Mercer County School Board Faces Tough Choices

The Mercer Board of Education is facing some sobering choices.

On one hand, the district needs to deal with aging infrastructure—especially the school sewer system. On the other hand, the district faces uncertain funding on the state and federal levels along with declining enrollment and a related decline in revenues.

The district is projected to lose 20 students in the next school year, which translates into a loss of almost $80,000 in funding, said Chief Financial Officer Amber Minor.

Total expenses are up $289,000 this year in comparison to last year, Minor said, while the district’s contingency fund was down $10,000.

She has presented the board with two budget proposals. One, with funding levels the same as last year and no increased revenue, would have a 2.9-percent contingency fund. The other proposal, which contains a one-percent across the board salary increase, has a 2.4-percent contingency.

Both proposals are well below the 10-percent contingency fund the district tries to maintain.

“We need to start making changes to get there,” Minor said.

To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.

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