Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt is recommending that Fleming County, Robertson County and Caverna Independent public school districts exit the department’s “state assistance” oversight because they’ve made improvements, according to the state board of education’s June agenda.
When a district is designated as “state-assisted,” the Kentucky Department of Education helps district officials and the local school board implement a plan to correct deficiencies uncovered in a department management audit.
The Kentucky Board of Education will vote on Pruitt’s recommendation at its June 7 meeting.
Pruitt thinks the three districts should “be removed from state assistance as a result of the progress made and the results of a management audit,” board documents said.
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At the October 2013 state board meeting, the Robertson County school district was designated for state assistance by the Kentucky Board of Education after a management audit found a pattern of inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
Two months later at the December 2013 state board meeting, the Fleming County school district was designated for state assistance after an audit found that it was dealing with a financial crisis resulting from poor financial management over a long period.
At a 2015 state board meeting, the board agreed with then-Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday that the Caverna Independent school district should have the state assistance designation because of a “significant lack of efficiency and effectiveness.” The district serves the towns of Cave City in Barren County and Horse Cave in Hart County.
A recent audit found that Fleming County “had developed a common vision and mission,” said an executive summary. “This vision was clearly focused on increasing student achievement, communicated and reinforced the system’s values, and helped the district sustain a climate conducive to student learning.”
“While a management audit for many districts is seen through a negative lens, Fleming County Schools viewed it as a positive,” said Fleming County Superintendent Brian Creasman, who was hired after the state put the district in state assistance. “As a result of the management audit, we have been able to develop tools, strategies and processes to help sustain growth as a district and continued laser focus on student achievement. “
Robertson County “has made significant improvement based upon Kentucky’s Accountability and Assessment System,” an executive summary said. “The district has moved to the 7th highest performing school district in the state with a label of Distinguished/Progressing.”
And a recent audit found that a leadership team in Caverna “had worked diligently to focus on improved student performance,” the executive summary said.
In addition to having Robertson County, Fleming County and Caverna Independent in state assistance, the Kentucky Department of Education manages Breathitt County and Menifee County public school districts.