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Dayton Schools Explore "Make Believe Budget"

With so much uncertainty emanating from Frankfort, particularly related to education funding, the Dayton Board of Education met recently to discuss what Superintendent Jay Brewer characterized as a "make-believe budget".

Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed steep cuts to public education as the state moves to fight its pension debt.

Financial Officer Patricia Gosney tried to explain how she approached the working budget, saying that since she had to start somewhere, she took last year's budget as a base and then put in numbers as she narrowed them down.

She told the board that the district has roughly a $1.4 million carryover, and has an estimated 11 percent contingency. However, with the assets being $6.2 million and the expenditures being $6.8 million, there is a shortage of about $584,000. The contingency could help with that.

Gosney also explained that if the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding is reduced, the district could lose $63,000 in revenue.   

Also, since transportation is being cut, the district might lose $30,000.  

On top of that, the state may require heftier contributions to district health care programs along with higher pension payments which could create a $500,000 to $600,000 gap that will need to be closed by May when the district's budget is more real than make-believe.

"It is very complicated and complex," Brewer said. "The state is facing hard times, but cutting the way out might not be the best thing to do."

Gosney said with all the expenses, the board might not have any option but to pass the full 4 percent property tax hike next august.

Brewer added that there could be a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the new apartment complex going up at Manhattan Harbour. He also advocated for people to continue calling state senators and representatives to make sure they knew they should help the schools.

"This seems like forecasting the weather fifteen days out," said Brewer. "A storm is coming on day fifteen, we know that, but we don't know how severe it is. So we know there is a storm coming, and we don't know how bad. But like our motto says, we will grow through it."

The board approved the budget.

Several students were honored as students of the month, nominated by their teachers for their good work.

The artist of the month is Brandon Haas, who keeps a great GPA while taking two elective guitar classes. Superintendent Brewer said that Haas practices all the time and that's where champions are made.

Lydia Workman is the athlete of the month and  is a five-sport varsity letter winner. Currently she bowls and has a 120 average score. Superintendent Brewer said that Workman maintains a 3.87 GPA and is a quiet leader.

Students of the month at Dayton High School: 

Carson Reynolds - 7th Grade
Harmony Shields - 8th Grade
Audreyona North - 9th Grade
Autumn Medley - 10th Grade
Damien Freeman - 11th Grade
Gabe Roberts - 12th Grade
Artist of the Month - Brandon Haas
Athlete of the Month - Lydia Workman

Students of the month at Lincoln Elementary:

Mrs. Stuempel’s class: Tino Cioffi
Ms. Litzler’s class: Collin Spradlin
Mrs. Ridder’s class: Tanner Frisch
First grade
Ms. Sands’ class: Waylon Gulley
Ms. Stafford’s class: Cadence Taylor
Mrs. West’s class: Stella Skirvin
Mrs. Young’s class: Marissa Young
Principal's Pick: Conner Black
Second grade
Mrs. Chenot’s class: Travis Hollers
Mrs. Feldman’s class: Michael Henderson
Mrs. Clifton’s class: Aaleigha Clark
Third grade
Ms. Griffith’s class: Kaden Adams
Ms. Geiman’s class: Anthony Hull
Ms. Woughter’s class: Kaitlyn Caldwell
Fourth grade Fifth grade Sixth grade
Casey Chenot, Kendell Meyers, Chad Nickell
Principal's Pick: Brandon Sanders

The board held elections for the positions of Chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer, and Rosanne Sharon will continue as Chair, Bernie Pfeffer is vice chair, Jay Brewer  is Secretary and Patricia Gosney is Treasurer.

​Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor