McGinnis said that he received an e-mail from the Kentucky Department of Education a couple of weeks ago asking the district to start taking a look at next year’s budget to start thinking about possible cuts that could be made. The problem is that the district won’t have a final budget until it knows for sure how much tax money it will get back from the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) program. The program is a means of attempting equal tax revenue per capita in each district.
McGinnis said he saw the first SEEK forecast a couple of weeks ago, which predicted that the district would get $58,158 more than it did in the 2007-2008 school year.
“Even if that turns out to be true, $58,158 of a $7.3 million budget isn’t much,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis added that if the district did receive that money, it wouldn’t even cover the cost of required salary increases based on rank and experience, which he estimated to be between $70,000 and $80,000. Because the budget can’t be final until the district knows how much it will get from SEEK, McGinnis said he asked Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education if districts could delay allocation of money for the individual schools’ staffing and instructional funds. Right now, they are required to give these allocations to the schools’ site-based decision-making councils by March 1. This will be hard to do, though, until they know much they will have to cut from the budget.
“The draft budget is pie-in-the-sky because we don’t know what it will be,” McGinnis said.
Read the full story on school budget cuts in the latest Cadiz Record.