A Lexington school district is expected to close its doors on April 19, and the state is asking for a $1 billion loan to keep it open.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kevin O’Connor said in a statement Thursday that his office is taking the request seriously and is “committed to a successful and equitable education system for the students and families of Lexington.”
“Lexington will continue to be an important economic engine for the state and the region,” O’Connell said.
The district is part of the Louisville Metro Schools District.
It will also be closed to students and staff from Desoto County Schools and the Desoto High School District.
O’Connor noted that the district received $1.5 billion in state funding in March and has received additional state funding to support its operations through the end of June.
The state, which is also asking for $1 million in additional funds to keep the district open, said in March that it would not be able to continue operating the district due to a projected budget crisis.
Kentucky’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, has called for the closure of the district, citing its poor performance.
The governor’s office released a statement on Friday saying that Bevin will meet with district officials to discuss the situation and “offer to assist them in their plan to provide adequate funding for the district and its employees, including in terms of providing health insurance for the employees.”
The district’s enrollment is the lowest in the state, with just under 3,500 students enrolled.
Kentuckians for Common Sense, a pro-life organization, said on its website that the school closures were a blow to the state’s economy and a blow for the health and well-being of Kentucky’s public school students.
Kentucks for CommonSense is one of several organizations that have sued the state over the closure, claiming that the state has failed to adequately fund its public schools and is putting its health and safety at risk.
Oberlin Community College, which has close ties to Bevin’s administration, is also slated to close in May.
The college is in the midst of a plan to close after a financial crisis and enrollment has been declining for years.
The school closures are part of a larger trend of closings across the country as the Trump administration pushes for cuts to the federal government.