Because the General Assembly refused to come up with new money, the Kentucky Department of Education had to whack $43 million worth of spending for professional development programs, after-school services and textbooks. That forced 174 public school districts to make up the difference.
Senate President David Williams airily dismissed this as a little belt-tightening. In fact, it meant the loss of personnel in 135 school districts. A Kentucky School Boards Association survey finds that 594 people in certified positions (teachers, counselors, administrators) lost their jobs, along with 575 classified workers (teachers' aides, bus drivers, cafeteria helpers, office clerks and custodians).
That's 1,169 folks not around to help Kentucky students get to school, enjoy a hot meal and learn something. A little belt-tightening?
When asked about raising revenue, the Senate president sniffs that he finds no enthusiasm among his GOP colleagues for tax increases. Are they tickled about whacking Kentucky's schools?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This from C-J: