Trigg Board Sets Graduation Day, Rankles At Senate Budget

During Thursday’s comprehensive Trigg County Board of Education meeting, two critical unanimously updates were made to the 2021-22 academic calendar — regarding May 17 and Election Day, and Graduation Day for the Class of 2022.

Director of Personnel and Student Services James Mangels noted that with the district having already missed some time due to weather and COVID-19 surges, a slight change needed to come in order to match the 174 calendar days required.

With a wide variety of options on the table, Mangels added that a survey went out to administrators in the district — asking for any and all input on what the best course of action be. Those options included moving the last day of school to May 20, having teachers and students attend a full day on May 17 (Election Day), or to even cut down the calendar one instructional day while asking teachers and administrators to report on May 17 (Election Day).

The board voted 5-0 to keep May 17 as a day for teachers only, with Mangels urging that anyone could either vote before or after their in-service, or maybe even during if that was their only time available for the primary election.

School Superintendent Bill Thorpe said the three best dates for graduation, then, would be May 19, May 20 and May 21.

Board member Theresa Allen stated having graduation on the last day of school made things hectic for teachers with students in the celebration.

The board voted 5-0 to set graduation for 7 p.m., May 20.

While March and April aren’t without snow days from time to time, Mangels assured the board that — should it be necessary — the district still has four NTI days to spare, as well as plenty of minutes remaining to flex inside the open calendar.

Not everything was good news Thursday evening.

Thorpe notified constituents that while the Senate’s 30-6 passing of its budget has some strong improvements in multiple fiscal categories for the state, Governor Andy Beshear’s scripts of universal pre-kindergarten and fully-funded kindergarten were not included in the Senate’s final call.

It brought about a flurry of discussion and frustration among Thorpe and many of the board members.

Though this budget still has to pass the House before appearing back on Beshear’s desk, school attorney Jack Lackey Jr. made reference to the fact that the House — much like the Senate — is Republican-dominant, and should have little issue moving forward to the Governor’s office.

Lackey Jr. also noted the Senate’s budget is close to $450 million less than the House’s budget plan.

Multiple sources indicate that the Senate’s budget does include a 10% pay raise for state workers, a precipitous hike in classroom dollars to allow districts to dole out raises should they so choose, and several million in financial overhaul for the state parks system.

Some lawmakers, however, wanted more mandated education funds in this year’s budget.