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In session until June

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Cutbacks loom as budget talks begin for Owen school district

By Molly Haines

A rough Owen County winter has led to students staying behind the books until June.
The Owen County School Board met Monday and voted to amend this year’s calendar.
The last day of school for students will be June 3 and teachers’ last day June 6.
Students have missed a total of 13 instructional days and have had two one-hour delays.
Owen County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Charlotte Elkins said the board opted to use “accumulated minutes.”
“The state only requires us to be in session 170 days and 1,065 hours,” Elkins said. “Our calendar is 176 days.”
Elkins said although the district only needs to meet the 170-day requirement, students will make up 12 of their missed days.
If three or fewer additional days are missed, students will not make up those days past June 3 and spring break will stay intact.
Elkins said if four or more days are missed, spring break could be looked at as a possibility.
The board also approved the 2011-2012 calendar.
Major cuts could be coming to the district’s 2011-2012 budget.
The board discussed the draft budget during its meeting.
Owen County Schools Finance Officer Sheila Miller said not enough information for an in-depth discussion on the budget was available.
Miller said federal grants are one holdup, as well as the state funding.
“We’re having to rely more on local revenue and you can only raise taxes so much before it has to go to a vote,” Miller said.
Miller said the 2011-2012 school year looks far worse than the current school year.
“It will probably look the same this time next year too, unless things really turn around,” Miller said.
The board approved a temporary, part-time adult education instructional position.
The adult education program may receive $10,000 from Kentucky Adult Education.
Adult Education Director Veronica Gayle said the program wanted to focus on getting as much out of the money as they possibly could and an additional instructional position was the best use of the money.
The program has not officially received notification that the money will be awarded, but a vacancy for an additional instructional position is expected to be posted following notification.
The board recognized the Maurice Bowling Middle School sixth- and seventh-grade boys basketball team.
MBMS Principal Jo Ella Wallace said the boys were undefeated this season, which was a first for MBMS in any sport.
The MBMS academic team was also recognized as district champions and success in quick recall, future problem solving, and individual awards.
Owen County High School student Brittany Rexroat was also recognized for placing third in the FEA Impromptu Speaking.