Lincoln County Schools will be closed on Friday, April 13, 2018 as a large portion of our staff travel to Frankfort to advocate for our students and public education. The House and Senate will be in session and are expected to consider the option to override vetoes issued by Governor Bevin. There are three key bills that are critical to public education.
The budget (HB 200) and revenue bills (HB366) allocate the state’s resources and set revenue structures to fund them. The Governor’s initial budget proposal included drastic cuts to education. Specifically, for Lincoln County Schools, the cuts and increased costs would amount to a -$1,929,546 loss. The Senate’s proposed budget was slightly better, and the House version was by far the friendliest to public education. The budget compromise reached by the House and Senate could still be a net loss for Lincoln County Schools but is far better than the Governor’s proposal. The Governor vetoed the compromise reached by the House and Senate. We urge our state legislature to override the Governor’s vetoes. If no budget is passed, it is uncertain what would occur during a potential special session.
The third veto of concern relates to the “CERS Phase-In” bill (SB 362). The County Employees Retirement System (CERS) is the retirement system for classified employees. All entities that have employees in that system were notified that the required contributions were going to increase by 50%. For Lincoln County Schools, this would be an additional expense of $475,000. Not only is this going to be difficult to absorb, it is extremely concerning if it is all at once. The phase-in bill would allow us to increase payment gradually over a number of years. Again, we urge our state legislature to override the Governor’s vetoes.
Staff are not traveling to Frankfort for selfish reasons. We are advocating for our students and public education. If the massive cuts and increased costs occur, it will have a negative impact on what we are able to do for our students. We want to be a united voice urging our legislators to make the right decisions for the future of the students in the Lincoln County Schools.