Kentucky Education Officials Say Nearly 1,000 Jobs Have Been Cut

Kentucky schools have eliminated about 975 positions, including 455 teachers, to cope with cuts in the state's two-year budget, according to a state education group.
The Kentucky School Boards Association conducted a survey that found nearly 90 of the state's 174 school districts have cut about 455 certified positions and about 520 classified positions from their payrolls. Teachers are certified staff, and teachers' aids, also known as para-educators, are classified staff.
The reductions affect about 1 percent of the state's 42,000 teachers.
"The worry is that (layoffs) will be worse in the '09-10 school year," said. Brad Hughes, spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association.
When adjusted for inflation, the state's funding of K-12 education will decline by $172 million this fiscal year and $171 million next year, according to an analysis by the Council for Better Education.
Specifically, the state budget cut about $43 million from education programs, including a $14.7 million reduction in the main funding formula for school districts. Also hard hit were professional development and after-school tutoring programs.
Many school districts were forced to reduce staff because salaries make up the bulk of their budgets, said Jody Maggard, finance officer for Perry County schools in Eastern Kentucky. The district, which has 13 schools and about 4,000 students, did not rehire 48 teachers' aids.
"We regret that we had to do it but just like other districts, it was a 'have to' situation," Maggard said. He said the move saved about $500,000 for the district.
In Pulaski County, the budget crunch will mean larger class sizes. Somerset Independent Schools, which has 1,460 students in three schools, cut 16 teachers and district staff. As a result, the average class size will increase from 20 to 28 students, said Superintendent Teresa Wallace.
"We're looking to try to get funding in order to decrease the class size for the next school year," said Wallace.
School districts that are less reliant on state funding, such as Fayette County, have largely avoided cutting teaching positions.
Many school districts in Kentucky get the majority of their funding from the state budget through the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) formula. But Fayette County, which benefits from relatively high property tax values, gets 70 percent of its funding from local taxes and only 30 percent from SEEK funds.
"There are small rural districts that are fairly stable but then again there are others that are not," said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman with the Kentucky Department of Education. "But districts that don't have high property wealth will struggle and struggle more if there are state budget cuts."

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  • by Fed up! on Jul 30, 2008 at 11:51 AM
    Ok, this is smart. Less teachers = less teaching. Less teaching = Fewer children being educated. Fewer Children being educated = Fewer people finding proper jobs. Which leads to more people on welfare, foodstamps, or starving families. It even means more Drug dealers, more thieves as that's what alot of these people will end up doing just to get by. And people wonder WHY the jails and prison systems are so full. It's because the state is taking away anything that COULD help change lives. I'm sure they could have found some other way, but none of the people running our state wants to give up their posh lifestyles and scrimp and save to get by like the rest of us do. Do some research, see what kind of homes these people live in, cars they drive. And then ask yourself, who's really paying for them to live high on the dollar, we the tax payers! We the people that they keep taking things away from. How fair is that?
  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on Jul 30, 2008 at 10:16 AM
    I tell you exactly what they are doing. When new teachers are hired the have to be "tenured" in order to get a pay rise. Well, upon working 1 day that "tenure" year they get the raise. To keep from giving this raise, they do not hire back the teachers who are eligible for this and in turn hire a new fresh out of college teacher to be a scape goat for 4 years. I think its a shame at the cost people have to pay for a college education to only have it slapped back in your face. EVERY bill that I pay has school taxes on it. I would LOVE to see a complete audit of the county's funding for the school year. I just wonder how much of it is REALLY spent on the kids and salaries???
  • by j Location: corbin on Jul 30, 2008 at 03:25 AM
    What happens to no child left behind,when the elected officals takes office they need to realize that education is thte biggest employer in the state of Ky.So instead of cutting its funding they need to either pay for thier own trips or cut some where else.The lottery,and school tax on every bill we pay is suppose to fund education,so where is it going.Officals need to realize if they like thier job don't cut education because we are the ones you want to keep half way satisfied(we are the majority in Ky).Town Hall Meetings won't help the Gov.on this.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 29, 2008 at 11:59 PM
    sad when u send money to other countrys but cut money from your owen people. sad gets worse ever day. taking from or on that need it and send it to other countrys.thats already rich..hmmmm
  • by Laura on Jul 29, 2008 at 08:54 PM
    These school district can say what they want but it has nothing to do with money its all who you know. Like in Pike County I know for a fact they gave a gentleman a pink slip that had taught two year to hire a new gentleman that havent had any experience so whats wrongs with the system,that show its who you know not what you know so come on people remember your board members in your district.


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