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Large Cuts in Education Funding Predicted

hopkinsschool 300HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (1/25/12) – Hopkins County Schools Superintendent James Lee Stevens has presented a bleak outlook on school funding for the next school year.

Kentucky schools receive funding from local property taxes, State of Kentucky and Federal education programs.  Education comprises the largest portion of state revenues for Kentucky.  Revenue shortfalls in state revenues and federal cutbacks have been predicted and seem to be coming to fruition.

Stevens presented the following statement during the regular school board meeting on Monday evening:

“The draft budget I’m presenting to you tonight reflects the bleak projections the state has made regarding education funding.

This budget calls for total general fund revenue of $43.6 million.  The biggest problem in reference to this budget is that we are losing about $1 million in federal Job Ed funding.  We have already received at $503,000 adjustment in SEEK funding this year from the state.  This has caused our carry-over to be projected at $1.5 million less than this year’s beginning balance.  I anticipate the state will make another cut of about $250,000 to SEEK this year.

SUPERINTENDTAnother issue is that this year’s budget was prepared based on a SEEK allocation of $3,903 per student.  However, the proposed state budget would provide only $3,833 per student next year, which is the same as 2008 levels, and $3,827 the following year.  This would cause an additional half a million dollar decrease in out SEEK funding for the next school year.  In addition, there is a minimum of a 4.5 percent decrease in the Flex Focus Accounts for next school year.

We expect to have to reduce next year’s budget by $2.5 million to $3 million.  The majority of that will come from facilities, transportation and other support services that we provide the schools.  We anticipate a reduction of 8-10 certified staff members and 15-20 classified staff members, at a minimum.  But with declining enrollments and reduction in the number of special needs students, those numbers could increase.  We should know more details when the General Assembly approves a budget this spring.  The tentative budget will be brought to the board in May.”

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News

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