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Ludlow Superintendent Explains to Board New Changes in Policy Mandated by State

Ludlow Independent Schools Superintendent Michael Borchers waved a pile of papers that he said represented changes to board policies as required by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

He noted the changes that would be of most interest to the members of the Board of Education at Thursday night's meeting.

Some changes are simple and others are more complex.

Borchers noted the reference to charter schools, which were approved the General Assembly in 2017.

Currently, Borchers said, there is no funding mechanism for charter schools in the state, but noted that because Kenton and Campbell counties are designated as "achievement zones", Ludlow students could attend any charter school that opens.

Borchers said that Ludlow Schools have more to offer students, and is confident that if a fair comparison were made, parents would choose the city schools over a charter.

Another change is a requirement to post job opportunities for 30 days instead of 15. There is also now a separate background check for potential employees, based on child abuse or neglect - a cost that is covered by the job applicant. The new rule applies to district staff and contractors.

Additionally, school districts are no longer required to maintain a 2-percent contingency fund in their budgets.

Districts must also show attempts to cut administrative costs.

Ludlow, like other districts, will have to demonstrate programs to promote workplace skills. Borchers said that won't be a problem for the middle and high schools, but a program would need to be implemented for the elementary school.

Meanwhile, the district was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with an Energy Star Award.

"The highest score you can get is 100, and we scored 96," Borchers said.  "Back in 2010 they measured our EUI, which are units used, and we had a number of 197.9. In 2017, that number was 46.4. That's a reduction of 151.5 units."

Borchers went on to say that the district has new transformers, new cooling and heating systems, LED lights in most areas, and motion sensors on the lights so they turn off when not in use. He also said the heating and air conditioning is on a system that can be controlled remotely, meaning that energy efforts can be reduced when some areas are not in use The reduction in the monthly electric bill is settling into a steady savings, Borchers said.

The money the district has saved went to help buy Chromebooks. He told the board that Ludlow is in the top 30 districts in the state for energy savings.

Aubrey Cahill will be the new director of elementary special education, and Adam Clary will be the director of secondary special education, taking the place of Beth Ketzer who retired.   

Both of the new directors will continue to teach half a day and work their new positions half a day.

The next board meeting will be July 12, moved up one week.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor