Teacher advocates could face own job losses

By FRED LUCAS State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Public school teachers' jobs were spared in the recently passed state budget, but the same budget has significant cuts in the agency overseeing schools and could lead to layoffs of state education employees across the Kentucky.

But that's only a possibility. The budget passed by the legislature this week, in order to spare cuts in schools, made more cuts at the top. Preliminary estimates indicate the Kentucky Department of Education will experience a 24 percent cut in its operating budget and a 19 percent to 20 percent cut in personnel, according to the Kentucky School Boards Association. At worse, the state could have a decrease of 150 employees out of the agency with a workforce of about 750.

KDE spokeswoman Lisa Gross said layoffs are not being planned as of now.

"You never know what's going to happen," Gross said of layoffs. "But it's not something we're talking serious about at this point."

Gross said most of the reductions could likely be done through retirement and attrition. Gov. Paul Patton and legislators have said the entire state workforce can be reduced without layoffs by not filling vacancies caused by retirement and attrition.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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