Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Principals needn't live in district

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — A school board rule requiring principals to live within the district is unconstitutional and excessive, according to an attorney general's opinion.

        The “arbitrary total exclusion” of nonresidents violates the Kentucky Constitution, the opinion said.

        Moreover, authority to set qualifications for principals and other school personnel is vested in the agency that certifies them, the Education Professional Standards Board.

        “The fact this board has not made such a determination does not leave that power to the local boards,” said the opinion by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Scott White.

        Hiring of principals is reserved for local school councils, though a district superintendent submits nominations.

        Mr. White's opinion, made public Monday, was requested by the council at Bondurant Middle School in Franklin County. It was prompted by a residency rule the Franklin County Board of Education adopted on March 5.

        The school board said a residency requirement would guarantee candidates with “community involvement.”

        Mr. White's opinion said the rule “fails to recognize the many teachers and principals living outside of their county of employment who are intimately involved in those communities and schools — many to a higher degree than actual residents.”


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