Beshear Signs Bills Supporting Education

May 29, 2012

VERSAILLES – Gov. Steve Beshear joined lawmakers and school children Tuesday at the Woodford County Early Childhood Center to sign two bills related to education innovation and strategies. House Bill 37, sponsored by Rep. Carl Rollins, allows school districts to apply to become a “District of Innovation.” This designation will allow the districts more flexibility in curriculum, instructional models, funding and school scheduling.

House Bill 69, sponsored by Rep. Linda Belcher, authorizes the Kentucky Department of Education to collaborate with multiple agencies to help teachers work with students who have conditions such as dyslexia or aphasia. These conditions can inhibit a student’s ability to learn and comprehend, and require educators to use different strategies to meet the child’s needs.

HB 69 will enable early intervention and strategies for all students to meet the needs of those who do not respond adequately to instruction.

“Both of these bills will help our educators and administrators to tailor the school experience to enhance learning for our students,” Beshear said in a statement released by his office. “I appreciate the efforts of both Rep. Rollins and Rep. Belcher. They understand that innovative schools, where teachers and students are engaged in learning, build strong citizens and leaders.”

“The objective of House Bill 37 is to allow our public school teachers and administrators to try new and innovative approaches to improve instruction that will result in improved academic achievement,” Rep. Rollins, of Midway, said. “The bill requires the Kentucky Department of Education to create a rigorous application system for districts. Those districts approved to be districts of innovation will be able to implement ideas that current statutes and regulations deny. The ultimate benefit of the legislation will be to encourage other districts to duplicate successful strategies tested in the districts of innovation.”

“Research has shown us that the earlier we can identify learning or behavior problems in a student the better chance we have to remediate those problems. House Bill 69 will let teachers begin to assess students at the kindergarten level to identify academic and behavior weaknesses,” Rep. Belcher, of Shepherdsville, said. “With the help of the Kentucky Department of Education the teachers will have resources to help make these children more successful in school.”