Schools close; teachers voice support for public education
A decision to cancel classes in Woodford County Public Schools last Friday, April 13, was made one day earlier because “we were already seeing a pretty large number of classrooms that we weren’t going to have covered tomorrow,” said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins last Thursday.
“And we were getting some feedback that that number was probably going to grow.”
Woodford County teachers like other educators from across Kentucky wanted to voice their support for public education by being in Frankfort on Friday. State legislators apparently heard their voices and voted to override Gov. Matt Bevin’s veto of legislative bills and restore public school funding.
Hawkins described the bills that came out of the General Assembly as better than the governor’s proposed budget, which he said would have been “really, really hard on a lot of school districts across Kentucky.”
Woodford County schools would have lost about $500,000 in state transportation funding under Bevin’s proposed budget. Coupled with other cuts, Hawkins said the district would’ve faced a reduction of a little over $1 million in state funding under the governor’s spending plan.
Hawkins said the legislature has a constitutional obligation to fund public education “and if we don’t have a decent budget they’re not fulfilling that constitutional obligation. So I think that it’s important that we hold them accountable.”
Hawkins said the Woodford County Board of Education will review the 2017-18 school calendar at its regular meeting on April 23 and determine whether or not to add a makeup day for April 13. The last day of school for students is currently Friday, May 25.