The Lexington School Board heard some positive reports during their meeting Wednesday night. Click to hear KMZU’s Bob Allen talk with Lexington R-V Superintendent Brad McLaughlin:
McLaughlin says the Department of Higher Education pushed back a planned cut in A+ funding until January. After getting some feedback from institutions like the Lex-La-Ray Technical Center, MDHE decided that making the cut in the middle of the semester would leave many students with serious shortfalls in funding for their education. The district will take a look at what will happen in January and how to help those students who will be affected by the cut.
McLaughlin alerted the board to a $28,000 grant given to district as part of a larger grant awarded to the Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County. The funding will allow the installation of sidewalks around Lexington Middle School.
An eighth grade class was on hand at the session to give a presentation on “Lexington: Past, Present, and Future”. Students presented research they had done about the history of the city and recited Walt Whitman’s “O Captain, My Captain” as part of their program.
Finally, McLaughlin reported to the board about the financial shortfalls that may hit the district in the next year. McLaughlin says his district is familiar with the process of trimming budget but there is a general unease about the repercussions this time around. McLaughlin calls the state’s proposed funding figures “crippling” to many. Two years ago, Lexington shaved $750,000 off the budget and is scheduled to deficit spend around $250,000 this year. If the numbers go as projected, McLaughlin says the district will have to find an additional $650,000 in cuts somewhere.
McLaughlin has been in contact with other area superintendents about the pending situation. Together, they hope to circulate a survey to teachers, parents, and students about what the cuts might mean. McLaughlin hopes to have a report on that data by the November board meeting.