Scott, Mercer County among many school systems at risk of insolvency

SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - "Left foot, left foot, right foot, right..."

Schools across the Bluegrass are at risk of insolvency.

He's got the Dr. Seuss down pat, but Scott County Superintendent Kevin Hub cannot find the rhyme or reason in continual budget cuts.

"Our constitution requires that the general assembly adequately fund public education," Hub explains, "I'm just not sure they're doing that."

Administrators are keeping a close eye on state budget and pension proposals currently up in the air in Frankfort.

If both pass as is, 120 of 173 districts will run out of money by 2020 according to a state summary.

INTERACTIVE | Which school systems are in jeopardy if spending cuts are enacted?

"If school districts cannot operate, what happens to those kids?" asks Woodford County Superintendent Scott Hawkins, "What happens to all of those employees?"

Hawkins' district is in the predicted clear, but neighbors like Mercer County could face a total shutdown. When asked if school districts could potentially merge as a result, it would take legislative action first.

"Right now there is nothing legislatively that allows counties to merge."

Mercer County Superintendent Dennis Davis says he has no idea either, releasing this statement:

"We have cut staff, budgets, closed a school and restructured our entire district over the last seven years to be financially stable. I am not sure what is left to cut."

Cuts are something Hub says are at the expense of the students who need adequate resources to learn.

"We are just having to cut, cut, cut, and that is not fair to kids," Hub says.

Here is a look at some of the impacts budget cuts could have on some of these districts, according to each respective superintendent.


  • Transportation cuts are likely if budget passes, potential $500,000 in loss. Their transportation operation is already only 58% funded.

  • Teacher training funds/materials for students will likely see a $200,000 loss.

  • There is another impact on rural communities if districts have to close. Schools can be the number one source of employment in some places, which would cause a ripple effect.


  • Budget cuts from the current proposal will not mean layoffs for staff or program elimination, but the district won't be able to provide education that the community expects.

  • The district isn't able to fund additional support specialists for more children who have behavior and mental health needs. They see more and more of those kinds of students, and they aren't able to fully serve them.

  • District has only funded 50% for kindergarten. It costs $1 million to provide full-day kindergarten.

  • District cannot fund music, art, or physical education teachers at elementary level.

  • Middle school classes have more than 35 kids.

  • Every year the district starts $10 million in the hole because of unfunded mandates.


  • The district is estimated to be out of money/shut down by 2020 if current budget proposal and pension proposals pass as is.

  • All 5 of their schools would be impacted, totaling 2,800 students and 500 employees.


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