Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

February 12, 2013

Tough fiscal decisions are ahead for Glasgow school system

GLASGOW — Budget uncertainty was a main concern at the Glasgow Board of Education regular session Monday night.

With many possible factors negatively impacting the coming year’s budget, including the sequestration provision of the Budget Act of 2011, which are  planned government controlled budget cuts to education and other areas of federal funding to reduce spending. According to a U.S. Senate report, “Under Threat: Sequestration’s Impact on Nondefense Jobs and Services,” if enacted, the federal cuts could mean as much as $17.7 million cut in Title 1 Grants, more than $15 million in  special education grants, and several other federal grants that funds teachers and other programs. In response, a baseline policy of the minimum amount of school staff was created. The annual policy, which all schools have to provide by March 1, is the minimum amount each school district could efficiently run on if the government does enact sequestration as a federal spending control stop gap.

There seemed to be a great deal of pressure to get it right, because once the staffing policy number was decided upon, no additional staff could be cut if financial hardship occurred.  Currently, the school district was rated as a proficient school for the 2011-12 school years, and has higher students to teacher ratio of 13 to 1. The board members did not want to make decisions with their staffing plan that would hurt their ability to provide the same quality of education to students, yet they didn’t want to be in threat of not being able to afford their staff if federal dollars were cut. Superintendent Sean Howard said he knew keeping the school at the absolute minimum state staffing requirements would make it virtually impossible for the schools to be successful.

“There’d be no art or music,” Howard said.

He said there needs to be an element of fiscal responsibility, yet finding a way to make sure that students still want to attend school.  

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Wednesday's Glasgow Daily Times.

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