KY Policy Blog

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

Questions and Concerns About the Senate’s Performance-Based Funding Proposal

By Ashley Spalding
March 25, 2016

The model for performance-based funding outlined in the Senate budget proposal raises some questions and concerns about how the money would be distributed and what the likely outcomes would be for students and the state’s public higher education institutions.

In the proposal, 25 percent of 2018 funding for the state’s universities and community colleges (other than Kentucky State University, which is exempt) is contingent upon each institution’s performance on certain metrics. The main metrics for measuring institutional performance in the Senate’s funding model are: degrees and credentials awarded; student retention read more

House Budget Would Make College More Affordable for Kentuckians

By Ashley Spalding
March 18, 2016

In recent years, Kentucky has had among the largest state budget cuts to higher education in the nation and steepest tuition increases. By ending cuts to state universities and community colleges, making a big increase in funding for need-based financial need and creating a scholarship to end tuition for traditional-age community college students, the House budget would go a long way toward making a college education attainable for more Kentuckians.

No Cuts to State Universities and Community Colleges

The House budget does not include any cuts to the state’s public read more

House Minority Budget Doesn’t Put More Money into Education

By Jason Bailey
March 15, 2016

The House minority budget presented today keeps the governor’s proposed deep cuts to education and just makes modifications to how those cuts are implemented.

The budget essentially flat-funds the SEEK formula, Kentucky’s main funding program for K-12 schools, just as in the governor’s plan. The proposal also includes a nine percent cut to the non-SEEK funding category Learning and Results Services, just as in the governor’s budget.

However, unlike in the governor’s budget, the House GOP’s plan specifies where those cuts will fall. It deeply cuts funding for preschool by read more

Budget Should Move Forward on Early Childhood, Not Back

By Dustin Pugel
March 10, 2016

Quality early childhood education, through child care and preschool, has been shown to have multiple layers of value:

It helps the economy by generating jobs and economic activity, as well as savings from reduced public expenditures later in a child’s life. It helps parents by allowing them the freedom to work or go back to school to build the skills necessary to advance their careers. And children benefit from quality early childhood education immediately, making them more likely to be prepared for Kindergarten, as well as into adulthood, when they read more

Cuts to Adult Education Would Decrease Access to GED Credential

By Ashley Spalding
February 25, 2016

The cuts in the governor’s budget proposal would hit Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) hard — reducing Kentuckians’ access to the supports needed to prepare for and pass the GED test. GED diploma attainment is a critical economic development issue, and the state has faced dramatic declines in GED graduates in recent years.

Adult education is essential to boosting educational attainment in the state, which can mean greater employment opportunities, increased earnings and the capacity to contribute more in taxes. Yet in 2013, 360,830 working age Kentuckians – 13.1 percent – read more