Daviess Co., Owensboro school officials discussing budget cuts - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Daviess Co., Owensboro school officials discussing budget cuts

(WFIE) (WFIE)
DAVIESS CO., KY (WFIE) -

Owensboro and Daviess County School boards met Tuesday to figure out what to do about the enormous budget cuts proposed by state leaders.

The commonwealth is facing a $200 million budget shortfall. And the governor wants state agencies, including schools, to slash their budgets by 17%.

"We're financially sound districts but at the same time we won't be financially strong very long if we have to continue to deal with the level of cuts that we're being asked to take," Nick Brake, Owensboro Public School Superintendent, explained.

Local school districts worry what these proposed cuts could do to their school systems and others across the state.

"The size of these cuts really aren't sustainable," explained Matt Robbins, Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent. "Some school districts may be able to do it for one or two years tops. Some, I think I've heard as many as 22 districts that if this proposal were to go in place would go in deficit next year."

These concerns brought the two school boards and officials together this morning. They voted on their top prioritizes to bring to Frankfort.

"Being able to speak with one voice and agree to a consistent set of priorities that impact both of our districts and entire community I think is really, really important," said Brake.

The boards decided on five legislative priorities including increased funding for student transportation and by addressing the pension issue by adopting the shared responsibility proposal.

But some leaders only see one way out of these economic issues for Kentucky.

"I don't see a path forward unless it involves new revenues," Robbins said.

The leaders worry that if these cuts did take place, that mean a loss of teachers.

"Eventually that means people that are providing direct services to children and educating them," explained Robbins. "And that's where the rubber meets the road with this and that's why it's so challenging and difficult."

Both Superintendents said they will bring that list of priorities every time they go to Frankfort and share it to officials so their voice can be heard.

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