Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Superintendents told funding cuts coming

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT - Kentucky's primary funds for public schools will have to be stretched further than expected this year, meaning less money per pupil, local superintendents are being told.

        Officials at the Department of Education cited student attendance rates that were higher than projected and local assessments for property taxes that were lower than projected.

        “The pot is still the same. But you have these two variables ... that are going to end up costing districts more than was expected,” department spokeswoman Lisa Gross said Monday.

        Also to be factored is a third variable, transportation costs, whose trend has been upward.

        “We knew cuts were coming,” Ohio County Superintendent Grover “Butch” Canty said Monday. “We weren't expecting one this early.”

        Kentucky's school funding program goes by the unwieldy name of Supporting Educational Excellence in Kentucky. It is commonly referred to as the SEEK formula.

        The issue was aired Monday before the General Assembly's interim Education Committee, where some legislators said they were getting telephone calls from frantic superintendents.


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