The Monticello Independent and Wayne County school boards both meet Monday night to consider a merger proposal. The state board of education rescued the Monticello school system in February by lending it a million dollars to keep its three schools open until the end of the academic year. The state then assumed financial management of the district. Associate Education Commissioner Kevin Brown says merger is the only viable solution at this point.
"There's no scenario that exists that would give Monticello Independent enough revenue to meet that shortfall for next year," explains Brown. "Because of declining attendance in the district and other reasons, the writing just basically on the wall that it's not able to survive."
Under the state takeover, Jim Hamm was appointed to manage Monticello schools and he told WKU Public Radio on Friday the city and county school districts were very close to a merger agreement. If the local boards fail to reach an agreement, the state can force merger under current law.