BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Some Kentucky educators are concerned that the state’s currently proposed operational budget will not fully address their needs. The Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 6, which covers the state’s operational budget. State senators now can make their own changes. Warren County school leaders say the status quo isn’t sustainable.

What You Need To Know

  • The state's proposed budget does not fund an 11% pay raise for Kentucky teachers

  • Warren County Schools superintendent Rob Clayton says legislators need to something to help teachers

  • Clayton says they aren't getting the interest in open positions the district once had

  • Both chambers of the state legislature after until mid-April to finalize a budget

While HB 6 aims to increase spending for the commonwealth’s education, it does not fund some of Gov. Andy Beshear’s, D-Ky., budget priorities including an 11% pay raise for Kentucky teachers.

Warren County Superintendent Rob Clayton said, “With the healthiest budget right now in Frankfort, it’s time for our legislators to step up and provide the necessary resources. With the current compensation, we continue to struggle.”

Clayton says this has been a thorn in his side for years, and has caused many open positions to receive little interest, a stark contrast to when he first started as superintendent over 10 years ago.

Clayton added, “Right now, every position has few to no applicants.”

Teachers have spoken out about the issue as well, including one who has been working as an educator for 23 years, and says she can still barely make ends meet.

Farrah France, a preschool instructional assistant, said, “I make less than $16 per hour. As a single woman, I have to have three jobs just to make it, and it’s paycheck to paycheck.”

Clayton also discussed how despite the slight increase in funding, the percentage of state funding has been steadily decreasing, and putting more of the weight on local taxpayers, and said he wants more of the percentage to come from the government, rather than residents.

Clayton said, “We’re at 46% of our funding coming from the state, and local taxpayers are paying 54%. So that’s been a size and shift over the last decade plus.”

According to Clayton, until they get the proper funding, staff will have to continue to pick up other responsibilities that are not in line with their duties, something that they’ve been doing for several years.

Clayton said, “I think the most concerning part is that we’re now going into year three, and looking at a fourth year, to continue to pick up those pieces. Right now, it’s not reasonable or manageable to continue long term in this current situation.”

Both chambers of the state legislature after until mid-April to finalize a budget.

State Rep. Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, addressed concerns about the lack of money set aside for teacher raises.

He said that education is well supported and noted that the budget plan reflects a decision to steer more control to local districts so that the state is not setting the pay scale.

Also left out of the budget was funding to make sure all 4-year-olds have access to pre-school, which is another one of Gov. Beshear’s budget priorities.