Erlanger-Elsmere Schools will be closed on Friday, April 13, 2018 so that our school employees are able to travel to Frankfort to stand up for our students, our public services, and our communities. We hope that making this decision today is helpful in providing ample time to arrange for childcare, etc. Also, please know that the YMCA will offer childcare in our School’s Day-Out Program on Friday at Arnett Elementary for elementary students in the district from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.
The Governor has vetoed the budget (HB200), the tax bill (HB 366), and the CERS Phase-In-Provisions (HB362). The last few days of the legislative session are this Friday and Saturday the General Assembly will be considering overriding the Governor’s vetoes that provide a budget and some revenue along with a phase in of increased costs to school districts, cities, and counties. While HB 200 and HB 366 are not ideal, they can be seen as the best of imperfect options at this time.
All of these bills (HB 200, HB 366, and HB 362) affect school districts, local city and county and state public services. If the Governor’s vetoes are not overridden, the financial implications of these vetoes mean that budget cuts to school districts will be inevitable. As we have previously shared these budget cuts will severely reduce:
• Kindergarten and Preschool Services
• Student Extracurricular Services
• Class sizes
• Family Resource Centers
• After School Services/Tutoring/Programs
• All Student Support Services • Counseling
• All School Programs
• Opportunities and Access to Learning for Students
• Reduction in number of teachers and staff members
What happens if the legislature does not override the vetoes?
• State government cannot operate without a budget bill.
• A very short list of “essential programs” deemed essential by the Governor could continue; however, the state has never faced this before and so no one knows for sure which programs could continue or which programs the Governor would deem as essential.
• A government shut down will occur if there is no budget in place by July 1, 2018.
• School districts (and local governments) have to create their budgets now and make decisions about staffing, student programs, extra-curriculars, etc. Therefore, with so much uncertainty many cuts will have to be made in all school districts across the state.
• The budget and tax plan are far from perfect, but the uncertainty of not passing a budget is worse. School districts and local governments cannot wait to plan their budgets
• It is possible that a new budget and tax plan could be developed in a special session, but only the Governor can call a special session and he does not have to call a special session. It is possible that any new bills would be much worse for public education and public services than HB 200 and HB 366.
Why do EES Employees Want to Attend? We had an overwhelming number of employees wanting to attend and we cannot accommodate the number of personal days with substitutes that would be needed. Our employees are attending to stand up for our students and the public services provided in our communities. We encourage families and community members to also attend if they are available and to contact their legislators if they are concerned about funding for public schools and public services. Up until this week our faculty and staff were able to travel to Frankfort on their spring break and on an off day that was in place. We were fortunate not to have to cancel school. We apologize for any inconvenience, but this will be an important day to advocate for students. This will be the first day we have had to cancel school to allow our employees to attend. An updated school calendar will be posted to our district website tomorrow.
Please know that Friday and Saturday are the last two days of the legislative session and our school employees will be there both days on their own time. EES employees will be advocating for funding for our students and our communities. (This has nothing to do with pensions as that bill has already passed.) Our employees’ attendance has everything to do with our children, their future, our communities, and the future of the state of Kentucky.