|Centre hosts public meeting on education funding crisis
Gene Wilhoit, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, participates
RELEASED: Jan. 23, 2003
DANVILLE, KYA "Forum on Kentucky's Educational Funding Crisis" featuring Commissioner Gene Wilhoit of the Kentucky Department of Education and area legislators took place at Centre College on Jan. 28.
This is the first time that the public had an opportunity to question state and local officials and react to recently projected budget cuts affecting education. The program was held in Weisiger Theatre in Centre's Norton Center for the Arts. More than 200 people attended the forum.
The impact of state revenue shortfalls on K-12 education was the main topic of the event that included a public question-and-answer session with Wilhoit and the legislators.
In addition to Commissioner Wilhoit and other Kentucky Department of Education officials, representatives of the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA), and the Kentucky Association of School Councils (KASC), along with area school administrators, school board members and Kentucky legislators were present to respond to questions from the audience.
"Kentucky's public schools are facing record revenue shortfalls that will affect school staffing and student services," said Boyle County Schools Superintendent Pam Rogers who, on behalf of area superintendents and Centre College President John Roush, extended the invitation to Wilhoit.
"When important conversations take place in Kentucky, they frequently occur at Centre College," Roush said. "The education of our young people is a topic of vital importance, and we're honored to host this pivotal public meeting at the College."
Available along with Wilhoit for questions were representatives of the organizations that support school boards, administrators and councils: KSBA Director of Governmental Relations Alicia Sells, KASA Executive Director Wayne Young, and KASC Executive Director Susan Weston.
Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit in December estimated $77.1 million to be cut from K-12 education in Fiscal Year '03 and $159 million in '04, forcing severe reductions in student services and jeopardizing the jobs of approximately 1,800 teachers across the state.
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