Legislature Moves to Set Planning Time Minimum for Teachers

Feb 24, 2014

The Kentucky House has overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring teachers to be paid for a minimum of 120 minutes a week for non-teaching activities. 

Bill sponsor Rita Smart says having adequate planning time in the daily schedule seems to be a bigger issue for elementary teachers.

“But, what we found that almost all high school and middle school teachers get more than that, many high school teachers get an hour, 60 minutes, but elementary teachers were not getting, in some districts no planning time,” said Smart.

One of the eight "No" votes came from Harrodsburg Representative Kim King. 

She believes the planning time issue should be addressed by individual school councils. 

“So, I think that decision should be made the council that we have given the authority to make that decision,” said King.             

King says school-based decision-making councils have three teacher representatives.  Smart says teaching requirements have changed over the years.  

“Used to be when you had your planning time you basically wrote down or looked at the pages you were gonna go over in the textbook.  Now you’ve got to do hands-on activity, you’ve got learning modules that you need to collaborate with the students and work with the students,” explained Smart.  

The bill sets out the daily allotted time to be a minimum of 24 minutes.  The measure, which goes on to the Senate, passed by a vote of 85 to 8 on Friday.