KY Policy Blog

Budget Cuts Further Widen Education Funding Gaps

By Jason Bailey
October 21, 2013

Cuts to state and federal funding for education are leading to greater reliance on local revenue sources and exacerbating funding inequity between school districts, as described in a Louisville Courier-Journal story today.

Less reliance on state and federal money means a growing gap in resources due to the way in which schools are funded. Each district relies on a mix of federal, state and local dollars. For Kentucky as a whole, 46 percent of school funding is from the state, 39 percent is from local revenue and 14 percent from read more

Kentucky Among States that Have Substantially Cut Funding for Schools

By Jason Bailey
September 12, 2013

K-12 funding infographic 2013

Kentucky ranks fourteenth worst in the country in the depth of cuts to school funding since the start of the recession, and is one of fifteen states that have continued to cut K-12 funding in the current year, according to a new report released today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. These damaging cuts slow the recovery and will make Kentucky less prosperous in the future.

The report shows that Kentucky has cut its per-pupil core funding for K-12 schools by 9.9 percent since 2008 after adjusting for read more

Investing in Education Will Build a Stronger State Economy

By Jason Bailey
August 22, 2013

The best way for Kentucky to grow its economy is by investing in a well-educated workforce, according to a new paper from the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a project of the Economic Policy Institute.

In A Well Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity, Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and Peter Fisher, research director at the Iowa Policy Project, find a strong link between the educational attainment of state workforces and both productivity and median wages. Expanding access to high quality education will read more

Kentucky Program Led the Way in Helping Low-Income Adults Get Higher Education, but Barriers Growing

By Jason Bailey
June 26, 2013

Kentucky adopted innovative policies beginning in the late 1990s to help low-income adults attend community college while receiving the supports they need to succeed in school. But shrinking public dollars and increasingly strict federal rules are making it harder to scale those innovations up.

Helping More Kentuckians Get the Skills They Need

Congress passed welfare reform in 1996, which eliminated Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)—a program that provided cash assistance to low-income families—and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF is a block grant program read more

Kentuckians Face Challenges in Accessing the GED in 2014

By Ashley Spalding
June 18, 2013

Kentucky adults without a high school diploma will find it more difficult to earn a GED (General Education Development test credential) beginning in January 2014. Due to upcoming changes in the GED, the test will be more expensive and may be harder to access, among other challenges.

These changes are occurring because of the need to update test content and as a result of the merging of the American Council on Education (ACE), the not-for-profit organization that developed and has administered the test for 70 years, partnering with the for-profit read more

Child Care Cuts Part of Broader Underinvestment in Early Learning

By Anna Baumann
April 8, 2013

Recent cuts to Kentucky’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and Kinship Care are part of a broader set of cuts to child care and early childhood education programs, despite solid evidence that we actually need more investment in these areas.

In January, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced a moratorium beginning this month on new enrollments in CCAP, a program that subsidizes quality child care for income eligible families where parents are working, participating in an educational or training program, or receiving aid through the Temporary Assistance to read more

The State of Working Kentucky 2012: Education

By Ashley Spalding
December 19, 2012

There is no question that greater levels of education are associated with higher wages and employment rates in Kentucky, and employment has been declining among those with less than a college degree in recent years. However, median wages have been stagnant for Kentuckians at all education levels over the last ten years—suggesting that our problems with job quality are more complex than just a skills gap.

Kentucky has seen wage stagnation across the board, but for those with some college or a high school degree, the trend is not new. read more

Kentucky Falls Short in Closing Higher Education Gaps

By Sean Litteral
October 31, 2012

Kentucky still has a long way to go to meet the ambitious educational attainment goals set by the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997. In a recent report by the Council on Postsecondary Education, which details the state’s progress toward meeting these goals in 2010-2011, Kentucky fell short in several indicators of the gaps between disadvantaged and other students.

The report examines the progress that has been made toward the state’s education goals for 2020 in 31 performance targets in four priority areas: college readiness; student success; research, economic and read more

Transitioning Adults to Postsecondary Education Crucial to Meeting Goals

By Ashley Spalding
September 24, 2012

Postsecondary education is increasingly recognized as an important means of improving the economy and increasing the financial well-being of individuals and families. But given Kentucky’s serious educational challenges, the state must start early in the education pipeline—including with a major focus on efforts that help adults obtain basic education, make the transition to higher education and then acquire a credential or degree.

Efforts to increase the percentage of adult education students who are transitioning to college are especially important given the low levels of education among adults in Kentucky, the read more

Higher Education Helped in the Recession, but Doesn’t Guarantee a Good Job in Recovery

By Sean Litteral
September 13, 2012

Those with higher education fared better in the recession and are more likely to obtain the new jobs being created in the recovery. However, those new jobs tend to pay lower wages than the jobs that were eliminated during the downturn.

Thus while more education can help shield families from recession, the path to greater family economic security must also include policies that spur the creation of more good quality jobs.

A report released last month by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute highlights how the recession impacted those with different read more