State budget cuts to cost Garrard schools $13,000

January 14, 2004|JIM LOGAN

LANCASTER - Garrard County schools will receive $13,316 less in state funding for fiscal year 2004, officials learned Tuesday.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher's office notified the Board of Education of the cuts as part of his general fund reductions to close the state's budget gap.

Superintendent Ray Woolsey called the cuts "not significant," but said, "The problem is, it has to be made up by us. This money has already been spent."

What really hurts, he said, is that the state has ordered changes in preschool hours that will cost county schools $50,000 for busing this year and $100,000 the next.


The state has mandated that the county's three elementary schools - Paint Lick, Camp Dick and Lancaster - use four half-day schedules, although they use all-day classes twice a week.

Board Chairman Joe Brown called the cuts inconsistent with Fletcher's embrace of President Bush's call for all children being able to read by the third grade.

"Cutting preschool doesn't seem like a good way to get that goal," he said.

Woolsey said he had arranged to speak today with a Fletcher policy liaison to express his dismay over the cuts and incurred costs of the preschool changes.

"We're gonna make our feelings known," he said.

The programs targeted for cuts include gifted and talented education, $1,435 reduction; extended school services, $4,475; preschool, $5,604; safe schools, $1,158; and community education, $643.

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