“SEEK funding has not progressed since 2008. It makes it very difficult to give a raise when 80 percent of the expenses are for personnel, and we are not getting the extra funds to pass along, even the cost-of-living raise. Not being able to do that is difficult. That is some of the frustration I see from other superintendents. The state is not living up to their end of the deal. It is very apparent.” Hancock County Schools Superintendent Kyle Estes on the impact of reduced state financial support since 2008 along with additional – and unfunded - mandates. From the Hawesville Hancock Clarion.
“We’re probably going to need about $140 million – a very doable number. Our legislators can’t say there’s no new money. The lieutenant governor’s tax reform commission talked about a sales tax on services and on utilities. There’s a lot of support for putting the option of expanded gaming on the ballot with a potential of a half-billion dollars in revenues. I’m working with all of the education groups across Kentucky on a very simple, clear message: Restore education funding to prerecession levels of 2008-09. There won’t be any other issues we’ll be talking about.” Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on what he calls the No. 1 focus of the Kentucky Board of Education for the 2014 legislative session - funding. From the Lexington WKYT-TV News.
“Whereas, the Kentucky legislature has broken their pledge to Kentucky’s students, failing to fund the mandates of Unbridled Learning, thereby putting at risk its goals and jeopardizing the future of our students; and whereas, the failure of the legislature has caused the Rowan County School District and districts across the Commonwealth to make significant cuts to their budgets and to personnel, compelling School Boards to increase property taxes in order that districts might continue to operate and serve the students, who are the future of the Commonwealth; Now, therefore, we, the members of the Rowan County Board of Education, do challenge the members of the Kentucky State House of Representatives and the Kentucky State Senate to take action, putting the students of the Commonwealth of Kentucky first, reinvesting in their future and fully funding the mandates of Unbridled Learning to ensure that Kentucky’s public education system can offer students the path to college and career readiness.” Portion of a resolution adopted by the Rowan County Board of Education and sent to state leaders on problems related to state funding cuts for K-12 programs. Similar resolutions have since been adopted by other school boards. From the Morehead News.
“We have a staff that loves to come to work. When you love coming to work, good things are going to happen. You can’t fool kids. They know a fraud. You have to make that connection and that relationship to get them to work for you. It has to be every day and it has to be consistent.” Star Elementary (Carter County) Principal Charles Baker on one factor he credited in his school’s selection as a National Blue Ribbon school. Kentucky’s other 2013 honorees are Auburn Elementary (Logan County) Beechwood High School and Mann Elementary (Boone County). From the Ashland Daily Independent.
“The question that’s been asked of me is, ‘If we do a nickel tax, what will that generate?’ and $5.3 million is what it generates. However, the community has to want this and it has to be a desire of the community. It has nothing to do with what we want. Obviously we want that. This is bigger than the Washington County Board of Education. This has to be Washington County the community.” Washington County Schools Superintendent Robin Cochran during a board meeting discussion of space needs at various schools and addressing them through a nickel property tax increase. From the Springfield Sun.
“It is like being-in-the-desert hot in here.” U.S. Army Specialist Justin May, Bracken County High School Class of 2011, speaking from inside the school’s polar bear mascot costume at a football game against Dayton High’s team, just before surprising family and friends on his return after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. From the Maysville Ledger-Independent.