Students rally in Frankfort in the wake of school budget cuts

School Budget Cuts, Rally, Frankfort

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) -A rally is being held in Frankfort on Friday, protesting Governor Matt Bevin’s announced budget cuts to state universities.

Organizers say the rally will start at Noon on the Capitol steps.

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Student groups from several schools have said they will be there.

The University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University have issued statements regarding the budget cuts.

The statement from the University of Kentucky reads as follows: “Gov. Bevin announced this measure in January, so we anticipated it. We will be working over the next few months to implement this reduction within the context of our current-year budget. It is too early to speculate on the specific measures we will take.”

EKU’s reaction to the budget cuts says, “Governor Matt Bevin’s directive to cut all public universities’ funding by 4.5% for the current fiscal year equates to approximately $3.1 million for Eastern Kentucky University.  To address this cut, the EKU management team has worked diligently to cut spending for the remainder of this fiscal year and identified reserves and other non-recurring funds to meet this immediate reduction. These adjustments have been made with as little impact as possible to our top priority, our students. However, if we face continued cuts on top of the repeated decreases in funding that universities have seen the last eight years, it will be increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to meet these challenges without affecting our students.

Current state allocations represent 28.7% of the total EKU budget. Further cuts to our funding jeopardize the resources provided in the classroom and support services to all who learn, work and live on our campuses. We continue to urge our elected officials to consider the investment in human capital that public higher education represents.”

Governor Matt Bevin also issued a statement, saying, “Our pension system is on the brink of insolvency. We have more than $35 billion in pension obligations.  It takes leadership from all stewards of taxpayer dollars to keep our commitments to our teachers and state workers. I appreciate our university presidents who recognize the magnitude of this challenge and are willing to participate and contribute to the solution.  Once we get our fiscal house in order, Kentucky will be in a much stronger position to make additional investments in higher education.”