in the junior high and high schools. Ms. DeVries said all coaches are required to take the training as stated in Bylaw 27. Dr. Kibler said all schools must have an emergency response plan and the plan must include the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). He said the use of AED’s is included in the current recommendations, and will not need to be added in the revision process.
Representative Miller asked how often the coaches have to complete the training. Ms. DeVries said the course has to be updated every 30 months. A coach must complete the course and an update. Representative Miller asked if new coaches can receive their certificate immediately off the computer after completion of the course. Mr. Tackett said the coaches can print their certificates immediately or the school district can print the certificate for them. He noted the training will be a pre-hire requisite for coaches beginning in the 2010-2011 school year. Representative Miller said the heat index issue is controversial. He would like to see athletic trainers located in every school to ensure school safety in the future.
Representative Edmonds thanked the KHSAA staff for a job well done. He also commended the KMA for being a willing and committed partner to the endeavor of sports safety. He said local doctors have an increased awareness of the issues and are working together with the sports programs in their local communities.
Representative Stone discussed the pre-athletic physical examinations for student athletes and asked if the quality is adequate. He said so many tragedies come from congenital preexisting conditions in students. Dr. Bowles said he feels physicians do the best they can in conducting pre-examinations for student athletes. He said they are constantly looking at ways to improve the process. Dr. Kibler said the issue of physical examinations is being debated worldwide.
Senator Blevins asked how much the cost is to train the coaches. Mr. Tackett said there is no charge. Senator Blevins said Kentucky should use the program as a marketing tool to other states. Mr. Tackett said this is in preliminary discussions.
Representative Carney commended KHSAA for a tremendous job and being ahead of the game. He is also concerned with the quality of the pre-athletic physical examinations.
Representative Rollins asked representatives from the Education Professional Standards Board to present administrative regulation 16 KAR 7:010 - Kentucky Teacher Internship Program. Ms. Alicia Sneed, Division Director, Division of Legal Services, Mr. Robert Brown, Division Director, and Ms. Teresa Brown, Branch Manager, Division of Professional Learning and Assessment, Education Professional Standards Board, explained the administrative regulation and responded to questions from members. Ms. Sneed said 16 KAR 7:010 establishes the requirements for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program. It is being amended to allow teacher interns to receive mentoring in a collaborative setting if such collaboration meets the needs of the intern as defined in the intern’s professional growth plan. The amendment also permits a resource teacher to serve two interns. She said payments to resource teachers shall not exceed $1,400 per teacher intern.
Representative Belcher asked about the confidentiality issue if one intern is performing well and the other is not. Ms. Sneed said the resource teacher could mentor the intern that was not doing well privately. Mr. Brown said the resource teachers can work alone with each intern. Representative Belcher asked how the resource teachers could complete 50 hours with each intern. Mr. Brown said working with two interns is completely voluntary and not every resource teacher will do this. He said principals want the fantastic resource teachers to be able to mentor two interns, but it is voluntary. No action was need by the committee on the administrative regulation.
Representative Rollins asked Ms. Tamela Biggs, General Counsel, Kentucky Teacher Retirement System, to explain 102 KAR 1:130 – Benefit eligibility conditions for members providing part-time and substitute services. She said the proposed administrative regulation provides eligibility conditions for those members who provide part-time or substitute services to apply for disability retirement benefits and provides conditions for their eligible survivors to participate in life insurance and survivor benefits.
Representative Webb-Edgington asked the length of time someone would have to substitute teach to receive the benefits. Ms. Biggs responded that a substitute teacher would have to provide service for 69 percent of a normal school calendar year. Representative Webb-Edgington asked if a part-time substitute could receive all the rights and benefits of a full-time classroom teacher. Ms. Biggs said she could not answer that question.
Senator Westwood asked if the administrative regulation requires the substitute teacher to work within one school district or if they can accumulate the hours in several different school districts. Ms. Biggs said the teachers can accumulate the time in different school districts.
Representative Wuchner asked who is paying the funds if a teacher is working in multiple school districts. Ms. Biggs said the teachers and the school system pay a portion of the funds. Representative Rollins noted that the funds for the benefits are withheld from the teacher’s paycheck. No action was needed by the committee on the administrative regulation.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.