Kentucky Commissioner of Education talks budget cuts during Hickman County visit
As part of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget, $18 million may be cut from Kentucky classrooms this year, and that could affect your child. Over the next two years, the Department of Education could see $72 million less in funding.
Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt was in Hickman County Wednesday, celebrating a community-funded program called Falcon Academy. It pays for dual credit courses for high school students. He says other districts, no matter the state budget, can learn from the program.
“What I love is going out and seeing the excitement that kids have,” Pruitt said. He’s touring Hickman County Schools, one of five Districts of Distinction in the state. He’s been commissioner for nearly four months and is already faced with major financial strain. “Our actual operating budget for the year is about $25 million, and so we’ve got to cut 18,” he said. He wants students, faculty, and parents to know his districts are his priority.
Pruitt says he represents 650,000 students around the state of Kentucky, and 327 are at Hickman County High School. He says that number is what determines the school’s funding. It’s called Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, or SEEK.
He doesn’t foresee major changes, but if any programs are grant-dependent, they may have to go. The SEEK formula is upheld in Bevin’s proposal. Flow through grants could be affected, primarily.