Special to the Courier-Journal
By: Nicole Fielder, Eliza Jane Schaeffer and Susie Smith
Feb. 6, 2015
“When Fayette County Public Schools began looking for a new superintendent late last year, members of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team asked the school board to include a student representative on the screening committee. Although board members told us they would make every effort to include students in the superintendent selection process, they said the makeup of the committee was set by state law and did not include a student member.
That law, and a strict interpretation of it by the attorney general’s office, constrained the school board’s otherwise-sincere attempts to involve students more deeply in this critically important work. Although the law purports to create a more inclusive process, it limits the membership of the superintendent screening committee to 2 teachers, 1 board of education member, 1 principal, 1 parent, 1 classified employee, and, in some cases, 1 minority member.
This is not acceptable to the Student Voice Team.
As a statewide group of middle school through college-age students working as partners to improve Kentucky public schools, we know that well-informed young people can contribute significantly to discussions about school governance, and we are disappointed that Kentucky law excludes the possibility of our participation. We are the chief stakeholders; shouldn’t our perspective be part of the process?
Including students at more significant levels of school governance is not a revolutionary idea.”