School audit discussed at Fleming Co. meeting

FLEMING CO, Ky. (WKYT) - Parents and teachers packed a school board meeting in Fleming County on Monday night. School leaders discussed a scathing audit from the state.

Kentucky education leaders say Fleming County High School leaders aren't doing enough to improve the school and they recommend some cuts.

This meeting lasted more than three and a half hours, and at the end of it, the superintendent said he still wasn't sure if the state would be taking over control of Fleming county schools.

The biggest part of the discussion tonight had to do with two main topics. The first was principal Mark Leet. A report by the Department of Education on the issues at Fleming County cited poor leadership at both the high school and district offices as issues to be corrected. But teachers, parents, and students who came to Monday night's meeting only had praise for Leet, saying in the two years since he's been at the high school he's helped make some positive changes.

The second topic was cuts to funding.

The funding to the high school that was cut, around $350,000, included an agricultural teacher, a spanish teacher, and a tele-media teacher, as well cuts to the stipends of the other agricultural teachers. It also includes several other teachers who are retiring. The school board had no input on those cuts which are mandated by education commissioner Terry Holiday.

The board did vote on funding that wasn't connected to the high school, that accounted for about 44 percent of the cuts. That included more stipend cuts, a technology technician and some other teachers retiring. The total of both cuts, more than $633,000.

The people who were at the meeting Monday night were adamant they didn't want Frankfort making their local decisions. And Principal Leet questioned a program that reviewed the county in its effectiveness.

"Out of 30 schools over half of them still needs improvement after 2010, now if I come to you and said only half of my students were successful, how good is my program?"

One step the people here are looking at to retain that agriculture teacher that is set to be let go, is raising money to pay for his position. They tell us they already the money secured.

The state education commissioner has said if financial improvements aren't made to the school district the state could step in and manage it.

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