School - Based Decision Making

School-Based Decision Making - Technical Documents

Published: 4/15/2024 12:38 PM

​​​​​​​The resources included on this page were designed to assist Kentucky's School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) council members, each district's SBDM coordinator, and SBDM trainers. Resources have been organized topically and are routinely updated to align with legislation and to meet the needs of council members and SBDM coordinators and trainers throughout the state. Each subheading below includes a description of its contents and most SBDM-related information can be found within the SBDM Handbook, which is listed first on this page. All other topics are listed in alphabetical order. Should you have a question about the materials or SBDM, please contact the SBDM Consultant listed at the bottom of this page.

Senate Bill 1 (2022) Guidance

On April 13, 2022, the Kentucky legislature passed Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which includes changes that affect SBDM councils. Although the passing of this bill impacts several statutes, the guidance document focuses on changes to KRS 160.345, most notably the transfer of curriculum determination and principal selection from the SBDM council to the superintendent. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) created this guidance to answer some of the questions that schools and councils may have. The changes from SB 1 took effect on July 14, 2022.

The KDE has also amended its model consultation policy to assist schools with procedures related to principal selection and to align with SB1. SB1 requires SBDM councils to modify their consultation policy to include procedures to assist the council with consultation in the selection of the principal by the superintendent and the selection of personnel by the principal, including but not limited to meetings, timelines, interviews, review of written applications, and review of references. The consultation policy must continue to address situations in which members of the council are not available for consultation. Also, SB1 allows for a separate principal selection process for those SBDM councils operating in a consolidated local government and KDE created a separate and distinct model policy that supports those statutory processes. Likewise, the KDE has amended its model curriculum policy to assist schools with procedures related to an effective writing program aligned to the curriculum responsibilities under KRS 158.6453(19)​.

SBDM Handbook

The purpose of the handbook is to provide detailed information regarding School-Based Decision Making processes, laws, and best practices.

SBDM Monthly Agenda Topics

The topics and reminders listed on this document are suggestions for consideration when planning agendas for monthly SBDM meetings.

Annual Documents

Pursuant to KRS 158.186, SBDM council members should receive copies of the two statutes listed beneath this subheading:

The attorney general's office requires that the below documents be distributed to council members within 60 days of the beginning of the council's term. The Kentucky Open Records and Open Meetings Act: A guide for the public and public agencies explains the provisions of the open meetings and the open records act. "Managing Government Records" provides guidance on how to manage public records and how to keep them organized and accessible. "Proof of Receipt" (on the last page of the "The Kentucky Open Records and Open Meetings" document) must be signed by all council members to verify that they have received copies of "The Kentucky Open Records and Open Meetings Act" and "Managing Government Records." This signed form is kept on file at the school office. 

Election Guidance

The majority of information to assist council member constituent groups with their election processes can be found within the SBDM Handbook; however, schools have eight percent (8%) or greater minority membership in their student population based on the Superintendent's Annual Attendance Report (SAAR) are required to have minority membership on their School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) council [KRS 160.345(2)(b)(2)]. The purpose of the resource below is to help schools determine whether a minority member is required. The data reflected in this report is based on the Superintendent's Annual Attendance Report (SAAR).

Principal Selection Guidebook

The contents of the Principal Selection Guidebook represent the best practices for the principal selection processes at those schools implementing school-based decision making (SBDM). KRS160.345, as amended during the 2022 legislative session, allows for separate and distinct principal selection processes contingent upon whether the school does or does not operate in a consolidated local government. Principal selection training cannot substitute for the annually required professional learning for all SBDM members as cited in KRS 160.345(6).

Staffing Allocati​ons

Kentucky's funding regulation 702 KAR 3:246 outlines the distribution of funds to schools. The resources below were designed to assist Kentucky's districts and local boards of education a​s they work through the distribution process and/or update local staffing allocation policies.

Alternative Models for SBDM Councils

Pursuant to 701 KAR 5:100, school councils have the ability to add additional voting members, such as students and classified staff, to their council's membership through an alternative SBDM application process (linked below). Those schools interested in adding voting student members are encouraged to consult their local board attorney prior to doing so.

In addition to adding voting students and classified staff to councils pursuant to KRS 160.345(7), a school may develop a model that includes non-voting council members without the prior approval of the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). Students or classified staff may be added to the council in an advisory role to offer insight and opinions but may not have voting rights unless the council seeks (and is granted approval by the KBE) an alternative model SBDM.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) created the below guidance which answers some of the questions that schools and councils may have when they are considering adding a voting student or classified staff member and/or if they wish to add other non-voting members.​


Mia Morales
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of School and Program Improvement
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2116, Ext. 4046
Fax (502) 564-8149


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