Kentucky’s education commissioner worries that Governor Bevin’s budget recommendation could put some school districts in what he termed “extreme financial distress.” Stephen Pruitt appeared before the House Budget Review Subcommittee.
Without budget modification, the head of the State Department of Education says day to day instruction of students would be affected. Education Commissioner Pruitt says it’s not far-fetched to think some districts would close schools. “But we have some districts that frankly could be insolvent with some of these cuts, but they may be insolvent either way because we have some districts right now that are living paycheck to paycheck,” said Pruitt.
House Education Committee Chair John “Bam” Carney argues 22 school districts couldn’t continue, facing additional transportation and insurance costs. Carney believes the idea of increasing tax revenues to support schools is getting more attention. “I think everything is on the table right now,” said Carney. “You know, revenue measures are probably on the table for many folks that hadn’t been before.”
Carney says tax reform, something he believes has to happen this year, will likely only happen in a special session.