Catholic school prepares for possible closure

By Rebekah Pewitt | 

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WYMT) - A school of 31 students may not be open next year. Officials with the St. Julian Elementary School in Bell County held a budget meeting Thursday night to review the school's possibilities for next year.

There are big concerns over the small school of St. Julian; a school that is fighting to stay open.

“St. Julian has been struggling within the last couple of years with enrollment and during that time there's been some concern in the community that we have been going down in numbers,” said Superintendent Tim Weaver.

Parents and volunteers voiced those concerns at Thursday night's budget meeting. Former students even came to show their support.

“It's important because it teaches about God and it really puts in your good morals that maybe a public school wouldn't,” said Talton Dunn.

A balanced budget was presented at the meeting, but according to it, if there aren't at least 23 students enrolled for this upcoming year by May, St. Julian's doors could be closed for good.

“We're looking at 23 kids is what we're looking at as our goal for next year and if they have the 23 then we're good to go for the year,” said Weaver.

However, school officials are confident it won’t be shut down, and say they already have enough students.

“It's good to know that we've got students coming back for next year and that we've got a balanced budget for next year and that we will be able to have school,” said Principal and teacher Kim Honeycutt.

Action will be taken after a final review of next year's enrollment in May.

The new budget may force officials to make faculty cuts in order to compensate for a lack of funding.

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