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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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February 6, 2018

Lawrence County cuts could reach $4 million in first year, Fletcher says



Lawrence County Schools chief Dr. Rob Fletcher responded to questions from The Lazer concerning a recent visit he made to Frankfort to let representatives and senators know just what effect proposed budget cuts would have on Lawrence Co. schools.

Here is what he said:


"...Over the past year, the Lawrence County Board of Education has invested taxpayer money into educating our kids and maintaining our buildings. The Board approved a 0.5% raise for employees, a 1 to 1 initiative at the high school, the purchase of Chromebooks, a new gym floor at Fallsburg, potentially two new buses (through a grant opportunity), water treatment facilities upgrades, and others.

As you well know, Governor Bevin’s budget has several funding sources for education removed from the current budget proposal. According to the spreadsheet you have that compares the 2016 HB303 with 2017 HB200, there are several programs that are either mentioned specifically in cuts or simply not mentioned at all. Those include, but are not limited to:

Transportation (Up to 75% in cuts)
Health insurance (unspecified amount)
Gifted and Talented
Read to Achieve
Safe Schools
Textbooks/instructional resources
Teach for America
SFCC additional offers of assistance in school construction (not the nickel match)

Mrs. Vanhoose (Lawrence Schools Finance director) has prepared a working budget for you (BOE) that compensates for increase district level contributions in CERS and other issues, but it is nearly impossible to anticipate the final state budget at this point. There are many issues that have not been addressed including a pension bill, tax reform, and others.

To give you a starting point, Mrs. Vanhoose has taken our current situation and developed a draft budget for your review. On the other hand, be advised, when the final state budget is approved, we could be bringing recommendations of cuts for the upcoming school year.

Draft budget overview was the information that I gave the Board members before Mrs. Vanhoose's Draft Budget was presented.  The contingency funds will dip below 4% due to the increase contribution that we will have beginning in July."


The Impact of Governor Bevin’s PROSPOSED Budget on Lawrence County Schools

"...Governor Matt Bevin recently unveiled a budget proposal for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  If one looks at the budget (HB200) line-by-line, one would see detrimental cuts to public education.  The MINIMUM financial burden that would shift to our district would be over 2 million dollars, and if health insurance costs are added, that could double to over 4 million dollars in the first year.

The contingency funds will dip below 4% due to the increase contribution that we will have beginning in July.

Specifically, here is how the Lawrence County School System would be affected:


These budget cuts would not only directly impact the programs mentioned, but also these budget cuts would cause multiple lay-offs, a reduction in extra-curricular services for students, and negative impacts in many other areas that are not mentioned specifically.

Finally, it is my hopes that Governor Bevin has provided a “worst-case” scenario and that these cuts will never occur.  I trust the lawmakers of eastern Kentucky to fight for public education.  In the meantime, I encourage you to contact our legislators, Senator Ray Jones and Representative Jill York, to let them know that you appreciate their support for public education, especially for the students of Lawrence County.  ALL IN!"



+6 #8 Sick of school tax 2018-02-08 19:10
I’m still voting down the nickel tax
+2 #7 Concerned Tax Payer 2018-02-07 15:16
The school board should use. All the money we as tax payers pay them. They receive millions a year in tax money but depend a lot on the state funding. Shame on the school system for doing this. Good for Mr Bevin. Lawrence County school system needs to pay their share.
+4 #6 Countygal 2018-02-07 07:52
Wonder who Fletcher and our school board members voted for in the last governors race??? I’m betting it was Bevin!
+2 #5 LC 2018-02-07 00:49
0 #4 history 2018-02-07 00:32
just wait until next year after trumps tax cuts start to trickle down (less federal tax revenue equals less money going to the states) property and state taxes are going to go up but look on the bright side, the rich got a 14% tax cut this is Reagan all over again.
+2 #3 Good 2018-02-07 00:30
Save millions by board office tightening their belts. Stop the waste. Stop unsuccessful programs that waste taxpayers money, Thanks gov.
+3 #2 Employee 2018-02-06 23:56
Well it is hard enough to make a Living with driving a school bus anyways so if this goes into affect then it is off to another job I guess or maybe even Retire and I thought Bevin was going to do so good but maybe I am starting to have second thoughts. I really do not know what he is really dealing with because I am not that smart but I think there is something that can be done besides this Plan.
+4 #1 Legalize 2018-02-06 23:04
Legalize marijuana and these problems would literally go away within a few months. Colorado, as well as several other states have a surplus in funding for education. Marijuana is far safer than alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs, way less addictive too. Looking for funding and the answer is right in front of you people.

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