Note: This is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily of the Kentucky New Era. Let the community know your opinion about this topic and others by submitting a "Letter to the editor."

School safety has definitely been at the forefront of Kentucky legislation during this General Assembly session. And we applaud our lawmakers for taking steps to ensure our children’s well-being.

But there are other bills gaining traction that involve public education — some good, and some not so good, in our opinion.

Kentucky School Systems are infamous for nepotism and “good ol’ boy” politics when it comes to hiring practices.

A bill that passed the Senate by a narrow 20-15 vote earlier this week would all but eliminate the school-based decision-making councils from the process of hiring school principals. Under Senate Bill 7, superintendents would have to only consult with the councils.

In our view, the more people who have a voice in such a crucial hire for our schools, the better. So we’re not thrilled that the hiring of a principal would rest with one person, who only has to review “input” from others.

The bill isn’t all

bad, however.

A part of Senate Bill 7 would add a parent to the council to bring the number of parents and teachers to an equal number.

This we like. Let’s change the makeup of the council — and let them continue to make these key hires in our schools.

SB 7 now goes to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

We also like legislation to prevent Kentucky school employees from paddling students or using other forms of corporal punishment. This bill was approved by House members on Feb. 7.

Lawmakers who spoke on House Bill 22 said corporal punishment lowers students’ trust in adults and sends the wrong message that physical aggression is a way to deal with problems. Other forms of discipline are more effective, they said. The bill passed the House 65-15 on Feb. 7 and now goes to the Senate.

The old “spare the rod” nonsense is draconian, in our view.

Most parents do not want other people physically abusing their children. It’s just common sense. This bill is long overdue.

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