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Kentucky Department of Education looking to improve access to Professional Development

Kentucky Department of Education

Public comment is requested on a proposal to implement a new Professional Development system for Kentucky teachers. The state Department of Education is hoping to use a waiver that will give them another year to use more than $647,000 in federal ‘Supporting Effective Instruction’ dollars. Officials said the money would be used to launch a system that will better organize - and allow teachers access to - professional development trainings. 

Officials report that currently, the department uses a Professional Development Bulletin Board, which announces trainings. Micki Ray is the KDE’s Chief Academic Officer. She said this has led to under-utilization of P.D. opportunities and they hope contracting with a vendor will improve the process.

“To allow for stronger, more effective, professional learning that is open to the entirety of this field. So, there would be learning opportunities for K-12 educators, administrators, classified staff, that just would allow us to reach the people that we’re serving in a more effective way. And engaging way, frankly,” said Ray. 

Ray said she believes creating more engaging learning options for educators will have ripple effects across education. 

“If we have more engaging options for educators, if we’re able to meet them where they are, whether that’s in their home offices or in their classrooms, we’re going to have increased participation and hopefully, the higher quality instruction and increased student outcomes based on that learning,” said Ray.

If the waiver is granted, officials said the system will be a statewide hub, offering solo and group learning opportunities. Comments on the proposed waiver will be accepted through the close of business Friday afternoon. The waiver can be found on the KDE website. Comments from individuals and groups can be made to Chrystal Rowland at the Kentucky Department of Education at chrystal.rowland@education.ky.gov.