KY Policy Blog

Five Challenges Kentucky College Students Face in 2016

By Ashley Spalding
August 22, 2016

Kentucky college students face barriers and challenges as they begin a new academic year, some of which are worsening as a result of yet another round of state budget cuts to higher educational institutions.

Tuition Continues to Rise

Tuition at public universities and community colleges has been on the rise in Kentucky for years, largely as a result of state budget cuts. As we’ve described elsewhere, while Kentucky continues to cut funding for higher education most states are increasing funding. The most recent cuts have led to more tuition increases read more

Kentucky’s Schools Face Funding Challenges as Kids Head Back to School

By Ashley Spalding
August 8, 2016

As kids return to school across the Commonwealth, they face continued frozen state funding that amounts to a reduction once inflation is taken into account. The lack of state funding increases for schools threatens educational gains Kentucky has made in the past and is leading to a growing gap between rich and poor schools.

Kentucky’s cuts among the biggest

Last year’s report on K-12 funding by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ranked Kentucky 6th worst in the nation when it comes to cuts in per-student core formula funding read more

Infographic: Ky. Higher Ed Cuts Among Worst in the Country

By Kenny Colston
June 3, 2016

Kentucky is continuing its tumble to the bottom as one of the worst states in funding cuts to higher education, a new report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities shows.  Kentucky ranks 6th-worst among states in percentage cuts to higher education since 2008 and is in the bottom 10 among states in other funding categories, according to the report. This disinvestment once again threatens to limit students’ access to higher education, as well as our state’s opportunities for economic growth.

Web read more

Report Points Out Successes with Kentucky’s Preschool Program and Progress to be Made

By Dustin Pugel
May 25, 2016

Kentucky has made strides over the last few decades to expand access to quality public preschool. The recent State of Preschool 2015 report points out where Kentucky has made progress as well as the huge need that remains unfilled, while taking note of concerning recent trends in enrollment.

Kentucky’s comparisons against other states’ preschool programs vary greatly.

Kentucky ranked 25th in the report in state spending per child enrolled, and 8th in total spending per child enrolled (which includes a time-limited federal grant). The state was tied, however, for the read more

Five Reasons Cutting Higher Education Hurts Low-Income and Minority Kentuckians

By Ashley Spalding
May 24, 2016

Higher education funding issues in Kentucky have been in the news a lot recently — for ranking among the worst in the country for per-student cuts in a new report; with the public universities and community colleges beginning to implement layoffs, unpaid furloughs and hiring freezes; and as the process of raising tuition for the 2016-2017 school year is nearly finalized. While many of these conversations focus on the impact of cuts on the institutions themselves, we should not lose sight of how these budget cuts hurt all Kentuckians seeking read more

Governor Vetoes Need-Based Scholarships for Thousands of Students

By Jason Bailey
April 28, 2016

Governor Bevin vetoed $40.3 million in funding for need-based college scholarships contained in House Bill 10, meaning denied aid for nearly 22,000 low-income students that had been awarded by the General Assembly. This is at the same time the budget cuts funding for higher education by 4.5 percent, leading to tuition hikes at the public universities and community colleges.

The governor’s vetoes also delay the start of the Work Ready Scholarship, a program designed to help some traditional-age students pursue associate’s degrees, by one year from 2017 to 2018. That read more

Child Care Assistance and Preschool Improved in Budget Agreement

By Dustin Pugel
April 22, 2016

The two-year budget agreement now being considered by Governor Bevin made incremental but substantial changes to the state’s two main investments in early childhood care and education (ECCE). The state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) was given $21.2 million more across the biennium than in the previous budget, so more families can become eligible for assistance. State funded preschool was held harmless, but its income eligibility limit was also increased.

While the state only uses General Fund money for public preschool, CCAP spending comes from the General Fund, tobacco settlement read more

New Early Childhood Education Report Highlights Benefits of Investment

By Dustin Pugel
April 19, 2016

Too little funding for early childhood care and education (ECCE) in Kentucky means that quality care is too expensive for low-income families, and remains unaffordable for most Kentuckians.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute lays out a broad argument for why bold investment in ECCE is needed. In short, children who have high quality early childhood experiences benefit immediately and well into adulthood, families with access to affordable care are able to invest in their income-earning potential and pursue careers, and states can more generally invest in a read more

General Assembly’s Budget Includes Critical Scholarship Investments

By Dustin Pugel
April 19, 2016

The final budget agreement that passed the legislature includes significant new investment in the state’s college scholarship programs. Over the biennium, the funding increase for Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) is $121.5 million over what was budgeted for the prior two-year period. This new money for scholarships is important for helping Kentuckians better afford college — particularly the state’s low-income students — and the governor should affirm these investments as he makes final decisions about the budget.

These improvements in financial aid funding are especially critical given the budget’s read more

What the Cuts Would Mean: A Look at How Kentucky Is Hurt By Proposed Disinvestments

By Anna Baumann
March 25, 2016

In a new video describing the importance of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCs) and Extended School Services (ESS) – programs the Senate budget cuts – Jackie Butts, a 6th Grade Language Arts teacher at Tichenor Middle School in northern Kentucky, says “when we talk about money, a lot of times people forget … there are students behind that money.”

As legislators head into final negotiations on the state budget, it’s a good time to remember that all services on the chopping block have people and purpose behind them. read more