Resolution calling for study of Kentucky School for the Deaf withdrawn

Published 12:40 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

A resolution that would have called for a study looking into the possibility of Danville Independent School District managing the Kentucky School for the Deaf has been withdrawn.

Boyle County’s state senator, Rick Girdler (R-Somerset), introduced the resolution on Tuesday. But the Kentucky Department of Education, which currently manages KSD, as well as Danville school officials, expressed varying levels of surprise and doubt about what the legislation called for.

Girdler has now formally withdrawn the resolution from consideration. It had been co-sponsored by some big names in the Senate: Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville), who used to be the senator for Boyle County; Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens (R-Greensburg); and Max Wise (R-Campbellsville), chair of the Senate Education Committee.

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Girdler said Friday the legislation was taken off the table because both KDE and KSD “wanted it withdrawn.” He said the only reason he had filed it initially was “to get some help for KSD and their students.”

KDE interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown sent a letter to KSD teachers, staff, parents and alumni informing them of the resolution after it was filed. Once it was withdrawn, Brown sent another letter, stating, “I am pleased to report that Senate Joint Resolution 142 has been withdrawn by the sponsor. Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Education. Also, thank you Sen. Rick Girdler & cosponsors for listening to our concerns.”

Brown’s second letter also reiterated a statement from his first, that, “I am opposed to any study of KSD that is predetermined in outcome and does not take into consideration the history, culture, purpose & unique needs that a dedicated & stand-alone school for the Deaf provides to the citizens of Kentucky.”

The resolution would have instructed KDE to “conduct a study exploring how the management and operation of the Kentucky School for the Deaf may be best transferred to the Danville Independent School District.”

The Kentucky Board of Education currently serves as the school board for KSD, and the state’s commissioner of education is its superintendent. KSD is located in Danville, but its deaf and hard-of-hearing students come from families living across the state to receive education from teachers and staff who use American Sign Language.