State to manage troubled Breathitt Co. schools until 2017

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - It was played out like a court case complete with witness and testimony.

A special meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education took place on Tuesday to determine if the state should continue its control of the Breathitt County school system.

The state took over management 17 months ago after an audit showed mismanagement and financial issues.

The state education board voted to keep Breathitt County schools under state management until 2017. It was a unanimous vote.

The special meeting began Tuesday morning. In their opening statements, the Kentucky Department of Education pointed out that in 2012, the district had inefficient and ineffective management. While the county has made improvements, the department believes it still lacks a fully functioning management system that will get students college and career ready.

Meanwhile, the Breathitt County school board argues its members are being lumped unfairly with the district's previous leaders. Their plan is to show the state board the county's current leaders have nothing to do with prior misconduct and prove the district is able to function on its own.

Each side called several witnesses before allowing the board to make a final decision. The special meeting will continue through the afternoon, but the state board must make a decision by 4:00 p.m.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday recommends Breathitt County schools continue being state managed for the next three years.

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