The Involvement of School Employees in School Board Campaigns

There are certain laws and regulations governing campaigns for School Board that apply to employees of the Fayette County Board of Education. This includes teachers, administrators, and support staff. Anyone under an employment contract with FCPS, as well as any candidate for School Board, must follow these requirements. Restrictions specific to school district employee involvement in that district’s school board campaigns do not apply to employees of other districts wishing to be involved in school board campaigns outside of their district of employment.

KRS 161.164 outlines these guidelines. The Kentucky Supreme Court has also clarified some of these provisions, noting, “The expression of personal opinion is not a campaign activity.” There is a way to balance the duties and responsibility of your job with your rights as a citizen and voter in Fayette County.

What you CAN do:

  • Register to vote, register other people to vote, and vote in elections.

  • Share your personal opinion either privately or publicly about candidates and issues in local elections, including school board races. This includes social media posts as an individual citizen.

  • Voluntarily display school board candidate yard signs and bumper stickers on your own property.

  • Voluntarily wear campaign buttons, stickers, or shirts of school board candidates while off duty.

  • Request campaign literature from school board candidates for personal use.

  • Endorse school board candidates in a public forum as a private citizen.

  • Sign a school board candidate nominating petition.

  • Voluntarily attend a campaign rally or event for a School Board candidate.

What you CANNOT do:

  • Manage or work directly for a campaign for School Board.

  • Coordinate with a campaign for School Board when making phone calls to potential voters, recruiting volunteers, or canvassing neighborhoods. These activities must be conducted independently of the campaign or campaign committee.

  • Make contributions or provide services (either monetary or in-kind) to a campaign for School Board. This would include distributing campaign material under the direction of the campaign, working at a phone bank organized by the campaign, performing fundraising services for the campaign, or driving the candidate to political events.

  • Transfer money, goods, property, or other things of value to a school board candidate or campaign.

  • Wear or display badges, buttons, or signs for a school board candidate while on duty.

  • Promote, organize, or engage in political activities (for any political campaign) while performing your duties on the job or during the work day. This includes: encouraging students to adopt or support a particular political position, party, or candidate; or using school property or materials to advance the support of a particular political position, party, or candidate.

Both the Kentucky Supreme Court and the Kentucky Attorney General have expressed the belief that school employees should retain their personal rights to personally voice their preference for a school board candidate (including on social media); to read campaign materials; to wear campaign stickers, buttons, etc., while off duty; and to place signs on their personal property.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or your rights as a school employee when it comes to school board campaign involvement, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

A printable copy of this document is available by clicking here (Google Doc).

This document was prepared by the campaign of Tyler Murphy for Fayette County School Board and is provided as an informational resource for citizens wishing to be involved in the political process. It is not a solicitation for support or services and is not intended as legal advice.