Yesterday the Kentucky General Assembly overrode Governor Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 1, which includes language from Senate Bill 138, a bill that largely impacted how and what is taught in Social Studies classrooms in the Commonwealth, attached.
KCSS was very actively engaged in the journey of SB138 after it was first introduced in the Senate Education Committee. Through conversation with the bill’s sponsor, as well as feedback from educators statewide, we were able to clearly communicate our concerns with stakeholders about this bill. We approached our conversations with a spirit of collaboration, and ultimately were able to encourage some changes to the original language. While these changes altered some of the language of the bill, many of our concerns remain.
KCSS has a mission to both be a voice for teachers, but also to be a resource and support system for teachers. With SB1 set to become law, we’ve begun to consider the impact this could have on instructional practice, civic engagement, and requirements placed upon teachers.
We plan to continue to reach out to stakeholders statewide and develop a plan to help provide resources and support teachers as they navigate the new requirements that will take effect in the next school year. We will be reaching out to our membership for feedback and concerns, as well as other educators across the Commonwealth.
To that end, our civic education advocacy arm, the Kentucky Civic Education Coalition, was recently awarded a grant from CivXNow (part of iCivics). Much of those funds will go towards curating and creating resources for Kentucky educators, which will be developed in light of the current and future needs of our teachers.
Based on your feedback we received earlier in the month about these bills, we know teachers have concerns about the impact a bill like this can have on their classrooms. We have heard you and shared your concerns. Ultimately, it’s now our duty to look forward and find ways to navigate the changes that come. We have a duty as educators to help our students to develop into informed and engaged citizens. That will not change. There is so much inspiring work going on in classrooms in Kentucky. We know teachers can adapt to a changing landscape to continue to provide this excellent level of instruction.
KCSS will continue to work for you and support you in this important work.