School Based Decision Making

District SBDM Coordinator: Will Black, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

In 1990 the Kentucky Legislature passed HB 940 and KRS 160.345 to create school based decision making governance in Kentucky’s public schools. The one purpose of school councils is to promote student achievement through shared leadership at the school level. Councils are tasked with developing and implementing school policies to help students meet the Kentucky educational goals. The philosophy behind this legislation is that shared decision making results in greater commitment and promotes student achievement.

The school councils shall adopt policies to be implemented by the principal in the following areas:

  • Curriculum – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 1

  • Staff time assignment – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 2

  • Student assignment – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 3

  • School schedule – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 4

  • School space use – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 5

  • Instructional practices – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 6

  • Discipline and classroom management – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 7

  • Extracurricular programs – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 8

  • State standards, technology utilization, and program appraisal – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 9

  • Consultation in filling vacancies – KRS 160.345(2)(i) 10

  • Committee participation – KRS 160.345(2)(c) 2

  • Advanced Placement Policy for High Schools – KRS 160.348

  • Wellness Policy for K-5 Schools – KRS 160.345 (11) (This is a 2005 addition.)

In addition to the areas where school councils are required to have adopted policies, the same law creates areas where school councils must make decisions. Implied with the charge to make the decision is the responsibility to establish policy on how that decision will be made. These areas include:

  1. Selecting a Principal – KRS 160.345 (2) (h)

  2. Determine the number of persons to be employed in each job class – KRS 160.345(2)(f)

  3. Determine textbooks for the school – KRS 160.345(2)(g)

  4. Determine instructional materials for the school – KRS 160.345(2)(g)

  5. Determine student support services for the school – KRS 160.345(2)(g)

  6. Set the budget for school instructional funds (Section 6) – KRS 160.345(2)(g)

  7. Completion of data analysis and school improvement planning – KRS 160.345(2)(j)

  8. Planning professional development – KRS 160.345(8)

  9. Completion of additional responsibility granted from the local board – KRS 160.345(4)

  10. Homework Policy - not required by statute, but is considered best practice

The Paducah School Board Policies addressing school based decision making can be accessed at the Resources: Paducah KSBA Policies link on the district webpage.