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.
Three finalists have been named for superintendent of Owensboro public schools. The Messenger-Inquirer reports the finalists are county school administrator Mark Owens, economic development leader Nick Brake, and Oldham County principal Rob Clayton.
The three were chosen from a pool of 16 applicants.
The new superintendent will be selected in early May to replace Larry Vick, who is retiring.
Kentucky education commissioner Terry Holliday says the first 57 school districts that raise their dropout age from 16 to 18 will be given a $10,000 state grant.
Holliday made the announcement Wednesday during a state Board of Education meeting in Frankfort. Just before the announcement, board members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution urging Kentucky's 174 school districts to raise the dropout age as soon as possible.
The board has for years been urging state lawmakers to raise Kentucky's legal dropout age to 18.
A compromise reached during this year's legislative session allows local districts to make their own decision on raising the age, but with a provision that once 55 percent of districts have done so, the change will be made statewide within four years.