With the 2024 legislative session behind us, we are taking stock of what was accomplished in this session and how far we still must go to improve education and economic outcomes for Kentuckians.

Kentucky’s continued decline in education and quality of life outcomes is cause for concern. In just the last decade Kentucky has fallen to:

  • 41st in the nation in the number of children living in poverty – up from 39th in 2020,
  • 29th in the nation in fourth-grade reading — a fall from 22nd in 2019 and a high of 8th in the nation in 2015,
  • 28th in the nation in eighth-grade reading — a drop from 25th in 2019 and a peak at 12th in 2011,
  • 34th in the nation in fourth-grade math — a fall from 30th in 2019 and 21st in 2015,
  • 41st in the nation in eighth-grade math — down from 36th in 2019 after reaching 33rd in the nation in 2011.
  • 41st in the nation in postsecondary enrollment – a fall from 40th in 2020.

Despite Kentucky’s downward turn in education outcomes, the Prichard Committee celebrates the steps taken by the 2024 Kentucky General Assembly to return Kentucky to a place where education outcomes can improve.

The following successful pieces of legislation can move the needle in providing a Big Bold Future for all Kentuckians:

Numeracy Counts Act – HB 162  Chairman James Tipton (R-53) filed HB 162 to provide for research-based approaches for improvements to K-3 mathematics instruction, teacher preparation, professional development, and parent engagement. The bill aims to reprioritize math education in Kentucky by providing quality education and support for student success to improve math proficiency in Kentucky.

Career and Technical Education – HB 499 Representative Bobby McCool (R – 97) filed HB 499 to provide a fairer allocation of funds between state and locally managed Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, ensuring equitable support across the board. The bill ensures every student, no matter their location, benefits from equal access to high-quality education resources and prioritizes performance-based funding.

Adaptive Kindergarten Readiness Pilot Project – HB 695  Representative Kevin Jackson (R-20) filed HB 695 to establish an adaptive kindergarten readiness pilot project within the Kentucky Department of Education. The pilot will use a curriculum that aligns with state standards and national guidelines to improve kindergarten readiness in the commonwealth.

Postsecondary Performance Based Funding Reforms – SB 191  Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens (R-09) filed SB 191 to include nontraditional age students to close the achievement gaps at the postsecondary level, adjust funding percentages for public universities based on student success outcomes, and more closely align credentialing with economic needs.

While much work remains in the mission to return Kentucky to a place where education and quality of life outcomes are improving, The Prichard Committee applauds these positive steps forward championed by state leaders in Frankfort in the 2024 session.


Government Affairs Director

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