Quick Takes

House approves ending high school diploma requirement for school bus drivers, secretaries, other classified positions

By: - February 20, 2023 5:45 am

A high school diploma would no longer be required to work as a bus driver or secretary in Kentucky schools under House Bill 32. (Getty Images)

FRANKFORT — A proposed law that would give school districts a wider pool of applicants for non-teaching jobs has made its way through the Kentucky House of Representatives. 

The House on Feb. 17 passed House Bill 32, which would allow Kentucky school districts the option of hiring classified personnel without a high school diploma or equivalent and provide the employee an opportunity to obtain one. The vote was 95-0. 

Classified employees include support staff such as bus drivers, secretaries custodians, cafeteria workers and other employees who are not certified as teachers or administrators. 

Rep. Kevin Jackson, R-Bowling Green, said the bill has an emergency clause to put it into effect immediately. 

“Currently Warren County Public Schools has 100 classified openings and this is just one example of our dire situation across the commonwealth,” the representative said. “The bill is not a cure-all, but it will help school districts that are already overwhelmed with staff shortages in nearly every classified staff area. 

In a committee meeting, Jackson said the reasoning behind the bill was to give school districts “a wider pool of applicants” for open jobs. Another provision of the bill includes that if an employee without a high school diploma or equivalent wants to pursue that, the district will give them the opportunity to. 

A bill co-sponsor, Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, commended Jackson’s work on the legislation. Tipton is the chairman of the House Education committee. He added that school districts are having issues with hiring both classified workers and certified workers, which include teachers. 

“They are essential to making the daily operations of the school work and I truly believe this is a positive step in the right direction,” Tipton said of classified workers. 

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.