Bevin budget could jeopardize youth service centers, schools say - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bevin budget could jeopardize youth service centers, schools say

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They are the part of local schools many families don't know about until they need them the most. They provide food, clothing and counseling.

Annie Haigler runs Wheatley Elementary School's Family Resource and Youth Service Center (FRYSCKY).

"My job is to keep them safe, is to keep them healthy, and to get them ready everyday, so when they go into the classroom, they go in ready to learn," Haigler said. 

"My role is to make sure they know what services are available," she added.

From clothing, to crayons, and even counseling, she serves 400-plus students, with almost all of them living in poverty in Louisville's California neighborhood.

"I do anything, from providing emotional care for children, academic care for children, coordinating tutors," Haigler said.

She says she has loved her job for 17 years, but now wonders if it will last. 

On Thursday, her fears echoed through the capitol Rotunda as FRYSCKY workers rallied lawmakers. They face a $4 million cut in the Governor's budget proposal. Organizers say if the cuts are approved, some centers in Louisville and other parts of the state may consolidate or close 

"That's not going to happen," said Representative Greg Stumbo, the Democratic House Speaker.

The event brought backing from both sides of the aisle.

"I want you to know today that I support you," said Representative David Hale, a Republican who represents District 74. 

But the comments stand in contrast to the Governor's vision.  

"What I've proposed you'd think would cause the end of the world based on the way people are reacting," Gov. Bevin said.

Bevin wants 4.5 percent slashed from state spending this year -- and nine percent out of the next budget -- to stop the bleeding in the Kentucky's pension systems. 

"There are those in the House and Senate -- Republican and Democrat -- who want to spend everything today, and I'm saying we can't afford to," Bevin said. 

FRYSCKY services for 620,000 kids hang in the balance, with Bevin digging in and unsure support in the legislature.

Haigler can only wait for a resolution, hoping the dollars make sense. 

"I'm concerned about it on multi-levels," Haigler said. 

There are 823 Family Resource and Youth Service Centers in the state of Kentucky. JCPS has nearly 100 associated with its schools in Louisville. 

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