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Saying good-bye to Mattingly

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By Stephen Lega

School Board member Joe Mattingly resigned from his position last week after his daughter, Christina L. McRay, was hired as the assistant principal at Marion County High School. Under KRS 160.180, individuals who have a relative working for the school district may not serve on the school board. Relative is defined in this section as a father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

Board chairwoman Sr. Kay Carlew and Superintendent Donald Smith thanked Mattingly for his years of service during the Jan. 26 board meeting at West Marion Elementary School.

Mattingly has represented District Four since 2005. He was re-elected in 2008.

"I considered it an honor to be the voice for these people that elected me," he told the assembly.

Mattingly praised the district's employees for their work to prepare students for the future.

The board of education will advertise the vacancy and accept applications to fill the position. A screening committee will review the applicants, and the state commissioner of education will appoint someone to replace Mattingly until the next regular election. Whoever wins the Nov. 2 election will complete the remainder of Mattingly's term.

  Preliminary budget presented to school board

Lisa Hutchins, the chief financial officer for Marion County Public Schools, presented the preliminary 2010-11 budget to the Marion County Board of Education during its Jan. 26 meeting.

The preliminary budget was prepared using an estimate based on the child count data submitted to the Kentucky Department of Education. The budget is approximately $25 million.

Hutchins clarified that the figures are likely to change before the final budget is prepared, and the available funds will be affected by the decisions of the state legislature.

Superintendent Donald Smith informed the school board that there have been some legislators who have discussed the contingency funds for local school districts as a way to subsidize education funding for the next budget year.

Hutchins said Marion County has a contingency fund of around $1.6 million, which is more than 5 percent of the 2009-10 budget. She explained that the contingency is used to cover payroll expenses during the months at the start of the following budget year before the district receives additional revenue.

State Sen. Jimmy Higdon was asked Saturday at the Farm Bureau annual legislative breakfast about the reports regarding the possible use of contingency funds to supplement the state's education funding. He said that would not happen.