The Wayne County Outlook

Local News

February 12, 2013

KBE does not approve working budget for Monticello Independent

2-13-13 —  The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) met in regular session on  Wednesday, February 6, in Frankfort. During its meeting, the board  addressed matters of business pertaining to Monticello Independent.  The KBE did not approve the Monticello Independent school district  working budget during their meeting. The board approved the  Monticello Independent school district tax rate.

    In addition, the state board also heard an update on the state  assistance of Monticello Independent School District.

    The Kentucky Board of Education will hold a special meeting on  February 20 in Frankfort on the Monticello Independent school  district's designation to state management appeal.

    The Monticello Independent Board of Education voted at its December  board meeting to formally request that the district become state  managed. However, when the local board met in January, the majority  of members voted to proceed with a hearing before the KBE regarding  

the district's designation as state managed.

    During a special called meeting of the local board on January 30,  

board members appointed a planning committee to prepare for the  

presentation before the state board on February 20.

    The planning committee met on Monday, February 11, with most of the  committee members present along with State Senator Sara Beth Gregory  and Wayne County Judge-Executive Greg Rankin.

    Superintendent John Hurt and Bill Boyd, finance officer at  Monticello Independent, provided committee members with an overview  of the school district's current situation. They also noted that the  hearing that will be held in Frankfort next week will be conducted  like a hearing proceeding. The state board will make a decision at  the end of that hearing about whether or not the Monticello Independent school district will be under state management through June.

    Hurt told the planning committee that the local board needs to come  up with a viable, sustainable plan to show that the Monticello  Independent school district could stay open and does not need to be  under state management.

    He added that the purpose of the planning committee was to gather  information, brainstorm and investigate possible ways to help develop  that plan.

    Winter Huff, attorney for the Monticello Independent Board of  Education, also addressed committee members briefly at the beginning  of the meeting. She noted that those appointed to the planning  committee were respected as people who have an interest in and  knowledge of the Monticello school district, and they have the best  

interest of the district at heart.

    She added that the committee's purpose was brainstorming and  

providing input on what the members think would be the best ways to  

move forward.

    During the meeting, committee members discussed the draft budget for  

2013-14, which is not yet balanced. Committee members noted that they  

would like to show a balanced budget and discussed possible ways of  

making that happen.

    The committee set meeting dates for February 6, 7 and 8 to further  

discuss the situation. This would give each committee member time to  

review budget information they had requested.

    The planning committee met on Wednesday, February 6, with the  

majority of committee members present, along with faculty members the  

committee had invited, Wayne County Judge-Executive Greg Rankin and  

Monticello Mayor Jeffrey Edwards.

    The group brainstormed on ways to get the budget balanced, which  

included making cuts in payroll and personnel.

    They were informed later in the meeting that there would be no  

presentation made at the hearing on February 20. The only matter the  

state board would be addressing at the hearing is whether or not the  

district would be placed under state management.

    The committee was informed that if they have a plan in place for  

keeping the school district open, that the KBE would consider it  

after it goes under state management.

    Since the Monticello Independent school district cannot meet payroll  

and financial obligations past February without the infusion of cash  

that would be made possible only through state management, the  

committee decided to recommend to the local board that the district  

be placed under state management. They also discussed some tips to  

present to the board about a plan for coming out of state management.

    The planning committee would also like to continue to have a role  

after the district goes under state management.

    Committee members canceled the meetings for February 7 and 8.


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