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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

House passes measure to protect Kentucky post-secondary students


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The House of Representatives passed a measure Monday that would ensure college students throughout the Commonwealth have a right to due process in disciplinary proceedings. The bill, HB 145, requires each governing board of a public postsecondary education institution to adopt a student code of conduct that includes disciplinary procedures including additional rights to students who are eligible for certain punishments. The measure is sponsored by Representative Kim Banta of Fort Mitchell.
 
“HB 145 updates a statute that has not been changed since 1978,” Banta said. “The current system lacks consistency in standards, punishments or sanctions. Students who face disciplinary hearings often lack the right to meaningfully participate in each phase of the process, the right to access evidence used against them, the right to have an impartial adjudicator, nor the right to timely notice.”
 
In the past four years, Northern Kentucky University held 2,976 disciplinary hearings, while the University of Louisville held 1,200 to 1,800 disciplinary hearings. As the cost of tuition, fees, housing and the importance of higher education continues to rise, this measure will help promote transparency and consistency to the process which could cost a student their education.
 
“These rights are especially important during the time that students and their families could lose the most,” Banta said. “No matter whether you are a kid from the west end of Louisville or a kid from the holler in Hazard, Kentucky students deserve rights whatever they face.” 
 
HB 145 now goes to the Senate for consideration. Full text of the bill can be found on the Legislative Research Commission’s website at legislature.ky.gov.

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