The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) are proud to offer this exciting student leadership position and to join the many states across the country that have student representatives on their state board of education. We believe this is an important and timely step as Kentucky moves forward in its commitment to student engagement and empowerment statewide.
The Composition, Authority and Duties of the Board
The KBE has 15 members. The governor appoints 11 voting members, seven representing the Supreme Court districts and four representing the state at large. The additional members – the president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, the secretary of the Education and Labor Cabinet, a high school student and an active elementary or secondary school teacher – serve as non-voting members.
As mandated by Kentucky law, the KBE develops and adopts the regulations that govern Kentucky's 171 public school districts and the actions of the KDE.
The duties of the board as defined by Kentucky statutes include:
- Oversee legislative budget priorities for KDE;
- Serve as the board for Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf;
- Establish administrative regulations and academic performance standards for all Kentucky school districts;
- Designate an organization to oversee interscholastic athletics;
- Adopt policies and administrative regulations that govern KDE;
- Suspend any superintendent or public-school officer guilty of misconduct.
Student Expectations and Benefits
The selected student member on the KBE is expected to:
- Maintain good academic standing during appointment;
- Be prepared by reviewing the materials for every board meeting;
- Attend every meeting;
- Participate and engage in discussions;
- Promote interest in and support for education in Kentucky;
- Be courteous and respectful of public suggestions and complaints and refer them to appropriate parties;
- Work harmoniously with other board members and agencies of the Commonwealth;
- Become familiar with state laws, policies and administrative regulations as they relate to education;
- Accept the will of the majority vote in all cases and give support to the resulting policy; and
- Comply with the KBE Policy Manual and all applicable laws governing the service of a KBE member.
What a student member gains from board membership:
- Incredible experience and insight into educational policy in Kentucky;
- Familiarity with state laws, policies and administrative regulations as they relate to education;
- Knowledge about education issues as they relate to Kentucky and the nation;
- The ability to make a difference in Kentucky educational policy;
- A mentoring relationship with a state board member; and
- Opportunities for career exploration.
The selected student member will serve a one-year term, from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
The estimated time required for the student board member will be at least two successive school days every other month to attend regular KBE meetings, usually in Frankfort; sufficient time to review the agenda materials in advance of the meeting; additional time for handling other board-related business; and time to attend selected student meetings, workshops and/or conferences. Remote attendance is optional.
Applicants who apply acknowledge the one-year commitment from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024, and the time commitment that will be necessary if selected.
To be selected as the student member, the applicant must be enrolled in a Kentucky public high school, be a junior in good standing on July 1 – which means a sophomore at the time of application – and must reside in Kentucky's 5th Congressional District.
Counties in Kentucky's 5th Congressional District include Bath (partial), Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter (partial), Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley, Wolfe
Applications are due by March 6 at 5 p.m. ET. By March 9, the commissioner's designee will forward all eligible applications to the Commissioner's Student Advisory Council (SAC) for review and recommendation. Applications for those who are ineligible for appointment because they do not meet the requirements will not be forwarded for review.
SAC, or a subset of the council, will review eligible applications. SAC will recommend to the board three candidates from eligible applications for selection as the non-voting student member.
No later than its last regular meeting of the fiscal year, KBE will consider the recommendations and by majority vote select one candidate to serve as the non-voting student member. That student's name will be forwarded to the Governor's Office for Boards and Commissions for approval and issuance of a commission to serve on the KBE.
Each prospective applicant should fully understand the time requirement that serving on the KBE would add to their workload and schedule and give serious consideration to the frequent travel requirements of the position.
Applications for the student member can be submitted via Google Form.
Application materials include:
- The applicant's name, home address, public school district of enrollment and congressional district of residence;
- One- to two-page resume;
- 500- to 750-word narrative statement explaining why the applicant wants to serve as a non-voting student member of the board;
- Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, school administrator, employer, coach or volunteer supervisor explaining why the applicant should be appointed to the board
Because the KBE meetings the student member attends often conflict with when school is in session, it is important applicants speak with their principal about the potential time commitment if they were to be selected to serve on the KBE. KDE recommends using the school statement of support as a way to have that conversation. Having a statement of support does not affect the selection process and will not hinder an applicant's eligibility as a potential candidate.
Application Submission Deadline
Completed applications must be submitted via Google Form by March 6 at 5 p.m. ET. For more information about the student member position on the KBE, email KDE Director of Education Policy Meredith Brewer.