Bill that would ease nepotism laws in Kentucky schools advances

A House bill that would ease Kentucky public schools’ anti-nepotism laws was approved by the Senate Education Committee last week.

It now requires the approval of the full Senate.

House Bill 277 would remove the restriction that a person is not eligible to be on a school board if the school district employs an aunt, uncle, son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

Nearly three decades ago, the General Assembly banned the nepotism that was rampant in school districts until the passage of the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act.

Under existing law, people are not eligible to be a school board member if they have certain relatives employed by the same district. “Relative” under the current law means father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, son-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Rep. Brandon Reed, R-Hodgenville, sponsor of HB 277, said that under the current law having mothers-in-law and fathers-in law, nephews and nieces and cousins employed by the district does not make someone ineligible to be a school board member. He said the statute that restricts someone whose aunt, uncle, daughter-in-law or son-in law appears inequitable.

The committee approved the bill with a unanimous vote.

Another bill that eased nepotism laws has been approved by both the House and the Senate and delivered to Gov. Matt Bevin -- House Bill 269, sponsored by Rep. Steve Riley, R-Glasgow.

It would allow relatives who are ineligible for employment in a school district under anti-nepotism laws to be substitute employees in the district.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears