Local News

Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Sheldon Berman is proposing deep budget cuts to cope with a $40 million funding gap predicted for the next school year.

A proposal by Berman presented to the school board’s finance committee Monday includes cuts to bus routes, curtailing programs and eliminating up to 264 jobs.

Meanwhile, many other school districts are coping with budget shortfalls, and that’s been the focus of discussion at Kentucky Association of School Superintendents annual meeting underway in Louisville.

Association Director Wilson Sears says a proposed reduction of four percent in state funding this fiscal year would be catastrophic for some systems.

“I suspect that there would be some 30 to 50 school districts in the state that would fall below two percent contingency or in fact go into deficit. this is very, very serious,” Sears said.

Sears says he hopes that state government will be able to come up with some revenue-generating measures soon to avoid the cuts, such as a hike in the state’s cigarette tax.

(Thanks to Stu Johnson, WEKU, Richmond/Kentucky Public Radio)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."