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State can’t hold counties hostage for excess funds

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Our Views

 Over the years, you’ve heard politicians in Frankfort and Washington talk about their efforts to never cut funding for education.

Despite the claims, local school officials know the real story.

Thanks to some steady growth over the years, Bullitt County’s school system has been able to survive the downturn in the economy.

And while some will argue the point, the district has always been pretty conservative and very responsible with its revenue.

Now, school boards from across the state are having to explain why they have surplus funds that carryover each year.

Bullitt County officials are pretty blunt in their comments -- if the funding was equalized as was the point of the 1990 education reform act, local students would have millions of dollars more to spend.

As it is, Bullitt County ranks near the bottom of the 174 school districts in per pupil funding.

It must carry the state mandated 2 percent contingency fund, which is has always done.

With Kentucky’s budget crunch, there is the occasional whiffs that the state would like to use the school district’s surplus funds to cover shortfalls in other areas. The alternative would be to share less funds with the local districts, especially those who are running in the black.

We don’t see the rationale. The state is in some tight financial times but there is still plenty of waste that could be cut at both the state and local level. State officials should not be looking at pouncing on any local moneys that school districts have set aside.

If a district is in that stable of a situation, maybe their voters could ask for a rollback in pricing. But whatever the case, it should be a local decision made by local board members.