State Budget Shortfall Causes Some Kentucky Schools To Cancel Safety Checks
Some Kentucky schools canceled planned safety reviews in response to Governor Bevin’s state budget cuts. Bevin proposed the 6.25 percent cuts to most state agencies in response to a $200 million shortfall. One of the schools that canceled its safety review is Marshall County Elementary School, which is in the same district as the high school where a deadly shooting took place last month.
The safety reviews are designed to help prevent and prepare for emergencies such as last month’s shooting at Marshall County High School, which took the lives of two students and left 21 injured. The Courier Journal reports the widespread state budget cuts resulted in a reduction of more than $95,000 to the Kentucky Center for School Safety, an agency that does on-site assessments and recommends safety improvements.
Schools in eleven districts canceled their state safety reviews for the 2017-2018 school year. That includes South Warren High School and South Warren Middle school in Warren County, Sorgho and Country Heights elementaries in Daviess County, and Logan County High School and Auburn Elementary.
The safety assessments help school officials gauge how they protect doors from intruders, maintain buildings, and address air quality issues such as mold. Past reviews have prompted districts to create better systems for communicating emergencies to parents, repair handrails, and other changes.