Barbourville Ind. joining "Smarter School Spending" group established to help districts manage tight finances, push forward with student achievement

Times-Tribune, Corbin, Nov. 3, 2016

Barbourville Ind. Schools to join ‘Smarter School Spending’ cohort
By Timothy Wyatt

The Barbourville Independent Board of Education is hoping that spending a little money now will help them save even more in the years to come.

During a special-called meeting Wednesday afternoon, board members discussed an opportunity to join “Smarter School Spending,” a cohort devoted to helping school districts manage tight budgets while also improving student achievement.

Superintendent Kay Dixon said she felt participation in the cohort would be beneficial for the district.

“What they do is pull in key leaders in our district that work with finance and spending, which — over a three-year process — will help us make sure that our budget is matching what our academic goals and expectations are,” said Dixon. “And unlike other school districts, we don’t have a site based council. So this gives us another step and another way of checking that we’re doing the things that we should be that a site based council would normally take care of.”

The district would only be required to pay for 10 percent of the cost of the training, coaching and support that would be provided to the district through a separate agency, according to an informational packet presented to board members. Cost is dependent upon a district’s size, and with less than 2,000 students, Barbourville Independent would be responsible for a yearly cost of $2,500 to join the cohort.

The other 90 percent would be paid through the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a group geared toward improving the educational landscape of Kentucky.

“We just got our budget ready, so this is probably a good time (for the district to do this),” said Dixon. “I think it is a good thing.”

Board Member Bonita Williams made a motion to pursue participation in the cohort and Vice-Chair Sandy Lundy seconded the motion. The board unanimously approved the motion.

In other board of education business:

– Board members entered an executive session to discuss the finding from an audit of the district’s 2014 taxes, which found that some of the district’s taxes had not been taken out correctly. The board unanimously agreed with the audit’s findings.

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