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Letter to the Editor

School Board’s path will ‘jeopardize’ district’s health Editor, The Sun: One million, two hundred and thirty-eight thousand dollars. This is the amount of money that our current school board has decided to “restrict” for the next 20 years to ensure increased bonding potential to build a new high school. Six hundred thousand dollars was restricted last year from the general fund, as well as an additional $288,000 from the capital outlay fund. An additional $350,000 of this was added to the agenda as a budget item by representative Allison Richardson and approved during the Oct. 28, 2019 meeting. This was decided with minimal Board discussion and little notice to the public. General fund dollars are used to pay salaries, utilities, instructional resources and other operational costs. The general fund is funded with both state and local dollars. The local dollars are primarily in the form of property taxes. It was noted in a recent meeting that when the Board voted to restrict the $600,000, they did not take into account the approval of additional expenses and were forced to use one-time operational cash to cover expenses. It’s highly like we’ll operate at a deficit again this year, which means we’ll be dipping into contingency funds to operate the district from July to November. Does this seem like a sound financial decision? In my opinion, if the Board continues this current path it will jeopardize the health of our school district well into the future, ensure yearly tax increases, and cuts to both personnel and programs. Is this what we really want? Is this how we retain our top school district status? We need to hold our Board of Education accountable. I applaud representative Sherri Springate for her concern and for consistently asking the tough questions. She is the only Board member who seems to be looking forward. I also applaud COO Amy Smith and Superintendent Hawkins for giving words of caution about moving forward in this manner. A tentative date of Nov. 21 has been set for a community forum to discuss funding issues related to building a new high school. I am asking the citizens of Woodford County to please show up and take an active part in the future of our school district. To representatives Dani Bradley, Debby Edelen, Allison Richardson and Ambrose Wilson, I would say, there is no shame in stepping back and making sure this is the absolute best way to move this district forward. Kandi Neal Versailles

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