To deliver the promise of education excellence for every Kentuckian, the Commonwealth must reverse years of budget cuts.
Since the 2008 recession, state investments have declined 33% in higher education; 12% in our K-12 per-pupil funding; and have been inadequate to ensure high-quality early learning for our youngest children.
These declines threaten to reverse the progress Kentucky has made in student success and national rankings in the last generation. To address this, we are proposing to increase state investment in education at all levels by $1 Billion dollars through 2026.
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is asking the Kentucky General Assembly for increased investments in education over the next six years:
- $251 million to provide child care assistance to 23,000 more young children with family incomes below 200% of poverty
- $80 million to provide preschool to 10,000 additional 4-year-olds with family incomes below 200% of poverty
- $140 million to fund all-day kindergarten
- $162 million to fund school transportation fully
- $58 million to create a Fund for Teaching Excellence
- $311 million to implement full Performance-Based Funding for Kentucky’s public universities and community and technical colleges
- $30 million to expand needs-based aid, offering 18,000 more College Access Program (CAP) grants to low-income students
This is our big bold ask.
Can Kentucky afford this?
Yes. If phased in over six years, this investment can be accommodated with natural revenue growth. We can’t afford not to.
We must have a sense of urgency for improving education for Kentuckians of all ages. Our Commonwealth is 5th from the bottom nationally in poverty. Through education we can break this cycle of poverty and build prosperity for all our families – in the next generation.