School district could be facing huge deficit

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

Pike County Schools could be facing a huge budget shortfall for the upcoming school year.

Officials say government cutbacks could leave them with a deficit of more than two million dollars.

School board officials say that at this time the numbers are not certain, but there definitely will be a major shortfall.

They say it is something school districts across the state are dealing with because of government cutbacks.

Pike County Schools officials say their budget for the upcoming school year is in trouble.

“I've been here for 15 years and this is the worst year that we've faced and we were deficit the year I came,” Nancy Grubb, Pike County Schools Finance Director, said.

Officials say the federal government is reducing its funding by nine percent this year, and the state has cut several programs that also funded schools. That leaves Pike County with a possible $2.4 million shortfall.

“As those cutbacks are taking place, it's putting us in a position that we have to look at our system of how we can reduce our spending,” Pike County Superintendent Roger Wagner said.

They say the first solution people think of is layoffs, but they want to avoid that if at all possible.

“We're trying without people that are retiring we're simply looking at maybe not replacing those individuals,” Superintendent Wagner said.

Officials say this is not something that is only happening in Pike County. They say it is something all across eastern Kentucky that most school districts are facing.

But they say the large size of Pike County's district does not help.

“The basic things that have happened at home to citizens like increases in your food costs, increases in electricity, we've seen that only it's exponential to the size of the district that we are,”

They say while the numbers are not for sure at this point, they know there will have to be significant changes in the coming year.

Superintendent Wagner said they are staying positive and will discuss the budget at the board's next meeting on May 21.

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