Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Awards $4.27 Million to Bell County School System

Press Release Date:  Monday, January 08, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Jill Midkiff

Michael Goins

Funds will be used for renovations and additions to Bell County High School

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Bell County High School today to present a check for $4,270,556 to the Bell County School System. The funds, which come from the School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC), will pay for renovations and additions at Bell County High School in Pineville.

“An investment in our schools is an investment in our future,” said Governor Fletcher. “Today’s award will help the students of Bell County High School have a school environment that will enhance their learning experience and provide them with the best education possible.”

“This funding from Governor Fletcher will have a major impact on the future of our students and our county,” said Kenneth Sams, board chairman, Bell County School System. “This will allow the school district to more aggressively integrate education with a career path. We thank Governor Fletcher for caring about the students of Bell County.”

The funding for Bell County High School is part of the $150 million allotted in the 2006-2008 Executive Budget to the SFCC to be used for construction, renovations and improvements to local schools across the commonwealth. Of the money allotted, $75 million is earmarked for school districts under the Urgent Need Trust Fund. Overall, nearly 44 percent of Kentucky’s $18 billion budget is allotted for improvements in education on the K-12 level over the next two years.

“We took the first step in improving Kentucky classrooms with the passage of KERA in 1990,” said Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary Laura E. Owens. “By making further investments in our classrooms we will continue to build on the cornerstone of providing a quality education to all of Kentucky’s children.”

“The students from not only the Bell County school system but also from Pineville and Middlesboro will greatly benefit from this new technical and career facility and all the programs it offers,” said Rep. Rick Nelson (D-Middlesboro).  “This new school will guarantee a higher quality of education for students in Bell County.”

First created in 1985 by KRS 157.611, the SFCC was established to help local school districts throughout Kentucky meet the school construction and education technology needs of the state by operating in a manner that ensures an equitable distribution of funds based on unmet needs. Since the passage of KERA in 1990, school facilities have been funded by the commonwealth based on district size, wealth and need among Kentucky’s 175 school districts.