State and Federal Requirements for Local School Wellness Policies:
All elementary and secondary school students in Kentucky are to receive physical education and health education instruction in accordance with the Kentucky Academic Standards and meeting the minimum unit requirements for high school graduation set forth in 704 KAR 003:305.
Local boards of education and school-based decision-making councils determine the curriculum to be used for teaching the Kentucky Academic Standards, the hiring of qualified personnel and the allocation of instructional time. More information about school-based decision-making councils can be found here.
Section 11 of KRS 160.345 addresses the role of SBDM councils for school wellness policy including the requirement that K-5 schools have a plan for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. KRS 158.856 requires that all school districts annual complete a nutrition and physical activity assessment.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS SUMMARY for KRS 158.856/KRS 160.3455 are as follows:
· Post a report to the district website about the nutrition and physical activity environments for schools within the district at least 60 days prior to January 31.
· Discussion of the findings of the nutrition report and physical activity report by each local board and the board seeking public comments during a publicly advertised special board meeting or at the next regularly scheduled board meeting following the release of the nutrition and physical activity reports.
· By January 31 of each year, the local board of education holding an advertised public forum to present a plan to improve school nutrition and physical activities in the school district.
· By May 1 of each year, each school district compiling a summary of findings and recommendations and submitting the summary to the KBE.
(NOTE: ON FEB 6, 2019, THE KY BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTED TO REMOVE OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS FROM THE STATE PLAN. A new indicator for state-required quality of school climate and safety based on perception data, replacing the opportunity and access measures. No information is currently available for school climate and safety. The below information was posted concerning original state plan relating to ESSA)
Thanks to the ESSA definition for a well-rounded subject, health education and physical education are also now eligible for federal funding from title programs like professional development (Title II), safe and healthy/well-rounded (Title IV Part A) and after-school programs (Title IV Part B). However please note that Congressional appropriations for ESSA has been well below the level of what was originally authorized when ESSA was passed. Originally Congress authorized Title IV Part A at $1.6 billion, but current FY appropriations was only $400 million. State education agencies then receive funding based on their Title I population, so Kentucky received just under $6 million. Kentucky chose to keep a formula based funding, as equity was a driving force behind ESSA passage, so that all local education agencies received some funding. This has resulted in a much smaller funding amount to school districts. The following link has the district Title IV Part A allocations for the current fiscal year for all 173 public school districts KDE FY18 Title IV Part A allocations. For districts, that receive more than $30,000 the district must follow a needs assessment process to allocate the funding between 1.)Well-rounded education 2.) Safe and Healthy Schools and 3.) Technology. For districts that receive less than $30,000, it is the district’s discretion on how to allocate the funding. Additional guidance can be found on KDE’s website: https://education.ky.gov/school/Pages/Title-IV%2C-Part-A.aspx
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