Regional
11:27 am
Mon January 12, 2004

Fletcher Administration Defends Education Cuts

Frankfort, KY – Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher is defending his
decision to take money from schools and universities
to shore up the state budget. The Republican who
left Congress to become Kentucky's Governor says
education was spared until the last possible minute.

School districts will have to give up about seven million
dollars, and that money would come from programs
such as family resource centers. Education Secretary
Virginia Fox says districts can cover that cost with money
from their budget reserves. But Brad Hughes, a
spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association,
says it would be wrong to think school districts have been
sitting on money. According to Hughes, the districts were
told to put money in reserve, and they have been foregoing
major items like new buses and roof replacements.

Several university Presidents in Kentucky have expressed
concern about the impact the proposed cuts to higher
education would have in the Commonwealth. Murray
State, like several other institutions in the state, has now
imposed a hiring freeze.