Below is an excerpt about the projected outcomes of budget cuts in education.
A four percent reduction to the state’s P-12 education budget would amount to approximately $132 million. If the reduction includes the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding formula, school district superintendents indicated that they would have to make difficult choices.
* Even though it is very difficult to reduce staff after the school year has begun, 36 districts indicated that they would reduce staffing levels for the current school year. This would include hiring freezes and layoffs of classified staff in some cases.
* 142 districts indicated that they expect to reduce staff for the 2009-10 school year, because many of them will be entering that school year with very low contingencies and will be forced to reduce staffing and programs to balance their budgets for the year.
* 33 districts indicated that they would be forced to reduce Flexible Focus programs such as extended school services, safe schools, professional development and other related programs.
* These reductions are in addition to reductions already in place in the enacted budget.
* 41 districts indicated that they will curtail or eliminate maintenance expenditures for the remainder of the fiscal year. Failure to maintain our school buildings will shorten the expected life of those facilities and result in greater costs in the future.
* 28 districts indicated that they would defer major equipment items, including school buses, for the remainder of the year. Districts are encouraged to implement a replacement schedule for buses to ensure that children are safely transported to and from schools. The decision to defer these purchases will result in greater costs in the future as well.
* 23 districts indicated that they would reduce technology and equipment purchases, and some indicated that they would be unable to match their offers of assistance under the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) program.
* 5 districts indicated that they would have to consider reducing their full-day kindergarten programs to half-day programs. Currently, state funding only covers half-day kindergarten, but a majority of districts provide full-day services with monies from their general funds.
* 3 districts indicated that they would suspend their facility plans and halt construction on new schools.
Other state-funded programs would experience extreme limitations under a four percent reduction, including:
* career and technical education
* assistance to low-performing schools
* leadership and instructional support
* educator quality and diversity
* safe schools
* gifted and talented