Hardin County Schools dealing with Fort Knox cutbacks - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Hardin County Schools dealing with Fort Knox cutbacks

Students at a Hardin County elementary school during their lunch period. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News) Students at a Hardin County elementary school during their lunch period. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Superintendent Nannette Johnston (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News) Superintendent Nannette Johnston (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
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ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Students in Hardin County have been back in the classroom for the past week. Leaders there are dealing with an issue not many districts in our area have to deal with: the military. The Army is making cuts and that is impacting the district.

"The main challenge that we have dealing with Fort Knox, is dealing with the unknown," said Hardin County Superintendent Nannette Johnston.

The announcement that Fort Knox is losing the 3/1 Brigade that means 3,500 soldiers are leaving the Hardin County area.

"We were told that when they were going to move the 3/1 out, that there would be approximately 350 students tied to that," said Johnston. "They said 150 of those we are going to move out this summer. The rest of them will trickle out between the start of school and December."

The district planned for 150 fewer students and made reductions to the teaching staff mainly at the elementary level for this year. What's difficult, the district says, is planning for the remaining students who are expected to leave and how to staff the school.

"We know this will effect our younger children in the elementary school because, these are younger soldiers," said Johnston.

Fewer students means fewer dollars from state funding. Which has a domino effect on how many teachers should be working at the district, which ultimately impacts the districts budget.

"That's why we are better to going in, short changing at the elementary level with staffing," said Johnston. "We can add them back. Once they are in there and our students don't come, we aren't going to have the state funding coming in to pay for teachers we hired."

Johnston says it's easier to hire more teachers not firing. She fears it will get worse down the line with the potential of losing 4,000 military and civil service folks at Fort Knox.

"I don't like surprises and most people don't" said Johnston. "You can't operate a school district on unknowns."

Johnston says a core committee made up of community leaders is meeting with Congressman Brett Guthrie to talk about the future of the district.

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