January 17, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Courtney Daniel, Chief of Communications and External Affairscourtney@prichardcommittee.org

The Prichard Committee Releases Analysis of Kentucky House Budget

More Robust Investment Needed in Education

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Analysis from the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence finds that the Kentucky House budget released yesterday made strides in certain areas, but it does not achieve the significant advancements required in the early childhood sector

“We applaud the steps taken in this budget to secure all-day kindergarten and shore up higher education, but the lack of investment in early childhood is of great concern,” said Brigitte Blom, President/CEO of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “Even with the historical investment in CCAP of $52 million, we are far from our projected need of $251 million to ensure Kentucky’s youngest learners and their families have access to affordable, high-quality early care and learning programs.”

Key Highlights and Concerns: 

1. Insufficient Progress in Early Childhood Education: While HB 6 proposes as increase in the state’s contribution to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) at $52 million, this is a fraction of the target set in the Prichard Committee’s Big Bold Ask—a six-year investment plan aimed at strengthening Kentucky’s investment in education. Additionally, state preschool funding sees no increase compared to FY 2020.

2. K-12 Education: The bill fully funds all-day kindergarten and nearly covers school transportation costs. However, the investment in teaching excellence, while notable, falls short of the Big Bold Ask’s recommendations.

3. Postsecondary Education Sees Notable Advances: The budget makes significant strides in postsecondary education. HB 6 exceeds expectations for allocations to the College Access Program (CAP), a need-based financial aid program, and nearly meets the investment goals for public higher education institutions.

“The budget’s lack of progress in early childhood funding is a missed opportunity to lead transformative change for Kentucky’s youngest learners and their families,” Blom said. “We urge lawmakers to drive forward a comprehensive and integrated plan to address the early childhood crisis that will meet the growing needs of Kentucky’s workforce.”

One policy example of this is the mixed delivery model that integrates child care and preschool, strengthening the child care business model and providing more affordable, high-quality care for kids and working families.

Click here for a detailed analysis of the Kentucky House budget. 

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The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky – early childhood through postsecondary.

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Since 1983, the Prichard Committee has worked to study priority issues, inform the public and policy makers about best practices and engage citizens, business leaders, families, students, and other stakeholders in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children, from their earliest years through postsecondary education.

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