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Beattyville - Birthplace of Kentucky River (taken by C.Beach III)

Beattyville - Birthplace of Kentucky River (taken by C.Beach III)

School District Responds to Comments Made During Tax Hearing

LEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RESPONSES TO CONCERNS RAISED AT TAX HEARING

Speaker 1:  Taxes continue to increase while residents in outlying areas of the county do not receive services such as road maintenance and access to cable and internet.

District Response:  The Lee County Board of Education sets only school tax.  Tax revenue generated from school tax must be used specifically for the school district.  Other taxes factored into overall tax rate are levied by other taxing authorities such as the county and city.

Speaker 2:  The hearing was held at an inconvenient day and time.

District Response:  The state mandates the hearing run in the newspaper of largest circulation for two consecutive weeks.  After the second ad appears in the newspaper, the hearing must be held on the 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th day.  Regular board meetings are held on Tuesday evenings but Tuesday did not fall within the acceptable date range.  The hearing was held on a day and time that both complied with statutory requirements and allowed all board members to be in attendance.

Speaker 3: 

a.It would be good to compare rates to other counties, including how much money the district receives per student as compared to surrounding counties.

b.How many faculty does Lee County Schools have, as compared to board staff?

District Response:

a. Each school district’s School Report Card can be accessed on the Kentucky Department of Education’s website (www.education.ky.gov).   Financial information is included in the report.  According to the School Report Card for the 2016-2017 year, local revenue per student for Lee County was $1,776.  Lee County ranked 154 out of 173 districts in this category.                          

b. There are currently 55 certified teachers and 12 central office staff employed by the district.  Of the 12 central office employees, 3.5 are certified.  Since the 2008-2009 school year, central office staff has been cut in half.  The ratio of total classified staff to certified staff is 56:67. 

Speaker 4: 

a. Lee County is the poorest county but has the highest tax rate.  The tax rate encourages residents to move out of rather than into the area.

b.The school system should use volunteers instead of paying for a school resource officer.

c.The human touch is being taken out of school with the purchase of expensive computer-based programs.

District Response:

a. Lee County school tax remains well below the state average.  The Board sets and receives school tax only.  Other taxing entities are responsible for county and city tax.  Please refer to the tax rates provided to see how Lee County Schools compares to neighboring counties.  School tax is in bold.

b. The SRO position is to be funded primarily by the city and county.  The SRO will be an employee of the city and will perform duties for the city when school is not in session (ie, summer months).  Lee County Schools’ portion of the total cost will be $10,000.  The District will utilize grant funds to pay its portion for the first year and additional grant funding will be sought thereafter.  Volunteer resources could be an option, but this option would also present an expense with increased insurance and training costs.  Volunteers do not have the same authority as SROs and could not detain or arrest.

c. The District strives to use technology in conjunction with instructional staff to create an environment that promotes optimum student performance.  An advantage of computer-based or web-based learning options is that most programs allow students to learn and progress at their own pace.   Most programs are purchased with grant funds.  Grants often have strict guidelines regarding how the funds are to be used.  Some grants will not pay salary but will allow for the purchase of instructional programs.

Speaker 5: 

a. Taxes increase every year, but there is no explanation as to why.

b.High taxes are driving people away from the area.

District Response

a. The District relies on local revenue sources for operating expenses, and operational expenses continue to increase.  As our buildings and bus fleet age, costs increase to maintain equipment and make repairs and/or replacements.  Since beginning the school year, an additional second grade teacher and an additional special education teacher have been hired.  These additional positions are required due to class size considerations and mandates.  We also anticipate significant expenses with heating and cooling systems at both schools. 

b. School taxes remain well below the state average.  Please refer to the tax rates provided below.


Tax Rates 1Tax Rates 2Tax Rates 3Tax Rates 4Tax Rates 5

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

 

Average Real Estate Rate

64.8006

178

 

               

Average Tangible Rate

64.8927

178

 

               

Average Motor Vehicle Rate

56.1073

178

 

 




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