2022 work on funding Kentucky education is off to a fast start, with the House of Representatives releasing its proposed budget as House Bill 1. You can see that full bill or download our budget summaries for early childhood, P-12 education, and postsecondary education. In this post, I’ll share super-quick highlights of the major changes and also flag implications for the Prichard Committee’s Big Bold Ask.


HB 1 holds CCAP (the Child Care Assistance Program) and state preschool at FY 2021 funding levels. For CCAP, that’s actually a step backward, as the bill does not continue a 2022 appropriation that added another $12 million to increase the assistance rates per day. CCAP and preschool are Big Bold Ask priorities for increased annual state investment, so the lack of growth here is grounds for concern.

Early development programs supported by the Tobacco Settlement are also slated for decreases to most items, though the HANDS program keeps its current $7 million and the early childhood development line item that supports child care has a small increase.


For FY 2023, HB 1 calls for changes adding up to a $336 million total increase for the Department of Education, including:

  • $103 million for SEEK base funding (enough to raise the base guarantee by $100 per pupil
  • $75 million for facilities
  • $60 million for transportation
  • $32 million for Tier I optional SEEK funding
  • $24 million for school district employee’s health insurance
  • $12 million for career and technical education
  • $11.9 million for professional development
  • $5.4 million for vocational transportation
  • $4 million for the Teachers’ Retirement System employer match
  • $1.9 million for salary Supplements for National Board Certified Teachers
  • $1.3 million for gifted and talented programs
  • $1 million for state schools (KSB and KSD)
  • $3 million for smaller line items funded for less than $4 million each
  •  $11 million that is not covered by specific line items and can be used for Department operating costs and some other needs

The only cut we have identified is:

  • -$7.4 million from school-based mental health services providers

In other sections of HB 1, P-12 is written in for FY 2023 funding increase of:

  • $145 million for the teachers retirement system
  • $11.6 million for FRYSCs (Family Resource and Youth Service Centers) as part of the Health and Family Services Budget. (The Department of Education’s budget includes no increase to the $49 million it received for FRYSCs in FY 2022.)

For the Big Bold Ask, P-12 funding includes some important progress. Full day kindergarten funding will continue. Transportation funding moves up substantially, with an added provision that new funding is to be “distributed evenly among districts” rather than based on district costs. We’ll be looking for further insight into the equity implications of a shift like that. Our call for a Fund for Teaching Excellence is addressed by the increased support for National Board Certified Teachers and the return of the professional development line item, along with a postsecondary line for teacher scholarships.


HB 1’s FY 2023 appropriations add $50 million to the Postsecondary Education Performance Fund and makes smaller increases to funding for Eastern, Kentucky State, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Those steps can move Kentucky closer to the Big Bold Ask for increased funding to 2-year and 4-year public education.

HB 1 also provides $38 million more in FY 2023 for the College Assistance Program, Kentucky’s primary needs-based aid program. That appropriation can more than meet the Big Bold Ask’s call to raise annual CAP funding $30 million by FY 2026.

Two other FY 2023 increases deserve attention. $20 million is earmarked for the Healthcare Workforce Initiative, and $3 million is added to funding for Work Ready Scholarships.


Later this week, Governor Beshear will share his proposals. House committee work will likely bring further changes to HB 1 in the coming weeks, as will Senate action and conference committee negotiations. As the process continues, it’s important to notice that Kentucky’s strong economy positions us to expect FY 2023 revenue growth of $300 million or more, making this an excellent year to make important investments in creating a Big Bold Future for us all.


Susan Perkins Weston analyzes Kentucky data and policy, and she’s always on the lookout for ways to enrich the instructional core where students and teachers work together on learning content. Susan is an independent consultant who has been taking on Prichard Committee assignments since 1991. She is a Prichard Committee Senior Fellow.

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