STANFORD — Lincoln County High School's graduation rate rose by 27 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to data shared at Thursday night's school board meeting.
Assistant Principal Christy Denny told board members the increase means the high school went from one of the worst graduation rates in the area to one of the best.
Lincoln High School's graduation rate was 69.9 percent in 2010, placing it seventh on a list of eight area high schools compiled by school administrators.
Only Garrard County at 65.3 percent had a lower graduation rate.
In 2011, Lincoln High School's graduation rate rose to 88.8, making it second on the same list, behind only Boyle County, which had a 92.1 percent graduation rate.
Denny said while administrators had known Lincoln's graduation rate for a while, Wednesday night was when the state first provided a spreadsheet containing graduation-rate data for all the schools across the state.
Denny stayed up late sifting through the spreadsheet to see how Lincoln fared against the rest of the state. Unofficially, Denny estimated Lincoln was 31st out of the more than 200 high schools in Kentucky.
"I had nobody to tell because everybody was asleep except the cat," she told the board, smiling. "So I'm telling the cat, 'look at where we are!'"
Board of Education Chairman Jim Kelley said he had examined the figures from around the state as well, and believes Lincoln had the most dramatic increase year-over-year of any nearby schools, including others not on Denny's list of eight like Burgin High School.
Burgin got a 100-percent mark, but the percent increase over the previous year was still smaller than Lincoln's, he said.
Superintendent Karen Hatter said the much-improved graduation figures will make a big difference on the school's accountability scores because they're worth 20 percent of the score.
Denny said the state's accountability scores are used to rank and determine benchmark goals for schools across the state.
School board votes to raise property taxes
The Lincoln County Board of Education approved a proposal to increase revenue from property taxes by four percent.
Board Vice Chairman Tom Blankenship cast the lone no vote against the increase.
"I'm good with everything but I vote no on the real estate," Blankenship said.
The property tax increase would raise rates by 2 cents, from 41.9 cents on every $100 of real and personal property in the county to 43.9 cents.
That means a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000 would pay $439 in real property tax to the school district — $20 more than last year.
In all, Lincoln County residents would pay about $3.35 million in real property taxes and $143,798 in personal property taxes under the new rate.
The school district brought in approximately $3.21 million in real property taxes and $137,417 in personal property taxes in 2011, according to property valuation administrator records.
Had the board left property tax rates at their 2011 levels, revenues would have dropped by approximately $17,000, according to an analysis of property valuation records by The Interior Journal.
If the board had chosen the compensating rate of 42.3 cents per $100, tax revenues would have remained relatively flat, with about $3.23 million from real property and $138,557 from personal property, according to school board documents.
A public hearing is required to be held in order for the board to get the 4-percent increase, but under state law the move is not subject to a voter recall.
The board voted to keep its automobile tax and 3-percent utility tax rates unchanged.