Superintendent: Federal relief money for Christian County Public Schools is not in question

A $10 million grant that Christian County Public Schools received in October is not part of the federal relief money now in question in school districts, said Superintendent Chris Bentzel.

Christian County is not among a dozen or so Kentucky school districts that learned this week federal relief money they planned to use for construction projects was reportedly not properly earmarked by the state.

“It does not affect Christian County,” Superintendent Chris Bentzel said Tuesday. 

Gov. Andy Beshear’s office announced that $127 million in federal relief money awarded to some school districts for construction projects was supposed to be used for increasing internet capacity. Kentucky Public Radio reported the unexpected development following a legislative meeting Monday in Frankfort. 

Bentzel said the $127 million in question came from a different allocation in House Bill 556 than the one that resulted in a $10 million grant that Beshear presented to Christian County during a stop in Hopkinsville on Oct. 27. The grant to Christian County is to support construction of a new vocational education center, which will be part of the consolidated high school planned to open in 2024. 

The money to school districts that should have been awarded for internet expansion was allocated from Section 17 of HB 556.

“In CCPS, were were not eligible for this funding in Section 17 because we do not have a ‘2nd Nickel Tax’ … for facility funding use,” Bentzel wrote in an email to Hoptown Chronicle.

Christian County’s $10 million grant came from Section 18 of HB 556, he said.

During an Aug. 19 meeting, the Christian County Board of Education approved plans to consolidate Hopkinsville and Christian County high schools, and the district’s vocational and technical programs, into one school. District officials said the school would cost $115 million, with an estimated $32 million in federal coronavirus money, additional grant funding and $70 million in bonds. The school will be constructed on an 87-acre site on Fort Campbell Boulevard at Lovers Lane. 

Superintendent: Federal relief money for Christian County Public Schools is not in question

Jennifer P. Brown

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org.

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