The Fayette County school board passed a resolution Monday asking the state legislature, which is in the midst of its 2015 session, to change a state law governing the makeup of screening committees for superintendent searches.
Specifically, the board is asking that a high school student and a member of the Equity Council, in districts where there is one, could be named to a search committee. Board member Doug Barnett drafted the resolution.
During the process to name a screening committee to recommend a replacement for Superintendent Tom Shelton, who resigned Dec. 31, there were requests that a student and a member of the Fayette Equity Council be on the panel.
But school board chairman John Price said legal counsel told him state law allowed only a set number of people representing specific groups.
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The six required positions on the committee are two teachers, elected by teachers; one classified employee, elected by classified employees; one principal, elected by principals; one parent or guardian, elected by PTA presidents, and one school board member appointed by the chairman.
Sahil Nair, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and a member of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, spoke during Monday's board meeting.
"With this resolution, Fayette County leads the state and the country in the movement to involve students in school governance," Nair said.
While the board has been working on the resolution, the Student Voice Team has been pursuing legislative action to change the law to add a student member and have a more inclusive superintendent search process, Nair said.
State Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, who was at Monday's meeting, has asked Attorney General Jack Conway to issue an opinion on whether the school board could add more members to the committee under current law.
The school board hopes to hire a new superintendent by July. Until then, Marlene Helm is serving as interim superintendent.