Darren Doyle, story:
Only two Edmonson County students in grades K-12 applied for the option of using the 2021-22 school year as a supplemental year, said Superintendent of Edmonson Schools Brian Alexander in an Edmonson Voice interview. This would have allowed students to repeat the grade level for this school year as a result Senate Bill 128.
However, the law requires local Boards of Education to either approve or reject the supplemental year, and also requires the boards to either approve all or deny all applications; no individual decisions will be made. This was rejected at last night's Edmonson County Board of Education meeting.
“Each school district is unique and must consider their own set of circumstances," said Alexander. "The requirements of SB128 were to either accept or reject all applications that were submitted. Our board members spent countless hours considering the impacts of their vote and in no way took this decision lightly. The decision to reject the supplemental year was unanimous by the Edmonson County Board of Education.”
Alexander said that superintendents across the state have worked together and made great efforts to provide their school communities with the most current information relating to SB128. He also said that the Edmonson County school district had a goal of being fully transparent with all stakeholders after the bill was signed into law. Detailed information was made available to parents in April, which contained a description of the bill, pros and cons, and other points to consider, and that time, deadlines were advertised to submit applications for the supplemental year.
“When the bill was first introduced, state officials predicted approximately 3% of students would apply for the supplemental year in districts across the state," he said. "Edmonson County had official requests for the extra year from less than 1% of our students.”
Alexander said the school system expected more applicants, but he felt that the information provided to parents helped families make the most informed decision for their child.
"It’s an understatement to say educators everywhere are concerned about the negative impact this school year has had on their students," he added. "Our schools are already beginning to plan to address these needs next year and beyond. It is my belief more parents did not apply for the supplemental year because of the confidence they have in our teachers to continue to work to close these gaps created due to Covid-19.”