State Board of Education removes Breathitt County from state assistance

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Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:21 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 4:16 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - At a Wednesday evening meeting, members of the Kentucky Board of Education voted to approve the exit of Breathitt County Schools from state assistance.

Breathitt County Schools had been under state management since December 2012 and was moved to state assistance in December 2019.

Board members interviewed 180 district officials and other stakeholders and found that the “significant lack of efficiency or effectiveness” no longer existed.

“We are very humbled and thankful to be here today,” Superintendent Phillip Watts told the board. “I know they’re a phone call away and they’ve always been very supportive of Breathitt County Schools.”

Ruschelle Hamilton, Breathitt County Board of Education Chair, said they will continue to do everything to improve the education of their students each day.

“It’s been a long ten years, but I feel like we have grown. We have worked very hard. When I say we, I mean any stakeholder involved in the educational progress of Breathitt County,” Hamilton added.

Kelly Foster, the Associate Commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Continuous Improvement and Support, also lauded the superintendent’s job.

“They’ve had a long journey,” said Foster, “and the culture of that entire district has changed.”

Watts said he is proud of his students and staff and the significant progress each of them have made.

“Really proud of our staff for the growth that we’ve seen out of those for the last several years from an instructional standpoint to the way we do business. We just have a lot of celebrations. With that being said it’s just a normal day and we’re looking for ways to improve on what we do today and tomorrow, and we owe that to our students and our community,” Watts said.

Education Commissioner Jason Glass also told Watts that he admired him as a leader.

With the board vote, none of Kentucky’s school districts remain in state assistance.