Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Awards $3.48 Million to Knox 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 local elementary school

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Girdler Elementary School today to present a check for $3,480,750 to the Knox County School System. The funds, which come from the School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC), will pay for renovations and additions at the school.

“Every young Kentuckian deserves the highest level of education in the best facilities,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Today’s award will allow the Knox County School System to continue providing a quality learning environment to the students and teachers of Girdler Elementary.”

“This is a special day for Knox County and the Girdler community,” said Knox County Superintendent Walter T. Hulett. “As we work to reach proficiency, these funds will allow us to add additional classrooms and upgrade our existing facilities to provide a state-of-the-art educational setting for teaching and learning.”

“I want to express my thanks to Governor Fletcher for making this investment in the Knox County School System,” said Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester).  “This award will help raise the quality of education for the students at Girdler Elementary School.”

“This money is needed and there is no better project to receive this funding than Girdler Elementary School,” said Rep. Jim Stewart (R-Flat Lick). “I’m hopeful this money will be used to improve student safety by eliminating the need for outdoor classrooms at the school.”

The funding for Girdler Elementary School is part of the $150 million allotted in the 2006-2008 Executive Budget to 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.

“Education is the cornerstone of providing good jobs and a good quality of life in our commonwealth,” said Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary Laura E. Owens.  “We must continue making investments in our school systems if we are to continue the education reforms first set out by KERA.”

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.