School officials review new state budget

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Local school district officials are reviewing the new state budget passed last week and evaluating what it means for the schools.

Educational seek funding for schools escaped the ax and the amount of instructional days stays intact.

Most educational leaders say they are still reviewing the state budget.

Leaders in Martin County say their rural school district depends on the seek funds.

They are pleased their funding was not on the chopping block.

Martin County schools are empty now that school is out for summer. Teachers are preparing for next year but were not sure what to plan for until lawmakers passed a state budget.

Now that a budget is in place, Martin County school leaders say it appears they and other districts escaped drastic cuts. SEEK funding for education was not axed, which means Martin County will still receive nine million dollars.

“As a small eastern Kentucky county, we desperately depend on it. That's where the majority of our funding comes from,” Martin County Superintendent Mark Blackburn said.

The budget preserves the two instructional days lawmakers considered chopping earlier this year to save money; keeping the time at the equivalent of 177, six hour days.

“Keeping two instructional days is very important to the future of our state. It's very important for all of our kids to have as much education,” Carolyn Bentley said.

However, the budget requires local districts to pay for one of the two saved instructional days.

State education department officials say each district will handle it differently. Martin County leaders plan to add the time to other school days to save the 45-thousand dollars it would cost.

The state budget also includes no foreseeable mass layoffs for teachers, but no pay raises either.

Also in the budget is some funding to repair or replace dilapidated buildings considered category five, but local districts will have to match that with additional property tax revenue.

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