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Kentucky Educational Reform Act (KERA): Home

What is KERA?


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W hat Is KERA?

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:

Goal 1

Students use basic communication and mathematics skills for purposes and situations they will encounter throughout their lives.

  • Use reference books and computers to find information
  • Draw on mathematical ideas and procedures to solve problems
  • Adapt communication to different audiences and purposes

Goal 2

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.

  • Identify patterns to understand past events and predict future ones
  • Understand how living and non-living things change over time
  • Realize that nature tends to move toward a balance

Goal 3

Students develop their abilities to become self-sufficient individuals.

  • Demonstrate positive self esteem
  • Maintain self-control and self-discipline
  • Make decisions based on ethical values

Goal 4

Students become responsible members of a family, work group, or community, including demonstrating effectiveness in community service.

  • Show productive team membership skills
  • Accept the rights and responsibilities of self and others
  • Appreciate a multicultural world view

Goal 5

Students think and solve problems in school situations and in a variety of situations they will encounter in life.

  • Invent novel, constructive ideas or products
  • Organize information to change understanding of a project
  • Use a decision-making process to choose among options

Goal 6

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.

  • Connect knowledge and experiences from different subject areas
  • Use existing knowledge to acquire new knowledge
  • Expand existing knowledge by making connections with new knowledge

*See Partnership for Kentucky Schools
by Rosmary Meszaros and Debbie Lamastus
December 14, 2004


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.

Please Note: We are not equipped to answer questions about the specific workings or legal ramifications of the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Please see About this Site for further information.

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Count since October 13, 2004

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Originally conceived by Kerry J. Smith.
Currently maintained by The WKU Libraries' Web KERA Group (Brian Coutts, Rosemary Meszaros, Roxanne Spencer, Haiwang Yuan, Deana Groves, Ellen Micheletti, and Debbie Lamastus).
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Latest update: August 26, 2008