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Tentative plans for school funding show most Hardin County schools possibly losing some money for staff for the next school year.
The Hardin County Schools board approved tentative allocations at its meeting Tuesday, which showed most of the schools would be losing staff if the final allocations are set as they are now.
Superintendent Nannette Johnston said Thursday staffing for teachers needs to adjust to enrollment, which is down in some places.
Eleven schools are tentatively slated to lose one teacher salary. G.C. Burkhead Elementary could lose two and a half teacher salaries, John Hardin High School could lose three, and North Hardin High School could lose four. East Hardin and North middle schools could gain two salaries and one salary, respectively.
There are nine schools projected to have lower enrollments than what they had as of January.
Student-teacher ratios for grades six through 12 changed in 2010, from 24 students to one teacher to 26 students to one teacher. Johnston said since the change, the board has still tried to be generous and hasn’t closely followed that ratio. But declining state funding will no longer allow that, she said.
According to a chart from the Kentucky Education Action Team, Support Education Excellence in Kentucky funding, the main source of state money based on student attendance, has declined from $4,230 in the 2007-08 school year to $3,769 for this year. Those numbers have been adjusted for inflation.
Most schools also could lose special education staff money, which comes from federal dollars, and three — Central Hardin High School, J.T. Alton Middle School and Woodland Elementary School — could lose money for administrative staff.
Board Chairwoman Kay Sharon said the board has to staff the schools based on the actual number of students.
They reinforced these numbers were not set. Johnston said enrollment, which is how projections are made for the future, tends to be lower at the end of the school year.
Bobby Lewis, associate superintendent for student services, also said projections for the current school year were too high by about 400 students. Johnston said when making projections, they tend to staff for the higher numbers at the beginning of the year, but the number of students never came in as anticipated for this year.
She said for this upcoming year, they need to staff for those lower numbers at the end of the year, even if they expect higher numbers at the beginning of next year.
“We can’t afford to make an assumption anymore,” she said.
Sharon said the board is waiting to see the state budget and they don’t know anything for sure now. The final allocations must be sent to the schools by the beginning of May.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.