Future executive director of school superintendents says funding biggest problem for state's school districts

11/24/2014 06:15 PM

LEXINGTON — Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton, who will be leaving that position on Jan. 1 to become the executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, says funding is the biggest challenge facing Kentucky’s 173 school districts.

“We’ve been woefully underfunded in Kentucky,” Shelton said. “Yet Kentucky is seen as a leader in the focus that we’ve had with Senate Bill 1, with implementation of common core standards, alignment of postsecondary, focus on a new assessment system which we’ve implemented over the last three years, and yet we’ve had to do that with zero additional funding, actually reduced funding.”

Shelton also told Pure Politics that charter schools should probably be explored as an educational option for the state.

“We have to be willing to look a different ways to of helping those students become successful because we owe it to all children for them to have that opportunity,” he said. “But if we’re going to look at charter schools, then we need to define what we mean by charter schools.”

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen recently completed an audit of the Fayette County system and uncovered chronic mismanagement of the district’s budget and finances, but he found no missing money or criminal wrongdoing.

Shelton declined to address his reasons for leaving the district or the results of the audit.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@charter.com.

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