As school systems across the state face budget issues, officials with one Eastern Kentucky school system came together today to approve its draft budget.
With a January 30th deadline, Perry County school board members held a special meeting Thursday to approve its 2009-2010 draft budget. In order to make up for nearly $700,000 to meet the state's two percent contingency requirements, the board voted to stop funding Lost Creek Elementary school.
“Voting to not fund a school is always a last resort of a board of education because that's a tough decision to make, it's tough on all of us,” said Superintendent John Paul Amis.
The decision left some scratching their heads, as Representative Brandon Smith says he allocated coal severance money to help the school system.
“I think the confusion was that this money that I got them, 300,000, could be spent for any sort of maintenance or improvement across their grid. And I left it very vague, so they could just the money as they needed it,” he said.
However school officials say they could not put that money towards lost creek.
“Coal severance money can only be utilized by the school system for projects that are not re-occurring expenses,” said Jody Maggard, Financial Officer for Perry County Schools.
He says Lost Creek Elementary is costing the school system $300,000 a year to operate.
“It's very disappointing for the students and parents here at Lost Creek Elementary, but we understand that there's a financial crisis going on nationwide right now,” said Principal Lisa Weist.
Board members still have to make an official decision about closing the school at their next board meeting. That decision will be made at the next board meeting, February 19th.