House passes bill offering relief to financially struggling schools

02/06/2018 03:43 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would allow certain financially struggling school districts to meet their expenses by being able to take out interest-free loans from excess SEEK money was passed by the House A & R committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 141, sponsored by Rep. John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, would provide loans to 12 districts, primarily in Eastern Kentucky, with significant revenue shortfalls due to circumstances beyond the district’s control or other extraordinary financial circumstances.

“Basically, this bill changes the circumstances under which a school district can request funds from the emergency revolving school loan due to circumstances like unmined coal, lower tax collection rates, in many parts of the state,” Carney said. “I have been convinced that these are not districts that are wasting money. These are districts that are legitimately in difficult financial situations due to circumstances really outside of their control.”

Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, liked the idea of additional SEEK money being used in the area of education, and not swept to other non-education agencies.

“Keeping it in education is appropriate, and having those SEEK dollars at this time go back into a loan program is also appropriate,” Flood said.

Rep. Tim Couch, R-Hyden, represents an area where one of the financially struggling districts would benefit from such a loan plan.

“Leslie County Schools has cut all they can cut,” Couch said. “ Leslie County schools travels 2400 miles with half the fleet. Their longest bus haul is a 2 hour one way, so that’s a 4 hour trip for those students in one day.”

House Bill 141 moves on to the full House for consideration.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

1 Comments

Comments

  • Raymond Hurst wrote on February 07, 2018 09:16 AM :

    Thank goodness we have people in Frankfort who are so concerned about kids in the public school systems; that they have come up with a route for school systems to borrow money to help them with their financial struggles. It is not the fault of these same concerned people that the new Charter and private school laws will gut public education. The cuts to public school transportation is also good for the state as a whole. I am extremely thankful we have a Governor who came down from New Hampshire to fight for our public schools here in Kentucky. He said he would fight for education. How lucky can our children be? The only thing I don’t understand is; if school districts don’t have enough money to operate on now; how can they pay back money they borrow?

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