School system fights budget crunch

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Magoffin County school officials had to make some tough decisions in balancing their budget and some people will not be returning to work for the 2012-2013 school year.

Board members went over a budget reduction plan, which has not yet been approved, but they did okay a hiring freeze and recommended doing away with certain positions.

“We have a declining enrollment and we also have a decline in revenue from the state side and the federal side so you can no longer afford to have what I would call additional positions out there just to drain on your resources,” said Superintendent Joe Hunley.

Nine non-tenured teachers are not expected to have their contracts renewed for the upcoming school year after around $900,000 was cut.

“That has to do with our over staffing that we have here and trying to get it more in line with the enrollment numbers that we have,” said Hunley.

Hunley said they have been over staffed since 2008 and the enrollment numbers are not in line, so letting the employees go is a decision that had to be made eventually.

The superintendent said the March tornadoes pushed the budget talks back.

“We had to do them, but they got put on the back burner,” said Hunley.
Hunley said they are the largest employer in the county, so making the decision to let people go was not easy.

“It is difficult in trying to decide which is the least, which has the least impact on student instruction and trying to not to think of it as people, but it is hard not to because you know who the people are in mind,” said Hunley.

Officials still have a lot to look over in the Budget Reduction Plan but it is not yet known when they will meet again to vote on it. The superintendent said it will have to be soon, as the budget must be passed by the end of this month.

He said the problems they faced are no different than what other county school boards face across the commonwealth. Federal stimulus and state SEEK funding reductions have hit the bluegrass hard.

Hunley said he has spoken with Congressman Hal Rogers and Gov. Steve Beshear about getting some additional funding and so far they are still searching for it.

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