The Kentucky Legislature approved House Bill 940 on April 11, 1990. It was signed into law as the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) by Governor Wallace Wilkinson (Chapter 476 of the Kentucky Acts of 1990).
KERA became effective in July 1990. This landmark legislation resulted from the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision in Rose v. Council for Better Education (790 S.W.2d 186; decided June 8, 1989 and modified September 28, 1989).
The Council for Better Education, seven local boards of education, and 22 public school students filed suit against the Governor, the Superindent of Public Instruction, the State Treasurer, the President Pro Tem of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and the State Board of Education challenging the equity and adequacy of school funding in the state. This complaint was filed in November, 1985 in the Franklin Circuit Court.
The Rose decision stated that "We [the Kentucky Supreme Court] view this decision as an opportunity for the General Assembly to launch the Commonwealth into a new era of educational opportunity which will ensure a strong, economic, cultural and political future." [790 S.W.2d 186, 216]
KERA provided for "a reform of the Commonwealth's system of common schools, raising revenues incidental thereto, and responding to the Supreme Court's mandate in the [Rose] decision." KERA created a structure to redefine the education system by providing learning goals along with procedures to assess them.
The six learning goals* are the following:
Students use basic communication and mathematics skills for purposes and situations they will encounter throughout their lives.
Students apply concepts and principles from mathematics, the sciences, the arts, the humanities, social studies, practical living studies, and vocational studies to what they will encounter throughout their lives.
Students develop their abilities to become self-sufficient individuals.
Students become responsible members of a family, work group, or community, including demonstrating effectiveness in community service.
Students think and solve problems in school situations and in a variety of situations they will encounter in life.
Students connect and integrate experiences and new knowledge from all subject matter fields with what they have previously learned, and build on past learning experiences to acquire new information through various media sources.
*See Partnership for Kentucky Schools
This site selects resources based not on presence or absence of political bias, but on potential usefulness for a variety of informational needs.
This site is not an official KERA site, nor does it necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Western Kentucky University, which provides server resources.
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since October 13, 2004
Originally conceived by Kerry J. Smith.