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Dayton Schools Adopt State Civics Test, Prepare for Pension Changes

The Dayton Board of Education approved the implementation of a civics test at Dayton High School starting next spring.
The move follows the passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 159, signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin last March.
The new law requires that Kentucky high school students must take the civics test before they can graduate. Questions for the test will come from the citizenship exam administered by the U.S. government.
All freshmen and juniors in the state will take the test in the spring of 2018. Any junior who does not pass the test will then have the chance to take the test again in their senior year. Going forward, the standard will be that freshmen take the test in the spring, and then any student who hasn't taken and passed the test will be expected to take it, and all students will take the test as many times as they need in order to pass it.
The test will be comprised of 100 multiple choice and short-answer questions. The test will be used only as a prerequisite for graduation and will not affect the grade of any course.
Also at last week's meeting, proposed reforms to the state's pension systems were discussed.
Educators across the state have expressed concern about plans floated by Gov. Bevin and Republican leaders in the General Assembly.
It was explained to the school board that based on the various proposals, the additional costs to the district could range from $3,647 for the three teachers in the district with more than 27 years experience, to $743 per newer teacher hired. With 18 new teachers, that would be more than $13,374 in additional costs to the district. 
The state faces a pension funding shortfall in the billions of dollars. Gov. Bevin has not ruled out a special session of the General Assembly before the end of the year to address the fiscal crisis.
Other notes:
Director of special education and day care Brittney Howell told the board about the Kindergarten Screening results and said that 57 percent of Kindergarten students scored Ready on the screening, which is the highest the district has ever scored.
Several students were honored as students of the month. Employee of the month was Joe Workman, athlete of the month was Seth Chinn, and artist of the month is Abby Coleman. Dayton High School students honored were Jasmine Nelson, Monica Malone, Tatum Turner, Brianna Holt, Savannah Maxwell, and Indyah Mobley, and students from Lincoln Elementary were Bentley Arnett, Klaire Tucker, Lilyana Stetter, Scarlett Vanover, Joseph Guaman, Daegan Claybern, Brian Giglia, Caleb McIntosh, Aiden Clifton, Isabella Whalen, Swayze Flannery, Zoe Peters, Brooklynn Moreno, Robin Scott, Anna Karnes, KeAriah Smith, Owen Overman, and Uriah Varchetta.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
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